Nightshade

 
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Werewolves and Witches

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?

Ladies and gents, we have a hit on our hands.

Penguin thinks so, too. They pulled out all the stops for NIGHTSHADE's marketing campaign. Truly brilliant, and truly deserved.

Andrea Cremer's writing is tight and her worldbuilding is impeccable. She applied her knowledge as a historian to build certain elements of the story, and the strength lies in the things you don't notice. Her take on wolves is fresh rather than familiar. And her witches ... SCARY.

No one will question Calla's power - she's most definitely an alpha. The sexual tension between her and her intended, Ren, leaps off the page. What's different about this book, and truly refreshing, is that Calla owns her sexuality. She acknowledges it. And Ren isn't the only man in Calla's life. Shay is unexpected, but sweet and strong at the same time. I expect this "team" debate to have lots of passionate opinions.

It moves fast. Lots of suspense and uncertainty about who is right and who is wrong will keep the pages turning.

Five stars for certain to this very strong debut, and lots of anxious wishing for the sequel, due in 2011.

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Unique Take On Werewolves

Calla has always known she would marry Ren and start their own pack of Guardians, werewolves sworn to protect the mountain and the sacred site hidden there whilst serving their masters the Keepers. But when Calla saves Shane, a human boy, trespassing on the mountain she finds herself drawn to him in a way like never before.

The Guardians serve the Keepers, powerful merciless witches, in every way. The Keepers control every aspect of their servants' lives, even who they can love. If anyone doesn't do what they're ordered they and the ones they love will be punished swiftly and without mercy. Everyone in the town is afraid of the Keepers' power and will do anything to stay on their good side, giving them complete control of the community.

The Keepers have decided to unite the Nightshade and the Bane packs through the union of the seventeen-year-olds Calla Nightshade and Ren Laroche. Even their conception was planned, along with the births of their pack mates, in order to create a third pack which will serve Logan Bane, a young Keeper and son of the master of the Bane pack. But Calla's feelings for Shane put all of these plans at risk.

Together Calla and Shane must work together to unravel the secrets of Calla's world and why Shane, a supposedly normal human boy, is so important to the Keepers and why they have ordered the Guardians to protect him. They learn that her world is even more dangerous than Calla had ever thought.

This was a fun book with a great mysteries, mythology and character development. The servitude of the Guardians made for a great struggle and had the potential for a powerful rebellion. It took a love triangle to a more dangerous and conflicted place which added another layer of intrigue to the story. The mythology of this world is very absorbing and interesting.

I loved this book and am excited to read the next in the series.

Good Points
A love triangle that actually had a reason
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Overall rating 
 
4.7
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4.0
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5.0
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5.0

Great story about werewolves, magic, and romance with a lot of sizzling scenes

First of all, I love the original cover of this series and I don’t know why they changed it because now it looks bad! Even though my covers won’t match, I just had to get the original because it’s so pretty.

Anyways, I really enjoyed reading this one. Maybe because I don’t read a lot of werewolf stories, but I liked Andrea’s take on it, how it’s more spiritual and magical, rather than painful and obligatory. The characters don’t even consider themselves as “werewolves” but call themselves “Guardians”, sworn protectors of the “Keepers” who are basically witches and warlocks. Their relationship has a very mysterious and questionable history that Calla and Shay, the human boy, slowly uncover.

My favorite parts would have to be anything with Ren in it, as I’m pretty much Team Ren. He’s the typical pretty boy, alpha male kind of guy, but he’s just so sexy and smooth, I can’t help but smile when I think of him. I mean, Andrea wrote some pretty steamy scenes between Ren and Calla that I just devoured. Shay is the typical nice guy who does have his moments, but I’m rooting for Ren. Luckily, Calla isn’t an annoying female lead and she’s very determined and strong-willed, which is important because she’s the leader of her pack. I think Andrea did a great job at taking the werewolf folklore and turning it into her own and I can’t wait to see where she goes with it and she was able to balance the paranormal with the romance just right. Granted, I was more interested in the romance than the paranormal parts and I flipped pages hoping to see more of Ren, but overall, I really liked it.

You’ll definitely want to try this series if you like werewolves and hot, steamy scenes with sexy guys. Can’t wait to read Wolfsbane!

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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A Passionate & Delightful Read!

This book frustrated me to no end! I eagerly consumed chapter, after chapter, becoming more and more upset with Calla's choices. Its one of those books that, come the end, you want to throw against the wall - one of those books that you can't help but love because it ignited such a passionate response from you.

