Monday, 28 July 2014

Book Review: Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer

Series: Nightshade #1
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: 01 January 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased
Audio or Book: Paperback
Length: 452 pages

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?

Fan-made Book Trailer

I thought this one was much better than the official penguin trailer, which just seemed a bit boring. 

Nightshade is one of those books I picked up on sale (at Bargain Books - Buy 3 for R99) and have been on my bookshelf for about 2 years! I didn't really  have any expectations going into the book after it won my book of the month poll for July. If you haven't voted for August... Go vote now.. please :). 

Initially I sighed thinking.. Another werewolf book. I have read quite a few of them lately, but boy was I wrong! This was not just another werewolf book, it was a werewolf book with many twists! Take your werewolves and throw in a mix of magic! What made it even more fun is that Niki from The Obsessive Bookseller joined in and made it a read-a-long!

Nightshade kicks off with an intense opening scene that just throws you into the thick of things. I could already tell it was werewolves with a difference, there blood heals humans and Calla has had an arranged marriage since birth. There are quite a few layers to the story which definitely kept it interesting!

Characters & Story line: 5/5

Andrea creates all types of characters in Nightshade. The ones you love that creep into your heart and stick like glue, the ones who just creep you out and ooze evil, and the ones that just plain annoy you! Yes Nightshade also has a love triangle... but there are lots of other elements that come into play that make it interesting.

Calla - Calla is not your typical heroine. She is actually more of an anti-heroine (in my opinion) but will do anything to protect her pack. Calla is your grungy kick ass warrior, not your finesse princess that some people want her to be. Since the day she was born she was arranged to marry Ren. Then she saves Shay from a bear attack (this all happens within the first two chapters so this is not a spoiler) and everything changes for her. I do think that Andrea kept all the love angels interesting. All in all Calla is a great main character!

Ansel - Ansel is Calla's younger brother and I loved him immediately! His protectiveness towards Calla even though he is the younger one is adorable. There is just something so pure and sweet about him that I just wanted to eat him up! 

Ren - Ren Ren Ren *sigh* as much as I like Shay I am total Team Ren!!! Yes - he comes across as a womanizer and all that but there is something underneath it all that just appeals to me. He has such a tenderness for Calla that he covers up because he is an alpha but it creeps through when they are alone! I think Ren was made to break the rules even though they have been drilled into all of them from birth. I really hope to see more of him in Wolfsbane and Bloodrose!!

Shay - Shay is a great character. He challenges Calla and isn't scared to fight for want he wants (within limits). I knew from the beginning that there was some twists coming when it comes to Shay but I still have a few unanswered questions. I can see why everybody loves Shay but unfortunately in the Ren versus Shay battle.. you know who I choose!

Fey & Sabine - There are always characters that get on your nerves and for me, it's these two!! Just thought I'd put my two cents in there... 

The pack - The pack is great and I enjoyed seeing the Nightshades and Banes trying to gel together and make it work before the Calla and Ren union. There are few more characters that add flavour to the story but I will let you meet them on your own!

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 4/5  

Nightshade catches your attention from page 1. I was not 100% hooked from page 1 but was extremely interested and drawn into the story slowly. The chapters were nice lengths, I don't know if it's just me but long chapters make the book feel a bit drawn out. These ones were just perfect, not too short and not too long. 

The plot is unique and the writing style is easy to follow. The pace is perfect! So Nightshade does end on quite a big cliffhanger... Thank goodness I already picked up Wolfsbane a few days ago so that I can just dive straight into the next book!!

Cover talk: 4/5 
I really liked the cover and it is what made me grab the book in the first place. 

Final Thoughts: 
Nightshade is an unexpected enjoyable completely unique read! It has a refreshing take on werewolves without losing any of the magic and adding plenty of excitement!

My Rating:

Books in the series:

Prequel & Post series:

Author Bio:
Andrea Cremer is the author of the internationally bestselling Nightshade series. She spent her childhood daydreaming and roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. 

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. Before she wrote her first novel, Andrea was a history professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her books, she strives to bring together her two passions: history and fantasy. Andrea now lives in New York and writes full time.

Author Links: Goodreads l website l twitter




  1. I am definitely interested on a new take on werewolves! Great review!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Oh yes this is a different take! Its still werewolves just better... Thanks Missie :)

  2. I love this series. I read all of the original series, and I have the books from the spin-off(s?) too, but haven't gotten around to them yet. But I will, b/c I LOVED this series!!<-----so much that I had to say it twice. I'm glad you loved this one too. Great review, Chanzie! PS: I totally get you on Shay and Ren. Love Ren so much, poor guy :(

    1. Yay!! I am so excited I just got the rest of the series recently so I can binge read the last 2 while it is still fresh.. just need to contemplate if I will read the novella's too :) Sigh *Ren*

  3. I LOVE this trilogy. I hope you stick with it, even though most readers either love or hate how it ended. Cremers twists on werewolves are so unique, and the boys! *swoon*

    1. Awesome... yes I definitely will :) Hmm Well I hope I fall into the 'loved it' category!!!

  4. Awesome review! Weirdly enough I never really liked Ren which I was glad for in the end (muhahaha). It's weird though, because I usually like that type of guy in books. But I'm all team Shay with this series! And I agree, Ansel is the cuuuuutest! :D

    1. Thanks Stephanie :) Ha ha well if there weren't teams where would the fun be in fighting for affections!!

  5. Team Shay FTW! Haha, I love him a lot. This book is definitely kick-ass, I don't know why I haven't continued with the series. Must fix that soon! So glad you liked it too, Chené, tell me when you guys are reading the sequel and I'll join you too. ;)

    1. ha ha ha Clearly you are Team Shay! I will probably be reading the sequel soon... like 2 books time! *such a book nerd comment* tee hee.. oh well!!

  6. Oh wow... I think I need to get onto this series myself. It is always great to see an author bring their own twist to something that has been done before. I would like to see what is going on between Calla, Ren and Shay... is it a bit of a triangle?? Fab review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. Yes yes yes you need to get this series!! It is a triangle but it didn't bug me that much :) Hope you get to check it out <3


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