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October 6, 2011

Nightshade

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Calla Tor is a seventeen year old Alpha of the Nightshade pack arranged to be mated and bonded with Ren Laroche, Alpha of the Bane pack on Samhain. They are Guardians (werewolves), sworn warriors of The Keepers (sorcerers), allies against the Searchers.

All her life Calla has been accepting of her fate and always followed the rules to the letter. She's been very protective of her pack and did her best to be their rightful leader until Nightshade is ready to merge with the Banes.

Everything was turned upside down when she crossed paths with Shay Doran. Fate kept on throwing them together much to Ren's chagrin and soon Calla started breaking one rule after the other until she discovered the truth about the The Keepers and The Guardians and the prophecy that might finally set the Weres free from the clutches of the spell casters.

I was so excited to finish the book because I cannot wait to write about it. Nightshade did not allow me to put it down for long. I found myself turning page after page and actually felt hesitant when I have to take a break because it was way past my bedtime. I was almost tempted to go on a caffeine binge just so that I can finish it in one sitting.

Andrea Cremer's weres have a touch of vampire in them: exchanging blood among pack members to heal faster, a bite and a sip to turn but other than that, they are a unique set of Werewolves and the story itself is a mix of the supernatural, dark creatures and powerful magic.

I liked Calla Tor because she gives the term heroine justice. Being an Alpha she didn't disappoint, she's steadfast, principled and wasn't weak and though she's a stickler for the rules, she is a just leader. She takes control and didn't leave her fate for others to decide or dictate.

Ren and Shay were written well, although they fall under a certain stereotype, the former being a player and the latter the unobtrusive, smart new guy. I'd understand why Calla is torn between the two but the good news is, their teenage love story didn't distract from the story. I actually didn't feel the usual melancholia associated with YA novels. Rather I felt excited and was kept in suspense as Cremer put the pieces together for us, slowly but surely. I was very curious about why Shay is so special and threatening that The Keepers have to sacrifice him. And what will happen between Calla and Ren, though they've been matched since birth and both are resigned to their roles in the pack and the community, they genuinely care for each other.

The only underwhelming part for me was when Calla turned Shay. A bite and a sip and some latin words and VOILA! Shay is now a wolf. It was a little anti-climactic, I guess I'm used to the drama of turning someone, the pain, the magic and the gamut of emotions that accompanies the mutation and here, Cremer serves us with a very simplified version of it. I guess she'd rather have us focus on the brewing conflict between the Guardians, Keepers and Searchers and its implications than paraphrasing a Change that most of her readers are already familiar with.

This is a good Were story and I hope that it will remain an action/adventure one and not become a mystery/drama as the series progress. I felt lighthearted when I closed the book and I'm actually looking forward to reading Wolfsbane. Another plus is that this series is just a trilogy so the pace of the story won't drag and us readers will not be put in perpetual wait for how it concludes. Bloodrose, the final installment of the series, comes out next year, January 24, 2012.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, I missed this. You hit it on the head. I loooooved this book so much. I had the hardest time putting this down. It was just brilliant. No one annoyed me and I loved all the characters. I do agree that turning Shay was a bit anti-climatic, but I liked it. If it was too dramatic, it would have taken away from what was happening to Calla at that moment. Great review hon, so glad you liked it :)

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  2. I just hated the part where he was making out with Calla and she felt torn between him and Ren because in her mind they're bonded and Shay pushed her away. The horndog! lol

    Anyway, it's almost over, Bloodrose comes out next year. That's why I love trilogies, they don't drag the series and us along with it. I hate the suspense and the long wait! hahahaha! Thanks D!

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