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Customer Review

TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 December 2010
Calla is a Guardian (werewolf) and has always known that it is her destiny to mate with Ren and form a new pack. They will then fulfill their role of protecting the Keepers (magic users) from the Seekers (their sworn enemies). The world she lives in is dictated by the Keepers, their word is law and they are the ones who make the decisions about everything - the Guardian's have no say in their own destiny but that is the way it has always been so it is never questioned. When Calla comes across a hiker who is being attacked by a bear she knows it is forbidden to save him but she goes against everything she knows she should do and risks her life to protect him. Nothing will ever be the same for her again and she will be forced to question everything she has ever been told.

First of all I have to say how much I loved Nightshade, this was a must read book for me & one I would highly recommend. I was captured from the very first page and drawn so far into the story that I didn't want to stop reading for anything - I just had to know what would happen next. I still can't quite believe that this was a debut novel and I can't wait to read more from Andrea Cremer in the future. The world she has created is complex and interesting, it may not be a comfortable one - in fact it is a harsh world with extreme punishments for any Guardian who dares to question the Keepers - but it is one that draws you in completely and leaves you wanting more.

Calla is everything I like in a heroine, she is smart, strong, loyal and brave - everything you'd expect from an alpha. As the alpha of the young Nightshade pack it is her duty to mate with Ren (the alpha of the young Bane pack) and between them they will form a new pack who will help to protect the Keepers. Calla may not be completely comfortable with her future but she has never questioned it - she knows that is the way things are meant to be and has accepted it. Well that was before she met Shay (the hiker she saved) who helps her look at things from a different point of view. Shay helps her open her eyes to the way the Keepers control the Guardians and make her question whether things should really be like this. She is torn between loyalty to her pack, the future she know she was born to live and the life that she would choose for herself. How can she decide what would really be for the best?

The love triangle between Calla, Ren and Shay is extremely intense and this book has enough sexual tension to make you spontaneously combust. Ren is a perfect match to Calla in every way, they were born to be together and oh boy did I want to see more of them together. At times Ren's arrogance could be irritating but there is more to him than that and the more I saw of him the more I liked him. He is very protective of his pack and of Calla and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Some of my favorite scenes in the book were when Calla and Ren were together - put those two alone in a room and the heat levels would be enough to create a sauna. When it comes down to who I would personally choose I have to confess that I'm on team Ren, he is one hot wolf and very alpha male. When it comes to who I think Calla should be with I'm a little more cloudy, I want to say Ren but I don't think it would take much to sway me to team Shay.

Shay is a human orphan who has just moved to the area with his uncle who is an important figure amongst the keepers but we're not sure exactly how or where he fits into the picture. Shay is sweeter than Ren but there is still something about him that draws you to him and I enjoyed the tension between him and Calla. As an outsider Shay sees the bigger picture when it comes to the Keepers and the Guardians and he forces Calla to see things in a new light. What she discovers will be extremely uncomfortable for Calla and will have massive repercussions on her future.

I have to mention how much I liked the interactions between both of the young packs, each of the wolves are loyal to their alpha (either Calla or Ren) but are wary of each other even though they will become a pack one day. You get to know each of them throughout the book and I liked them all but I have to say Bryn (Calla's second) and Ansel (her younger brother) were particular favorites of mine. Watching the two packs together made for interesting reading, you have all of the usual teen dramas but also pack bonds playing a big part. I'm looking forward to spending more time with them throughout the series.

Nightshade is a book I'd highly recommend, definitely one of my favorite reads in 2010 and I can't wait to get my hands on Wolfsbane. The cliffhanger ending nearly killed me and I have so many questions left unanswered but I think the wait for the next installment will only make reading Wolfsbane that much sweeter when I get hold of a copy. If you're looking for a refreshing take on the werewolf genre I'd suggest getting hold of a copy of Nightshade as soon as possible - I'm sure you won't regret it!
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