Series: Nightshade (Book #1)
Calla Tor has always known 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 heart, she might lose everything—including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Nightshade is a prime example of why one should never judge a book by its cover.
While I love the cover a lot, to me it just looks like another book in the endless sea of paranormal. Nevertheless I added it to my TBR list because I always try to support The Tenners – an online community of 2010 debut authors. Then at BEA, I picked up a copy thinking I’d either read it or give it away. Everyone I ran into for the rest of the convention asked me if I’d gotten a copy of Nightshade and then told me how great it was. Needless to say, my interest was piqued and I decided I’d give it a shot.
Boy, oh boy, am I glad I did!
Nightshade far surpassed every expectation I had and proved all of my assumptions wrong. It is by far one of the best paranormals I have read in a long while – one of the best of the year, for sure.
Cremer did an amazing job of painting Calla’s world. More importantly, she brilliantly portrayed all of Calla’s emotions. The story of Nightshade is heavily steeped in these emotions, giving the book a passionate, tumulus, and – dare I say it – sexy atmosphere. As a werewolf, Calla’s instincts play a huge role in her life, and the way that Cremer portrays this primal, instinct-driven quality of her personality only added to the rich feel of the novel. In doing so, Cremer has created one of those books that draws you in quickly and holds you in its clutches for the entirety of the novel. Even after I finished reading, it still lingered in my mind for weeks to come.
The inclusion of philosophy into the plot made Nightshade all the better. Any book that can make Nietzsche jokes and use Hobbes’ work as a catalyst for the plot is clearly brilliant.
As I stated before, the emotions that color Calla’s story really make this novel. The narrative is rough and uncluttered, putting you right inside the mind of Calla – unsure of her future but without a choice or the freewill to say no. The first chapter of the novel throws you right into her world. There is no introduction, no explanations, just plot. At first it seemed like a confusing and daunting task to try and decipher who was who and what was going on, but I quickly grew to love it. This is a show-don’t-tell book. The information is revealed bit by bit as the story progresses, unearthed because of the situations Calla finds herself in. It has been a while since I’ve read a book that was so in tune with its main character.
In the end, I was incredibly sad to see Nightshade come to a close. The ending was literally heart-pounding and left me desiring more. The sequel, Wolfsbane, is already at the top of my Most Anticipated Reads list for 2011.