Nightshade

Nightshade

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 v...

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Title:Nightshade
Author:Andrea Cremer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Nightshade Reviews

  • Jessica

    Ok, let’s start with some general stuff first. In my opinion, Nightshade was a nice and steady read. I thought the world-building was unique and the heroine easily likeable. She’s pretty, though and a little bit of a tomboy, so nothing new there, but nevertheless, I found myself liking her instantly. There are actually quite a few interesting characters in this book. Some were likeable and some just made my skin crawl. Efron and Logan? Ugh. *shudders*

    As for the romance...be warned! This book is

    Ok, let’s start with some general stuff first. In my opinion, Nightshade was a nice and steady read. I thought the world-building was unique and the heroine easily likeable. She’s pretty, though and a little bit of a tomboy, so nothing new there, but nevertheless, I found myself liking her instantly. There are actually quite a few interesting characters in this book. Some were likeable and some just made my skin crawl. Efron and Logan? Ugh. *shudders*

    As for the romance...be warned! This book is one big fat love triangle and the story is almost solely focused on it. There are two boys fighting for Calla’s affection.

    Ren, a werewolf like Calla, whom she’s promised to and Shay, a human boy who’s new to town and whose live Calla had saved once. (which was a major violation of the rules, of course).

    I liked how it all started out with Calla and Shay and the author definitely wanted us to whoop for him in this love triangle but in the end, Ren was the one who got my pulse racing. I’m into strong male characters and don’t mind the occasional jerkness and believe me, Ren can be a jerk alright. He’s basically your typical bad boy. If you had issues with, say, Ethan from Glimmerglass you probably won’t like Ren, though. *nudges Olivia* I thought Calla’s and Ren’s chemistry was great and tangible and I really liked the forbidden romance vibe. I guess we were supposed to get this vibe off her fling with Shay, too, but somehow that was lost on me.

    I didn’t get Calla’s attraction to Shay at all, to be honest. I found him rather dull and that whole oh-my-god-I-knew-you-were-my-soul-mate-from-the-first-time-I-laid-eyes-on-you-and-that’s-why-I-want-to-make-out-with-you-right-away thing rarely works for me anyway. I need some suspense, I want to hope and fear and wonder along with the heroine whether her beloved one returns her affection or not. So if the author had made Shay a little less boring and had given Calla and him more time to fall for each other and build up some tension, I probably would have liked him better.

    What irked me was the fact that there isn’t that much happening in the first half of the book. It’s all about the romance and the ways of the packs. How the wolves operate is interesting, don’t get me wrong, and I really liked the dynamics within the pack but I want to establish that this book focuses mainly on the romance part. If you don’t mind that, you’ll be fine. Towards the end, the pace picked up a little but the turn of events didn’t really come as a surprise. It was rather obvious, unfortunately.

    In my opinion, Nightshade is one of the less innocent YA novels seeing as some pretty though topics were addressed and the make-out scenes weren’t all too innocent either.

    All in all, I enjoyed this book and I’m pretty sure that I will pick up the sequel. I’m just hoping for a little less love triangle and a little more plot in Wolfsbane.

    I can see why a lot of people loved this book and from what I can tell so far, I think some of the bookers might like it, too. Tina, Nic, this goes out to you especially. Olivia, you most definitely were right to kick it off your wish list ;-)

    Oh and, little cover slut that I am, I have to give a few bonus points for the awesome cover and deckled edges :-)

    So...3 stars it is!

  • Kat Kennedy

    Usually, as a reviewer of YA and one who attracts a relative amount of trolls, I get told often that someone as OLD as me shouldn't be reviewing YA books. And at the staggeringly long-lived age of 25, I might as well be on Kidney dialysis and walking around with a zimmerframe to these people.

    Usually, I ignore these people because I can easily pretend to turn off my hearing aid and go to sleep. They stop annoying me when I "pretend" to fart in my sleep and

    Usually, as a reviewer of YA and one who attracts a relative amount of trolls, I get told often that someone as OLD as me shouldn't be reviewing YA books. And at the staggeringly long-lived age of 25, I might as well be on Kidney dialysis and walking around with a zimmerframe to these people.

    Usually, I ignore these people because I can easily pretend to turn off my hearing aid and go to sleep. They stop annoying me when I "pretend" to fart in my sleep and snore simultaneously.

    For the first time, probably ever, I really feel the distinction. I didn't like this book, so I'll still rate it. In fact, I didn't get past page 46 because I was afraid my eyes would roll out of my head if I kept pressing on.

    This book is for teenagers. Like, teenagey teenagers. Of which, I am not one of them.

    This book will relate to people who still think your clothing defines absolutely every aspect of your personality and who you can be friends with. Who still think that the most important thing is that's you're listening to the right bands and doing you're hair the way it's cool to do it now. People who GET

    . *Disclaimer here: By "get Fred" I don't mean, "Get Fred and choke the life out of him because he shouldn't be allowed to exist." But if you did think that's what I meant then I think we can remain friends.

    I am not teenagery. My teenage cousin spent her Christmas money on hair products because she needed to update her range. I spent my Christmas money on NOT defaulting on my homeloan by spending the GNP of Brazil on haircare products. I dress nicely and I will never, ever, get mistaken for a teenager. I wear PEARLS! Real pearls.

    This book is SO not for me.

    This review also appears on my blog:

  • Kogiopsis

    This book is preposterous, degrading, and offensive to strong women everywhere.

    There. If you disagree passionately with that statement, you

    be offended by what follows.

    You've been warned.

    Oh yeah, and spoilers ahead, because I don't really care enough about this

    enough not to give it all away. Capice? Good. You may proceed.

    The worst part of Nightshade is that I actually liked the basic concepts. The notion of a world populated and semi-controlled by witches and werewolves, with in

    This book is preposterous, degrading, and offensive to strong women everywhere.

