Title: Nightshade (Nightshade #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Calla Tor has always know her destiny:After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heat, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
With the publicity campaign it got, it was almost impossible for me not have heard about Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. There was a lot of hype about the book and because of that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to my expectations but it didn’t disappoint. Plus the book is all about wolves, so what’s not to love about it?
Calla has always known what her future would look like. When she turns 18 she’s going to marry Ren and then their two packs are going to come together and form a new one. As that day comes closer, Calla has come to terms with this idea and the two packs are starting to get closer, especially Calla and Ren. But then Shay arrives in town and everything seems to change. Now Calla starts doubting what everyone has been telling her for her entire life. Everything she has always believed in is now being challenged and Calla now has to choose between marrying Ren and following her destiny or giving up everything she knows and following Shay.
I’ve read my fair share of stories about wolves but never one quite like this one. Most of the time the wolves have to hide what they are and tend to live on the outside of societies. Here, the wolves and their leaders are the ones with the power and humans live in fear of them. It was unlike the other wolf stories I’ve read and I absolutely loved it! Cremer created a whole societal structure that actually works and doesn’t at all seem out of place in the modern world. I loved learning all about the inner workings of that society and seeing how all these lies were woven into it. It was just interesting to see how everything fell apart while at the same time it all fit together.
The workings of the pack were also interesting to learn about. It was almost like each pack was a family, despite them all being teenagers. The dynamics there were also interesting; even though they’re all friends, none of the wolves dared go against what Ren and Calla said. The budding relationship between Calla and Ren was fun to watch develop. Despite the front he put up, Ren seemed to really care about Calla, which became really obvious when her relationship with Shay started developing. The one I loved seeing the most, was the relationship between Bryn and Ansel. It was just so cute and I want them to have it all. But who knows what’s going to happen? As far as Team Ren and Team Shay goes, I’ll have to get back to you on that one, I haven’t made my mind up yet.
Nightshade was an awesome read. Andrea Cremer created a world and a story that stays with ou even once it’s over. I would never have guessed that this was Cremer’s first book, she is a phenomenal writer. Now I can’t wait to find out what happens next in Wolfsbane.