Calla, alpha female for the Nightshade pack, has been preparing to form a new pack through her union to the alpha male of the Bane pack, Ren, for her entire life. She has grown up believing that hers is a sacred duty, and that her Masters, the Keepers, provide for her and her family in exchange for her devout loyalty and protection. Then she meets Shay. As he starts to question her Keepers' motives, her own doubts begin to shadow her once iron-clad beliefs.

The choices Calla makes in response to Shay left me wanting to shake her. Even after Shay learned how dangerous the Keepers were, he continued to ask Calla to go against their laws in his quest for knowledge (which is my only real beef with this book; if you loved someone, would you risk their life in the search for the truth?). She jeopardized the safety of her friends and family to soothe his curiosity, due to some unexplainable attraction. It was painful to see Calla's doubts begin to surface, as I genuinely cared about Calla, her brother Ansel, her second Bryn, and her betrothed Ren. I wanted to see them safe and happy, and I knew that that meant Calla needed to follow the path laid out for her by her Keepers. But, the longer I read, the more I realized exactly what was at stake for Calla - her freedom. While she may have feelings for Ren, given the choice, would she still choose to be with him? Can you put a price on personal autonomy? Is risking everything you've ever known wrong, if it means you might end up being in control of your own destiny?

That being said, I think a lot of my reluctance to accept Calla's choice to help Shay came from my inability to really connect to him or understand Calla's attraction to him. I loved the playful banter between them, but it didn't add up to anything much deeper then that for me. On the other hand, I loved Ren. He was strong and protective of his pack (and of Calla) but he was still able to show vulnerability, and his background story (a murdered mother and a jackass of a father) really helped to explain certain aspects of his character. And then there was his ability to make me blush during some of his moments with Calla! So fuelled by sexual tension and desire, I almost felt like I had to avert my eyes during one or two of their scenes.

I loved the constant presence of the wolf and Cremer's ability to make me understand that Calla is neither a wolf nor a human: she is a Guardian. Unlike your typical werewolf, a Guardian has two souls: the wolf and the human. Because its a choice to show the skin of one or the other, it done with ease (and without pain) and is also why humans are able to keep their clothes between transitions. It's not an actual shift of matter, of human to wolf, its allowing the other half of your soul to be the dominant side for a period of time.

And I loved Calla. She is strong and independent (as one would expect an Alpha to be), but she has moments of weakness where she really shines. Her frustration with tradition, where she will only ever be second because she is female, is easily relatable, and the familiarity you feel between her and her pack is completely natural. I did question how easily she forgot her pack when it came to Shay, but she made decisions to keep them safe in the end, so I was able to (mostly) forgive her.

The ever-increasing danger, the steamy moments between Calla and both Shay and Ren, and the ease with which Cremer has made the characters be both wolves and humans makes Nightshade a passionate and delightful (if, at times, frustrating) read. I disliked the ending (I can't quit the feeling that she made some wrong choices) and how it left nothing resolved - I don't like being forced to buy the sequel. But in this case, I will most definitely be picking up Wolfsbane to find out what happens next.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

I would so recommend this book to young adults .I am not saying this in a bad way but this book series is somewhat better than the fame Twilight Saga

Good Points
I had to read this book for the book club at my school.I glad that I got to introduced to series.I love the fact that it had werewolves in it. And also I love the main female charter . I love the forbidden love story.And the struggle to keep the love interest in check.
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(Updated: March 27, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A new werewolf book that will rock your world!

Nightshade is about Calla Tor, a guardian, in others words, a werewolf. She has sworn to protect a sacred place for her whole life. On Halloweens night she will become alpha of her own pack, but to be alpha, she must become the mate of Ren. But when she falls in love with a human boy, Shay, there will be massive consequences.

This book made my day, well i should say week as I had to read it in between classes and homework, but I got so stuck to it that I stayed up way to late just to finish it. It was a school day as well! When I had finished it I immediately passed it on to my friend who then couldn't stop.

My favourite character was Shay. I don't know why, I don't have any good reasons except that I I just fell in love with him. I often do that with male characters. I loved how Calla changed her own destiny and went off with Shay instead of being a good puppy. I thought she had a strong nature that made her able to do that.

I love this book and straight after I had finished I went and bought the next ones. I think this is definitely worth the time and sleep to read.

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(Updated: March 27, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Magic, romance, and WOLVES

I think that Calla was a great protagonist, struggling to balance between love, duty and loyalty. She has a colliding nature, one side wanting to follow her orders and just do what she is told, but the other side of her wanted to rebel, to go against what everyone else was saying. that's the part of her I liked the most.

