Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


Author: Andrea Cremer
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Philomel; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

The book started out strong and full of action but when I was halfway reading it, I started to ask myself, what's wrong with me!?! I've read lots of positive, great, 5.0 reviews for this book and seen this everywhere.  I see this in every book store I go to and in almost all blogs that I follow and I've never read a single negative review before I bought this.

But why, why, why, can't I say this awesome?

Okay, where do I start? The story started with Calla saving a human boy, Shay. Calla's easy life was transformed into a difficult one when she met Shay. Calla is an alpha werewolf of the Nightshade pack who SHOULD be marrying Ren, an alpha male of the Bane pack. Both of them are called Guardians. Guardians serve and protect the witches, called Keepers. The Keepers decide for the Guardians lives and their enemies are called Searchers.

I admit, the plot is interesting enough that I read the whole book in a day. Here's the conflict of the story. The Keepers wanted to form a new pack by the union of the two old packs,  Calla of the Nightshade pack and Ren from the Bane pack. So Calla and Ren agreed to the union not because they love each other but it is a law made by the Keepers. The problem started when Calla met the human boy Shay. And now that's what we call an emotional conflict of the story or the famous love triangle which is present to almost every book (especially YA) out there.

While the plot is great, unfortunately as the book continues,  I began to hate the main characters Calla and the human boy, Shay.  Calla was supposed to be a tough alpha female but when it comes to Ren, Shay and the pack law, she is weak and indecisive. Whenever Calla and Shay are together, I had to put down the book, scratch my head and growl. I hate Shay, he's the most boring character in this book. In almost all book reviews I read, they all loved Shay but not me.

Now, when it comes to the question, who is the better guy for Calla, I would choose Ren. I liked his personality, I thought he's the most interesting character in this book. Ren was the reason I finished reading the story. I had to skim to the parts where Shay and Calla are together and loved it when Ren is with Calla. With Calla and Shay, I never felt their connection and somehow it felt wrong. I wanted Shay to die! Honestly, I guessed the end of the story, I knew what was going to happen to Shay and I was okay with it. Really.

The other thing that I enjoyed here was the forbidden love of the secondary characters. It was a much better conflict than Ren-Calla and Shay love triangle. Over all, if you loved Twilight, I recommend this book to you. But if you loved these book series : Vampire Academy, Riley Jenson and Anita Blake, do not read this, you will be disappointed.

About the book:

"While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all."

About the author:

Andrea Cremer spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Minnesota, but she thinks of her homeland as the “Canadian Shield” rather than the Midwest.
Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. When she’s not writing, Andrea teaches history at a very nice liberal arts college in St. Paul. 

In the little spare time she can find, Andrea stares up at trees, rescues infant rabbits from predatory cats, and invents names for pug puppies with her husband. She has an unfortunate tendency to spill things – white carpets beware!

Her debut novel, NIGHTSHADE, the first of a YA fantasy series, will be published in fall 2010 by Penguin (Philomel).


VildesVerden said...

Great review. Wish you a wonderful weekend from Norway

Liz Tea said...

I still haven't read this. It's been sitting on my shelves forever. I need to. I love werewolves.

(Thanks for visiting my blog earlier - I'm a new follower for you too!)

Books for Company said...

l can see why you didn't enjoy this as much if you didn't love Shay, l think such an important character as him it makes it difficult if you don't like them,
Books For Company

Jennifer said...

Great review. I loved this books and can't wait to see what happens next. The forbidden love element did make the story that much more intriguing.

I'm giving you an award too! You can get it at

LupLun said...

Calla being "weak" is intentional. Kinda. That's one of the main points here, actually. In theory, Calla is supposed to be a pack leader and calling the shots. In practice, she has no power whatsoever in the society-- Once the packs are joined, Ren will lead, and she'll be reduced to his loving wife. She doesn't even have the moderate control over her own life that her packmates enjoy. That's really why she's attracted to Shay-- he represents an escape from the society that oppresses her.

Lupines and Lunatics

Bookingly Yours said...

@BooksforCompany - i don't like Shay because he's a jerk. I like Ren better. I believe Ren's much more caring but he's not that obvious to Calla because he wants to be a good alpha leader to Calla.

@Luplun - i bought this book because according to the reviews out there, this is another Vampire Academy which is soo wrong. I wanted a strong female lead and Calla's not. One more thing, I didn't like the scene where Shay was the one who killed the spider where Calla's the one who has supernatural stregth. That's the one thing I'm tired of seeing (like Sookie Stackhouse).

Jinky said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I liked the Bryn/Ansel story too ..loyal & committed personalities are a plus. --Didn't dislike Shay as much as it sounds that you did ...he had good moments :) ..LupLun hit the mark!

Aleetha said...

your post might be the only review (that I have read) with three stars in it. :) But there's nothing wrong with that.
I haven't got my copy. But reading something different in its review makes me want this book.

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