Review: Nightshade

April 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm (3 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Pages: 454, paperback

ISBN: 9781907410277

Publisher: ATOM

Date Released: January 20th, 2011 (first published October 19th, 2010)

Genre: Young Adult / paranormal / romance / werewolves

Source: library

Premise:

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? (

Buy it from: The Book Depository / Amazon

First things first: LOOK AT THAT COVER. It is beyond gorgeous, with those colours, and the flower and the font of the title. It just instantly drew me into it.

Now, the book started out confusing. I was introduced to characters and settings and rules that were hardly explained, leaving me feeling rather lost and confused for the most part. After a few chapters, I had to give up trying to act like I knew what was happening, and wait for everything to slowly be revealed (such as who the Hell the Keepers were and why they were held in such high regards and whatnot). That said, I did quite love Cremer’s world-building, and the myths that she wove into the story. They were very well developed and believable, but I nly wish that they weren’t so slowly revealed, because for most of the book, I had very little idea of what was going on.

The characterisation is weird at times. Calla sometimes acts bipolar in her decision making. She’ll be totally against an idea, and will do anything to stand her ground, and then half a page later, she’ll give in and act like she was all for that idea in the first place. It was so annoying. It’s poor and awkward, and it hardly made her character more likeable, and believe me, I had a hard time liking her in the first place.

The love triangle is also something that needs work. Calla is drawn to Shay because he is mysterious (doesn’t that remind you of a certain sparkly vampire?) even though her relationship with Ren seems to be stronger. Ren is a bit of a dick sometimes (man, what is with all these bipolar personalities?) but they’ve shared moments where you can see a nice romance blossoming. In fact, it sometimes felt as if Shay was imposing on their relationship, and I often wanted him to fuck off because he’s useless.

The plot is slow and steady, and really only becomes intriguing after the first 150 pages. After that, there really is mystery. Shit hits the fan, and it’s hard to put the book down. By the end, all hell breaks loose, and you just need to know what happens.

Though, the ending kind of made me roll my eyes, when Calla chooses Shay on a whim, and runs off with him, and almost gets herself killed for his sake. Good work, Calla, you don’t look like Bella Swan at all.

The strongest part of this book was the world-building, but I feel that this book would have stood better if it hadn’t been a romance (sadly, pretty much all YA books have romance in them. ICK!).

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 2
Writing: 4
Level of Interest: 3

Total Rating: 3/5 stars

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3 Comments

  1. thereadingdate said,

    I like this cover – it’s a little different than the US versions. I wish they weren’t changing the covers going forward. The new cover makes it look like more of an urban fantasy type book.
    It’s been a while since I’ve read Nightshade but I remember thinking the pace was a bit slow. Shay got on my nerves too. Curious to read Wolfsbane though to see what happens next.
    How are you liking the Body Finder?

    • nlmars said,

      Yeah, I don’t like the new covers. I’m a sucker for pretty covers–usually I don’t pick up a book if it doesn’t have a pretty cover, and I know there are others just like me–so I can’t help but think how many people are going to miss out on this book because of the new covers. They don’t look like they’re done well, to be honest. :-/

      I’m really liking the Body Finder, but I haven’t had a lot of time to read it, which is a massive bummer.

  2. kara-karina said,

    Again I can’t help but agree with your review. Calla annoyed me through the whole book, so as Shay. Ren I think just behaved how it was expected from him in public. In private he was totally different.

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