Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Friday November 30, 2012 at 12:00 am |

nightshade-acPublisher: Penguin Group
Published: June 14, 2011
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 454
Form: Paperback
Series: Nightshade (1)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter
Buy The BookB&N |  Book Depository

She risked her life to save his, believing she’d never see him again.

But he has returned, challenging her destiny as Alpha wolf, leaving her doubting her past and fearing her future.

My Thoughts

I was in the mood to read a great story about werewolves and Nightshade delivered that and so much more.  I was totally caught up in this story and found myself completely invested in the characters and their journey’s.

When Alpha of  the young Nightshade wolf pack defies the Keeper’s rules and saves a human’s life by shifting in front of him and feeding him her blood, she never thought she would see him again.  So when the human shows up at her school and she is ordered to protect him, Calla becomes increasingly torn between her developing feelings for Shay and her duty to her pack.  As Alpha, Calla is destined to be joined to Renier Laroche, Alpha of the young Bane pack.  Their marriage will ultimately join the two packs, making one new pack.  But the more time Calla spends with Shay, the more secrets and lies they uncover about her history and world, effectively making her question which is more important to her.  Will Calla follow her strong sense of duty and loyalty, or will Calla throw caution to the wind and follow her heart?

This book is so full and so complete in every aspect.  From pack history, to the setting, the school dynamics, and the myriad of awesome characters, Cremer does an excellent job of weaving all these components together seamlessly to create a novel that was entertaining  and a joy to read.

Calla is such a strong-willed and tough young lady.  Her leadership skills are unquestionable and she inspires such loyalty and honor within her pack members, including her younger brother Ansel.  I felt bad for the impossible position she found herself in.  Promised to Alpha leader Renier since before she was even born, yet longing for a human whose not quite like all the others.

While I admired Renier for his leadership and his sporadic glimpses of vulnerability, I tired of his constant quest to grope and feel Calla before their union.  As someone who grew up knowing firmly the pack rules, I expected him to be more respectful and considerate of Calla and the fact that she is expected to keep herself pure until they are joined.  Never mind the fact he can do what he wants in that regard…double standards are still strong in this world too.  I felt that Shay was way more respectful of her boundaries even though he was drawn to and desired her as well.  I enjoyed her interactions with Shay because she seemed less inhibited and Shay seemed to be able to get her to loosen up and have some fun.  I think she became her best self when she was with him.

Other characters I enjoyed were Calla’s little brother Ansel and her loyal right hand Bryn.  And I was intrigued and enchanted with gay pack members Mason and Neville.  All of their personalities were distinct, and they melded together with the other pack members to create an interesting and sometimes explosive dynamic.

While I loved the book, I did have one little issue.  I have noticed a trend that is becoming increasingly more common when a novel features a strong female lead character.  The unprovoked hostility Calla has toward Ren and Shay throughout this book puzzled me.  IMHO, just because a female character is kick-ass and strong, does not mean they have to be a total bitch to people.  ESPECIALLY when no one has done anything or given her any reason to be that way.  Making the girl bitchy and difficult for no reason is NOT, I repeat NOT, necessary for the readers to understand that the female lead IS a strong character and a force to reckoned with.  PLEASE STOP THIS!

Other than that, I fell so hard for this book, and it’s still not enough for me to think any less of it.  If you’re looking for an excellent story involving those loveable furry shape shifters, and other manner of paranormal creatures, then Nightshade is the book you want.  Can’t wait to get into the next book!

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Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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10 Responses to “Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer”

  1. I was frustrated by the “unprovoked hostility” as well. Why do they do that? I also wasn’t a big fan of Ren OR Shay. And that cliffhanger of an ending? Not cool. But I did like the wolf pack dynamics and the story was definitely memorable. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series as much as you did the first book.

    • Jade Jade says:

      I have no idea why they do that. It’s as if the only way they can show she is strong is to make her mean and nasty for no damn reason and that’s just not necessary, and really feeds into the stereotype that all strong and powerful women are cold heartless bitches. Annoys the crap out of me.

      I’d love to know why you didn’t like either of the boys, and yes the ending was like WHAT!? Absolutely no resolution, but I guess I half expected that knowing this was a series.

  2. I have been meaning to start this series for a long time. It sound like it is the complete package other than the hostile girl syndrome. I have seen this as a growing trend too. I love a tough leading lady, but that extra element is awkward at times. Thanks for the great review.

    • Jade Jade says:

      YES! Awkward and so unnecessary to the story. Often times it just makes no sense that they are so contrary and hostile. Author need to stop doing this. This is a good book to pick up if you’re in the mood for shifters.

  3. Alysia Allen says:

    I have heard so many good reviews about this book and the series as a whole. I just might have to add it to my TBR List. Lord! This list is never ending. LOL!

  4. Okay, I just have to say that one of the things I love about your reviews is how you pick up on the attitudes of the characters and point them out in regards to trends. I SO appreciate it. Because, hello! I always find myself agreeing with you! Not that I’ve read this book (although now I’m intrigued), but whenever you point a trend out, I’m like AHHH THAT’S SO TRUE!!!!!

    *grin* ;0)

    • Jade Jade says:

      Thanks M, that means a lot. Things like the above begin to annoy me after a while. I can only read so many books that feature the same trope that is totally unnecessary before I have to point it out.

  5. Molli says:

    Oh this series is GOOD, Jade. If you liked Nightshade, just think: Wolfsbane is EVEN better. For shame though, because I’ve owned Bloodrose since it came out and haven’t read it. I fell hard for the world-building and the characters, and that Calla as a female is an Alpha. AND SHAY. JUST…SHAY.

    Great review, chica. You definitely hit some things spot on that I liked and disliked about this book.

    • Jade Jade says:

      YES! So glad to know that Wolfsbane is even better than the first. I have it on my shelf and ready to read when I get struck to read about werewolves again.