Book Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Penguin Group
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 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?
Magic, Shapeshifters, Romance and action are some of the elements Nightshade gather in this first presentation that promises to be an addictive series. Nightshade tells the story of Calla, a GUARDIAN (werewolf) who is next to accomplish destiny and a life she has never questioned until the day she saves a human boy’s life in her territory. This will mark the beginning of a countless number of laws Calla will break by protecting Shay. I really enjoyed reading the story and regardless its 464 pages, narration flows graciously. Our narrator Calla is a girl that even though she lives in a male chauvinism society and her life has been planned ever since she was born, she has courage and temper towards life that makes you love her as a character. Secondary and tertiary characters have active roles in the series, something that gives a dynamic touch to this interesting story since at the same time the main story happens there’s another one developing. The story has two love interests: Shay and Ren, both completely different with two common characteristics: their love for Calla and their courage. I liked both for different reasons. Shay has a temper; he won’t get intimidated when EVERYTHING should lead him to fear and his desire for knowledge, which is his outstanding characteristic. Even though there’s several things about Renald’s past I didn’t liked since he’s given a certain liberty and advantage Cala has not enjoyed yet, I liked seeing his attempt to build over nothing and try to be a modern alpha in a social structure were laws are archaic. I believe some aspects have not been fully developed, and I explain:
*Disclaimer: There could be some spoilers.
World Building: In the beginning the story, all elements exist without a consistent explanation. It’s not until mid story that certain statements start to make sense. Also, werewolf conversions at a fascinating world seemed a little sloppy.
Character Voices: Their voices and attitudes at some point reflected more like an adult romance story presented with juvenile characters, which made every other line a bit funny.
In my humble opinion, this two aspects do not take anything from the story nor it’s a writing problem, but more like an edit execution problem. I think the story shines at the end because of the twist Cremer gives to the mythical character’s legend by giving them a story. The biggest compliment I can give Cremer in this first delivery is about how fascinating the world she created is. Nightshade is a story full of adventure and romance where a guardian will face the most difficult task; deciding between honoring her pack or the love that will allow her to know a truth which will not only free her, but also the people she loves.