Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: 10.19.2010
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?

This review was very hard to write, because there were so many things I enjoyed about it, and two things that I really did not enjoy about it that seemed to take the stage.

Let me start with the negative, so I can get that out of the way. *There could possibly be some minor spoilers, but I'm not talking about anything you couldn't already guess from the book's synopsis.*

The first thing that bothered me was the main character's handling of the love triangle. To put it frankly, I fell in love with the "wrong" guy, and didn't agree with most of the main character's actions throughout the book. This usually wouldn't be a problem, but this girl seemed very wishy-washy, and changed her mind about which guy she wanted multiple times a day. In fact, there were a few times where her decision changed by the hour, depending on who she was having a conversation with at the moment, and who was in the room.

The other thing that bothered me was that the main character, who is the chosen alpha female, did not act like an alpha. In fact, there were many times when her pack openly disobeyed or disrespected her, and she did nothing. I didn't see her as an alpha at all. Although, maybe I'm just accustomed to the fragile tension I see in other werewolf books and am being picky. *shrug*
Has anyone else read the book, who has thoughts on this? I would love to hear from you.

With that out of the way, I can concentrate on what I did love about this story, because there was so much TO love. Andrea Cremer's world is fantastic. I love the way it was structured, the different view we get of werewolves (they're called Guardians in this book), and the way their skills are being used. While they posses some of the same structure and skills as most werewolf stories, these aren't your average hunters-of-the-forest werewolves. They are just a little different, and I like it. There are also magical elements mixed in to make Nightshade a different take on werewolves, including a dark mystery behind the magic system, and the reason for the Guardians' current status.

In short: The writing was superb, the fantastical elements fantastic, and the dark and edgy feeling of the book made it even better. And aside from what I mentioned above, the romance is overall very sexy and enticing. I have no doubt that had it not been for the two things I didn't like, this would have been among my top favorite books. It was just that good.

So the hard part comes in actually assigning it a number on the fever meter. While I thoroughly enjoyed living in the Nightshade world while I read, I was very annoyed by the main character. But a lot of the other parts of the story made up for some of that annoyance, leaving me completely perplexed in how to rate this book. In that case, I am going off of the factor that will tip the scale: I for sure plan to read the sequel, and am looking forward to its release. 

Here's the final verdict: 98.3, and rising.

Read this if:
...you want something sexy and edgy, you like a little mystery, and you love it when two guys fight over a girl.


  1. Great review! ... I posted my review of Nightshade today as well. For some reason, the love triangle didn't bother me so much, although you are definitely right about Calla's capricious attitude towards it. And I personally didn't see much issue with the alpha-thing while I was reading, but that's just my opinion.

  2. Thanks for your commenting, Alyssa! (Just went and checked out your review.) Maybe I am being delusional about the alpha thing, but it really bothered me for some reason. I'm glad to hear your opinion, though! :)

  3. I had to go look up my review to remember what I thought! And it was this... I enjoyed the story, but was a bit bored by some of the "same old same old" paranormal stuff. Which boy is the wrong? And which is the "right?" :)

  4. I haven't reviewed this one but I read it and did have the same problem as you with the love triangle. I think I also fell for the guy we weren't supposed to and so the scenes involving the other guy kind of annoyed me, LOL. But I did think the author did a good job of the world-building and I am looking forward to seeing how things progress in Wolfsbane (and I'll continue rooting for the "wrong" guy LOL).

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Suey! I'm excited to get to meet you and the other Utah bloggers this weekend...and a bit nervous, since I haven't been to one of the blogger socials before. :/

    Anyway, the "wrong" boy I liked was Ren, who I thought was such a heart breaker! He was very much a protective/bad boy, which is big in YA books right now, but I loved his character. A lot. :)

  6. Danya, I agree! And I am so glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt that way! I just couldn't ever get myself to even passively like the guy we were supposed to, and so I had a hard time with his scenes, just like you did. I'll be rooting for the "wrong" guy, too! :)

  7. "Ren Laroche?"
    Worst name ever.

    Thought the story sounds better than the name...

  8. Lol. I actually liked the name Ren, but it did take some getting used to. :)

  9. If you loved Nightshade, you need to read Wolfsbane. If you haven't started this series and you love Paranomal Romance, then you need to pick up Nightshade and get started reading. It is certainly worth the emotional ride.

    1. I read Nightshade (which is why I posted this review). :) I still don't know if I'll read Wolfsbane yet, but I did buy it. I just don't know if I'm ready to read more of the same emotional roller coaster stuff. I'm kind of sick of it right now. Maybe later, when I really need a good, emotional book. :) Thanks for stopping by!


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