Sunday, September 11, 2011

Andrea Cremer's Nightshade


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The Nightshade Series book 1
Speak June 14, 2011
Facebook: yes
Rating I loved it!
Recommendation: Fans of the Young Adult genre, fans of werewolves, witches and other paranormal creatures, and those who want a different take on said creatures.

Calla, the alpha heir of the Nightshade pack, has been promised to Renier, the alpha heir of the Bane pack. They don’t have a say in the matter and they both have known this is the path that they would walk their entire lives. They do not challenge their roles as guardians of the Keepers or the upcoming union. It’s the way it has always been done. But then comes Shay Doran who is a human that they have been asked to protect, something that has never been done before, Calla, now questions everything even the matters of her heart. She knows that she is not free to choose who to love, but it doesn’t stop her from wondering. When she is forced to spend more time with Shay, her shaken world quickly spins out of control until she is no longer sure of who to trust or what the truth is. All she knows is that she must protect her pack and she must protect Shay. Shay doesn’t know the truth of who he is or why is has ended up in a world where he doesn’t quite fit in. All he has is an attraction to Calla, who has been promised to someone else and a thread that keeps unraveling and uncovering long hidden and sacred secrets to a world he is not supposed to know about.
Nightshade has redefined what it means to be a werewolf and has turned it into a being that is both human and beast simultaneously. Calla is a character that I found relatable and felt sympathy for. Who really wants to walk a path created by someone else? Whether they can put it into words or not, everyone has a desire to find their own way.  But the cost for Calla to walk her own path almost certainly means death.  Even Ren, the alpha that she has been promised to, gets my sympathy. I want to not like him; I want to mark him as the bad guy. But in the end, I can’t. Yes, their union was predestined; yes their birth was done so with a specific purpose in mind. Yes, he seems to be able give into his animal instincts and Calla cannot. They are both alphas, but he holds the most power. What does he do with that power? That is yet to be determined because he is still a high school boy who finds it awkward to be himself in front of the one girl that he truly loves. Yes, I got the impression that Ren truly loves Calla, and not because their parents and the Keepers say that they have to mate.
Ren is a good guy. Shay is a good guy. And though Calla may have fallen in love with Shay, she knows that they are both good. A part of me says that she is only attracted to Shay because of the freedom that she finds in him; a freedom that Ren will never be able to offer her. But what I really like about this story is that in the end, it’s really not about choosing one guy over the other, it’s not about the accidental triangle that sprung up. It’s about the truth and chasing after it even when it means leaving the world that you have always known for a path that you know absolutely nothing about. Calla chooses this unknown path, not for herself, but for the people that she loves and the pack she is supposed to protect. Sometimes I think that she forgets that she is an Alpha and not just a member of the pack, but taking the unknown path is something that an Alpha is supposed to do if they want to truly lead and protect their pack.
Always Shine,
Starr K.

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