There was so much buzz on the book blogs when NIGHTSHADE was first released, it immediately went on my To-Be-Read list. But, as any book lover knows, the TBR list only gets longer, so it took me a year to get to this very popular YA series (the third book comes out in January 2012). Actually, I listened to the audio, but more on that later.
For those of you who haven't made it to this series, yet, let me give you the synopsis: (from Penguin)
Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
See the love triangle? The triangles get me EVERY time! Who can she trust? Which will she choose? Will she follow the path that's been chosen for her (but ain't too shabby!) or the one she will choose for herself (oh, so tempting!)
There is also another layer of the "guardian" story that was just as twisted and complex.
Let me get right to it. This is why I love Young Adult fiction. Andrea Cremer speeds along with lots of action and intrigue, builds her plot with interesting and unique characters, and entices readers with a whole lot of heat (without getting too racey). Add yourself in some mythical creatures and you've got yourself a fun read!
Why did I hate it? First of all, the politics of the wolves' position got me SO angry! None of the women in this novel, or any of the subordinates for that matter, ever faught back! I was crying out for war by Chapter 15! Then, on the love side of things, I didn't know who to trust, I didn't know who she should choose, and I didn't know what she was going to do. Ah, the tension!
As much as I enjoyed this book, there is one thing I would change - the last page. I'm not a fan of big cliffhangers. Even though I was fully aware that NIGHTSHADE is the first in a series, I like my books, even those in a series, to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I like my books to stand strong on their own. The last page made me want to throw the book across the room.
The good news is: the second book in the series, WOLFSBANE is available, and the third book, BLOODROSE is coming out in January 2012.
So, yes, I loved it, I hated it...and will come back for more.
Andrea Cremer on her Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook
Nightshade website - anything and everything you need to know!
Download an excerpt
Penguin's Nightshade page
Full Bio HERE.
Buy the Series from IndieBound: