Title: Nightshade (Nightshade #1)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Published By: Penguin Young Readers Group
Format: Paperback, 454 page
*I purchased this book
Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
From start to finish Nightshade was an awesome book. I assumed a strictly werewolf story was what was in store but there are a lot of other creatures in the book. I really enjoyed all the characters in this book and the original spin on the supernatural beings that takes up residence in these pages. The story line was fun to follow and kept me guessing. Even though I did catch on to the end game a bit before the characters did, it was still interesting to see it play out.
I'll say it now and get it out, I am team Ren 100%, so this opinion may be biased.
Calla induced a lot of mixed feeling in me. When it comes to her pack she is a fierce leader and does what I think she believes is best for them, though sometimes it's glaringly obvious it isn't. She has a hard exterior but inside she's an unsure and hormonally ruled teenager, which was my soft spot for her that kept me from ripping my hair out at some of her more reckless choices.
Ren is awesome in all his alpha wolfish glory, I think the alpha wolf bit may be what has me swooning for him so completely. Shay is nice, sure, but he's not Ren. I'll go as far as saying despite the love he swears he has for Calla the things he convinces her to do quite obviously go against what is best for her survival.
The rest of the packs both Bane and Nightshade were great, so many diverse personalities all holding their own appeal. I really enjoyed the scenes that included both packs. Now, the ending, holy cliffhanger. If there was any doubt I'd be picking up the next installment Wolfsbane, that was swiftly dealt with in the last chapter. I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on it. Overall great way to start a series I'm sure I'll love. Nightshade gets 4 out of 5.