by Andrea Cremer
Pub: October 2010 (Penguin)
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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, Shay, 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?
Awesome! Like...one-of-my-top-favorites-of-the-year-hands-down awesome, that's how awesome it is. Seriously.
The plot? Intricate. I could go on forever about all the cool stuff that goes on, but...I won't...because that would be a really looong post. Cremer's innovative take on werewolf lore, captured me from page one. The story starts with a jolt and kept me flipping pages at lightning speed!
I was a thrown for awhile because strange terms were being tossed about like common-knowledge, but, blonde as I am, I eventually figured it out. You've got your Guardians (the sexy werewolves), the Keepers (the werewolves' creepy masters) and the Searchers (the evil beings Guardians and Keepers fight against). Once I got that, I followed the plot without confusion - well, other than unearthing all the secrets that Calla stumbled into.
Calla is the alpha of her own pack, the Nightshades. So basically...she's the bomb!
Smart, loyal, clever, and a champion fighter she (and her pack) is stuck in a messed up supernatural society which she has to navigate with skill.
Ren, Calla's betrothed, is as fabulous as our heroine - figures since he's the Alpha of his pack, but he has a soft side. He supposed to take over all the Alpha jobs once he and Calla marry - married at 17-18 eek! - but he's doing everything he can to get himself on equal ground with the strong-willed Calla.
Shay is on the sweeter side. Don't confuse sweet for not-sexy, because he's plenty capable of turning up the heat. He doesn't like the cirumstances Calla is caught in and, instead of accepting them like Ren, Shay works to save Calla, even if she doesn't know she needs it.
Pack members are fun, diverse, interesting characters and I'm just going to leave it at that so you can fully appreciate them when you pick up Nightshade.
As for the romance - oh my goodness was this book's a pheromone overload! Calla is supposed to be "pure" on her wedding night, but Ren doesn't care if she breaks that rule with him. In fact, Ren spends most of the book trying to get Calla to...live a little - and he's really, really convincing. Calla is a stronger girl than I. And then there's the incredible Shay who doesn't care about rules period and he's really good at getting Calla alone.
My only complaint? The cliffhanger! Can't wait for WOLFSBANE!
BOTTOMLINE: Beg, borrow, buy - do anything and everything possible to get your hands on the sexy, character packed, plot crazed Nightshade! Have I mentioned its...AWESOME!
COVER: I want it enlarged, framed and hanging on my wall. Who's with me?!
- SHADOW DAYS: A Nightshade Novella is available to read HERE- Check out Shay's Facebook page (brilliant marketing!)
- The NIGHTSHADE WEBSITE has great videos featuring a real live Shay!
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