Books Review

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

October 19, 2010

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping
out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born
a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the
next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off
course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This
human boy’s secret will turn the young pack’s world upside down and forever
alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches’ War that surrounds them all.

(synopsis taken from Andrea Cremer’s official website)

First of all, the cover of Nightshade is amazing! Most importantly, however, is the fact that the novel itself is just as amazing.

Nightshade is Andrea Cremer’s debut novel and is an extremely well-written one. She has created a fantastical, yet realistic world full of (were)wolves and witches. I can only imagine how much work went into creating it. I love her take on werewolves and I love how her wolves’ origins are rooted in magic. In addition to providing a wonderful world and mythology, Cremer also gives readers a strong and believable female lead/narrator with Calla. Although Calla’s loyalty to her pack and the Guardian’s traditions are fierce, she still is an independent thinker and person. Cremer handles Calla’s duties as an alpha and her conflicting feelings beautifully and readers will undoubtedly sympathize with her.

The other characters are also well-developed. Instead of making secondary characters who don’t really do anything, Cremer lets each side-character have a story. I really liked the characters of Bryn, Ansel, Mason, and Ren. With Bryn and Ansel, I loved their loyalty to Calla and they way they would do anything for her, even if it meant going against the rest of the pack. I don’t want to say too much about Mason’s character, but I really liked how Cremer handled his situation. Even though Ren comes off as arrogant and self-centered, his actions towards the end of the novel changed my opinion and made me really like him. I don’t know whose side I’m on, Shay’s or Ren’s. It’s honestly a tough choice.

Calla’s feelings for Shay are honest and passionate, but the ones she feels for Ren also reflect the same qualities. Or at least in my opinion they do. Calla never really states who she wants to be with for the rest of her life. Shay and Ren both offer and represent different things for her, so the reader is just as conflicted as Calla is. 🙂

Nightshade is extremely fast-paced even though Cremer reveals things slowly. She does so in engaging manners that will keep readers from losing interest. It’s nice seeing werewolves facing an enemy other than vampires and I can’t wait to learn more about Nightshade‘s witches in the sequels.

In the end, Andrea Cremer’s debut novel, Nightshade, is an excellent read! The writing, characters, and plot are all amazing and I was left wanting more. Nightshade is more than just a story of werewolves and witches. It’s about loyalty, betrayal, and love. If you’d like to learn more about Andrea Cremer and her writing, check out these sites:

Andrea Cremer’s Official Website
Nightshade Official Website

(cover image taken from Barnes and Noble’s website)

  • Reply
    October 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for posting this review! I’ve been looking for a good book lately and with so many break out authors it’s hard to figure out which train to jump onto. This helped!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Your book review is excellent DJ! I felt conflicted about Shay and Ren too and look forward to Wolfsbane next summer.

  • Reply
    Jan von Harz
    October 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I read this a couple months ago and in some ways was sorry since I will be waiting even longer for the next book. Enjoyed your review although I am leaning more towards Shay than Ren!

  • Reply
    Tara SG (25 Hour Books)
    October 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Great review! I really loved this book as well. It was the very first time I’ve finished a book with a love triangle and had not picked a “team”. I think I’m leaning towards Ren, but I really don’t know.

    The only thing that bothered me about this book was the clifhanger ending. I love a little tease to get me excited about the next book, but endings like this just make me mad 🙁

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