I was definitely on Team Shay. I hated Ren for a bit for trying to get between Calla and Shay, but I always knew that she would go to Shay in the end. Its hard to imagine just how much saving Shay at the very start changed her life

I absolutely loved the writing style, I think it was perfect for me. Fantasy is my favourite, and this is definitely a top-mark fantasy book!

I really loved the way Andrea Cremer described the way of feeling like a wolf and the way she twisted the story so she had a beautiful balance between a magical setting, a romantic dilemma and fighting for life (and love). She really made things interesting when Calla turned Shay and I was practically feeling everything that happened as if I was there! I was holding my breath the entire way through, I couldn't put it down!

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

What do you get when you cross Magic and Wolves?

Ren was a refreshing male character. He's not perfect (which to me makes him even more likable) and he has deep feelings for Calla. They both can relate to each other because of their alpha status in their pack of teenage wolves. Which brings me to my second favorite part of the book. I loved all the young Guardians. They're kids sure, but we get to see their youth blossom through future relationship while tackling hard issues like taking orders from the Keepers. My favorite sub-character was Fey. She's a brazen fighter from the Nightshade side who is not afraid to speak her mind.

Calla was also a great protagonist. I could feel her struggles being an alpha female and her disconnect with the prospect of being in an arranged marriage. She was a strong female authority figure to all her packmates and I loved that about her. What I was ambivalent about was her relationship with Shay, the human boy she saves at the very beginning of the book. There was something missing in Shay for me. He's a strong character for being a human among wolves, but when he was sarcastic or witty I didn't much get it. And I felt like he made Calla weak and dishonest, bringing out some bad qualities in her. Their relationship was also very much insta-love, not my favorite thing in the world.

So if you haven't guessed, I'm on Team Ren!

I'm excited to learn more about the world Cremer has created. She has infused magic with werewolves, which is a creative take on the mythology. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hope to see more of Ren!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves wolves, great sub-characters, and love triangles!

Good Points
Original for Werewolf Mythology
Fast Paced
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Not just another werewolf book

I was leery about reading another wolf book but the Guardians are completely different than any other wolves I've read about. I loved everything about this book! The setting, the characters, the tension (oh the tension!!!), the history- I loved it all!! I'm dying to get my hands on Wolfsbane so I can get some answers about what is going on!! As for what team I'm on- I'm going to go with Team Calla because I can not decide between Shay and Ren. I'm not usually indecisive but they are both fabulous.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Nightshade

From the start I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately hooked in to the characters and the story. I enjoy all the paranormal stories, and Nightshade was a nice twist on that. Andrea Cremer did an amazing job!

Calla, a Guardian, the female alpha of the teen Nightshades, and a 17 year old girl who is engaged. She is a werewolf, but will growl at you if you call her that. She has a very tough personality, one that you wouldn't want to get in the way of! She has followed the laws the Keepers have given her, and never second guessed them. Then why do things change when Shay comes to town? Calla knows her duties, but can't help but think there's more when Shay uncovers more of the truth.

Then there's Ren, also a Guardian, male alpha of the teen Bane's, and a 17 year old boy who is engaged. He's the type of boy who can get any girl and loves it. He is, for lack of a better word, a player. Ren loves Calla, who he calls Lily, but she doesn't know if she loves him back. Ren dislikes Shay from the beginning. He thinks he's a human who doesn't know his place. Yet, he puts on a smiling face and accepts Shay begrudgingly.

I truly enjoyed this book! It was well written, and the plot made sense. Plus any book is good with a steamy love triangle!!! Instantly I was hooked, and I couldn't put this book down! 49 out of 51 tacos!! Check out Wolfsbane coming out July 26Th!!!
~~ Sam :)

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Stunning

This is a major must-read.

Good Points
I was pulled into Calla’s world of loyalty, terror, and love. Her story was a thought-provoking twist on the popular trend of werewolves and I liked her clear voice.

Andrea Cremer is a talented writer. Throwing in some twists, adding a love triangle, it was all done impeccably. Shay was the lovable best-friend guy who is dependable and you secretly want to date, while Ren was the sexy out-of-reach brooding hot guy who everybody wants and is passionate.

I’ll be interested to read the second book because there was a major cliffhanger at the end of this. I love Calla’s character because I thought that she expressed herself very well and I loved her beginning to explore the line between love and loyalty, and duty and desire.

I thought that this book was fascinating and I loved the format. It had those ruffled pages that everybody loves (I know that I do), the cover was gorgeous (it has that pearl finish and reminds me of frost), and it was a good thick read. While I’ve only read it once (the climax didn’t have very much suspense or wow-factor to it) but it was satisfying and refreshing.

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