Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel Books (an imprint of Penguin Group)
*Purchased on my own.
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?
Admittedly, I wasn't too sure about Nightshade at first. Sure, there was a lot of hype behind it, but hype doesn't always guarantee a good book. Gladly, I can say that Nightshade did indeed live up to the hype. The Guardians (werewolves) were extremely interesting as were the Keepers (whom I'm hoping to learn more about in the next book). But more importantly, you have Calla Tor, our main character and a powerful Alpha female Guardian at that. She's definitely likable although no one would dare call her weak and for most of the book, she's completely torn between Shay (our human boy) and Ren (the Alpha she's to be paired with) and though I feel like a terrible person for saying it, I loved the tension between the three--and well, I'm definitely all for Ren.
I loved the individuality of the characters and the fact that as a pack, they were loyal to one another. Of course, then there were the Keepers (whom I hope we'll see much more of in the next book) who are a rather odd bunch--and then there are individual Keepers assigned to keep their Guardian pack in line. Their rule over the Guardians is an accepted fact--as is the story of why they keep the packs in line. Then there are the Searchers, whom are enemies of the Keepers and thus, the acknowledged enemy of the Guardians as well. Although I could say more than this, I'd rather not include spoilers.
I will, however, say that if you're thinking about picking up Nightshade, go for it. The writing style is very smooth and you may very well find yourself reading at an alarming pace. Again, the characters are all wonderful and I adore the fact that the Guardians get to keep their clothes when they shift back to their human forms. I mean, wouldn't it be terribly inconvenient if every time you changed you had to well, have a spare outfit around? Also, don't get me wrong, there's romance. However, there's also a giant spider, a cave, secrets to be uncovered, and plenty of shifting.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★