Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19th 2010
Page Count: Hardcover, 452 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
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?
I've been waiting to read this for a long time. Unfortunately I didn't care for it as much as I thought I would, but I didn't exactly dislike it either.
I had two big issues with this book in particular.
1. Calla the main character and heroine of the book is an "alpha" of her pack, yet I saw so many contradictions to that. I think I wished the author would have been straight forward and say Calla was second in command, because honestly I didn't see her really being the boss of anybody, especially the males. I'll put my feminist ideas aside and honour that their pack dynamics require her to submit herself to the male alphas, but my issue was that I didn't see the use of pretending she was a badass alpha herself, because she didn't come across to me that way at all. In this book Calla is having everything she believed her entire life challenged, so I can understand her confusion and won't fault her for that. I'm trusting that there will be improvement on her confusing personality in the second book Wolfsbane. And hopefully there will be a stronger side to her.
2. I'm not a fan of love triangles where the guy I want to win loses. And I'm almost certain that will be the outcome of this series. That puts me off a little, but I think that is more of a personal issue rather than a real issue with Nightshade. Who knows, maybe Shay will grow on me in the next book!
I have one other tiny complaint and this may also be another personal issue. I like when authors describe the characters to me right away, because I always need to picture them in my head. If they don't, I get confused and then I have to consider how I want them to look and then if they end up giving a description later and it contradicts what I had to come up with, it just confuses me. I'm weird like that. Sorry.
There were also a lot of characters shoved in. I kept forgetting which side Mason, Dax, Faye and so on were on. It became way too confusing for me to keep track of.
The first half of the book was the most disappointing part. I grew tired of the love triangle fairly quick and that was basically what the majority of the book centered on. It started to get better towards the end when a interesting plot reared up and caught my interest. That will keep me reading into Wolfsbane and I'm looking forward to it.