Saturday, January 19, 2013

REVIEW: Nightshade

Book: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19th, 2010 by Philomel
Pages: 452 Pages
Source: Library Copy

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?
Okay, so as you probably know already, I don't read a lot of werewolf stories. I don't know why, but it's just not my cup of tea. The last time I read an actual wolf story, it was two years ago. I had read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I really enjoyed it. I think that was what motivated me to read Nightshade. Plus, there were a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads about this. A lot of book bloggers have either absolutely loved it or hated it to the point where they didn't finish it. As for me, I think Nightshade had a lot of problems, but I didn't hate it. It was a good book overall.

Nicole's Review:

I think the biggest problem I had with Nightshade was because of its lack of background information. The author uses many werewolf terms, such as "searchers," "guardians," and "keepers," yet they were never explained in the book until the 180th page. I spent the first half of the book confused whenever these words were used.

Not only that, but there is also a lack of character explanation. There are many unique names in this book and I keep getting tangled between them all. For example, I remember this specific scene where Efron called Ren "son" and I had thought they were really father and son. Turns out that they were not, and Emile is actually Ren's father. That was pretty awkward, because I had thought Emile was Ren's mother, since Emile sounds like Emily, which is a girl name.

And I don't know if I'm the only clueless one, but Calla's nickname is "Lily," which apparently has some inside joke in it. I had to search up the word "Calla" on Google to find out its meaning. Calla is is a plant that I'm assuming is a lily flower. But I can't be exactly sure because it was never explained in the book.

Anyways, yes, a lot of things are either explained in the end, never explained at all, or you have to figure it out yourself. 

Okay, now that I finished my mini-rant on that, I would like to add that the romance in Nightshade really bothered me. And don't get me wrong, I really liked Ren and Calla together. They're the pair that I'm cheering for, but there's also a love triangle in this book.

Yup, there's a human named Shay who likes Calla. And Calla likes him back.

The romance was another glaring problem I had with Nightshade. Calla is supposedly to marry and mate with Ren (a wolf) yet she likes Shay. This would have been fine if Calla doesn't give mixed signals. One moment, she's with Ren like Shay doesn't exist. The other, she's with Shay like Ren doesn't exist.

And it's pretty obvious the one she likes more is Shay, but she keeps letting Ren kiss her and all that stuff. Until the very end (and I mean the very, very end), she doesn't make up her decision, which I find really annoying. Just please, know what you want in the beginning to prevent trouble. Or at least, make up your mind in the middle of the book. But of course, Calla has to drag it out, kiss Ren and Shay until the climax of the book. And like I mentioned before, whenever she's alone with either of them, she acts like the other doesn't exist. 

Her indecisiveness in picking one them really bothered me.

Plus, speaking of the romance, I don't really know why Shay likes her. So she saved him once, but does it have to get all insta-love? 

Shay was also a really annoying character. For example, the things he say are absolutely rude. When Calla told him that Ren's mother was killed by searchers, he said that "it does explain a lot about him," (Cremer, page 361 of Nightshade). I don't know about you, but I interpreted that in a very cruel, negative way. 

Yet even though Shay is like that, Calla still likes him. Calla also keeps getting into trouble because of Shay. Shay, of course, is naturally curious about wolves, which leads to investigations that Calla is stupid enough to join him in. Basically, they keep going on these adventures where Calla is regretting about later, and lying to not get in trouble. If you don't want to get in trouble, please, please don't do stuff that gets you in trouble. Obviously, Calla needs to learn that, because she blames a lot of stuff on Shay after they investigate on things. She's a bit of a drama queen, in my opinion.

But even so, Calla wasn't necessarily a bad protagonist. She was okay, despite being a drama queen at times. She can be resourceful, strong, and smart.

And even though I know I complained about a lot of things, I enjoyed a lot of parts too. The action/adventure was fantastic, and the speed was pretty quick. Readers who like fast-paced stories will really enjoy Nightshade.

The reason why I thought Nightshade was an overall good story was because of Cremer's great action-telling. It was absolutely perfect, and that was what made me like the book so much.

The Summary: 

The Good Points: Calla (mostly a good protagonist), Ren (an good male love interest), action-telling (absolutely amazing), adventure, fast paced

The Bad Points: Lack of explanation about the characters, words, and background information (some are explained at the very, very, end), the love triangle, Shay (I don't know why, but I didn't like him at all)

Final Rank:

 1     2     3     4     5
I know I complained a lot about Nightshade in this review, but the action/adventure really makes up for all the problems in this book. Especially since the speed of this book was very fast paced, I found myself liking a lot about the plot. I only wish there wasn't a love triangle in this book and that there could be more world-building (specifically on characters, werewolf terms, etc..). But overall, Nightshade's awesome adventure/action makes it a 4 star book.


  1. I read this one when it came out way back when. I LOVED it. However, I cannot remember the second book. In fact, I'm not sure if I even read it. I'm like you, the lack of info on the characters did not bring me in enough to want to finish the series. Can't wait to see your review of the second book. Maybe I'll actually read it!! NEW FOLLOWER through GFC!

  2. Good for you!! I've read this a while back so the details are fuzzy but URGH, Calla's indecisiveness made me want to just fling Nightshade out of the window >:( I thought Shay was too... Weak(?) for Calla and I can never wrap my mind around the girl protecting the guy, so I'm Team Ren!! But I heard Andrea Cremer killed Ren in the sequels so no, I'm not reading them T^T

    Great review, anyway! I liked the adventures too but the flaws were too disturbing for me to overlook...