    There. If you disagree passionately with that statement, you

    be offended by what follows.

    You've been warned.

    Oh yeah, and spoilers ahead, because I don't really care enough about this

    enough not to give it all away. Capice? Good. You may proceed.

    The worst part of Nightshade is that I actually liked the basic concepts. The notion of a world populated and semi-controlled by witches and werewolves, with incubi and chimerae and all that other good stuff- that interests me. I could go with that. So it's a shame to see that ruined by a cast of characters that made my blood boil, and plot that involved most of said cast being stereotyped and/or just plain willfully ignorant, and the only exception being stereotyped and occasionally douchebaggey.

    But the one I really want to talk about is Calla.

    At first, I was glad to see her characterized the way she is. A female alpha, a warrior, in command of her pack? GIRL POWER!

    ...right?

    What followed was an argument between me and this book. Went something like this.

    Me: GIRL POWER!

    Book: GIRL POWER!

    Me: So, because Calla's full of win and GIRL POWER, she's going to stand up to Ren and be his equal, right?

    Book: Sure, since he says that's the way he wants it.

    Me: ...what?

    Book: Well, obviously male alphas have authority even over the females. You know, like in real wolf societies?

    Me: Yes, but these are WEREwolves. They've got to have been influenced by feminism, right?

    Book: No, they don't. I don't want them to. Then I wouldn't get my enthusiastically flity/feminine best friend, or the stereotyped tomboy bitch, or the empty shell of a girl who follows said tomboy bitch around.

    Me: And Calla?

    Book: Calla's an ALPHA. GIRL POWER!

    Me: Yes, but no. See, she's very clearly an alpha in name only. Everyone- even her own pack before the union- defers to Ren. At times, they stand up to her and basically tell her to go to hell with her commands. IF she was an alpha with GIRL POWER, she would keep them in line and actually behave like a leader. Instead, she lets everyone steamroller her- from Ren to Shay even when he's human. She's never in control of her life, and she hesitates to take control. For an alpha, she's not assertive in the least. All it takes is a little kissing for her to give up every thought in her head, if she had one in the first place.

    Book: ...

    Me: And then there's her mother. You know what part bothered me most? I marked it specifically. "You cannot cross an alpha male, even when you belong to another. You risk your own life to do so." That's what Naomi tells her daughter after Ren's father has been sexually harassing her. Now, I understand the point in the society of the Guardians. BUT. Look at the larger message. You know what she's saying?

    "If the men are stronger than you, you become their possession, and others of that level of strength may also possess you unless your owner man fights for you."

    Well, book.

    Here's my response.

    FUCK

    THAT

    SHIT.

    Book: Have an angsty ending?

    Me: NO. GO DIE.

    And that's pretty much it. I would have been less insulted if Calla hadn't been an 'alpha'; by putting her in a position of assumed power and then subverting it, Cremer made her even weaker and more of an affront to true strong women.

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue.

    Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not.

    This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue.

    Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not. Not. I still don’t understand why these Guardians, werewolves, warriors, whatever you want to call them, would answer to a group of witches, allowing themselves to be controlled in such a horrible way. They can’t be dominant, Alpha, and submissive at the same time.

    I love my shapeshifter books as long as they don’t break one simple rule: the author needs to explain clothes right away or I’m done. I don’t care what the explanation is: the clothes can magically appear, they can be hidden somewhere or people can just walk around naked, but I need to know. For the longest time in Nightshade, Calla kept changing forms in public without any mention of clothes. It was explained eventually, but by then I was too angry to even care.

    You know how sometimes it seems, especially in books with a really strong plot

    , that the love triangle was thrown in afterwards, probably to satisfy the publisher’s demand? Well, in this case, I’m betting there was an editor somewhere along the line who said: “Wait just a second, Ms. Cremer. This book needs an actual plot! It can’t ALL be just Calla going from Ren to Shay and back.” And so she was forced to add this plot she probably deemed unnecessary and even damaging to her beautiful love triangle drama.

    The love triangle was painful to endure. Calla is a terrible, selfish character with double standards, Shay is mostly just pathetic and Ren is blind to it all. Of course, if I had to choose, I’d choose Ren in a second because he has that sexy name going for him and he occasionally shows some backbone, which is more than I can say for either Calla or Shay.

    As Lora pointed out in her comment, the ratings are all over the place. It’s quite possible that some of you will find this story interesting and enjoyable. Many of my friends did. But if you don’t like love triangles, stay far, far away from this series.

  • Torzilla

    Reason(s) for DNF:

    -Shay's character rubbed off on me the wrong way. Though I've only read 119 pages, I did not see what made him so alluring to Calla.

    -Did not enjoy how Calla seemingly dropped everything for a random human. It might have worked if Shay left more of an impact on me.

    -Did not like how the love triangle felt forced. Again, going back to how I disliked Shay's character. (I'm sensing a theme here...)

    Despite my distaste for a character or two, Andrea deserves credit. Why? Because I t

    Reason(s) for DNF:

    -Shay's character rubbed off on me the wrong way. Though I've only read 119 pages, I did not see what made him so alluring to Calla.

    -Did not enjoy how Calla seemingly dropped everything for a random human. It might have worked if Shay left more of an impact on me.

    -Did not like how the love triangle felt forced. Again, going back to how I disliked Shay's character. (I'm sensing a theme here...)

    Despite my distaste for a character or two, Andrea deserves credit. Why? Because I thought her writing was solid. Had Shay not annoyed me so much, I would have continued since it was so easy to become absorbed in the story.

    Perhaps when the next two books in this trilogy come out I'll give this series another shot. I WOULD like to know what happens with Ren because, despite my inability to continue with NIGHTSHADE at the moment, I adore him.

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