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Nightshade ~ Andrea Cremer

January 2, 2011


Genre: YA/Paranormal Teen Romance
Publisher: Philomel
528 pages
ISBN: 9780399254826
Source: Bookstore

Mountain School senior, Calla (don’t call her Lilly) is being made to do horrible things. Horrible things like wear dresses and act like a lady.

She has to, you see, because her impending status of Alpha of her pack is coming up quickly and she’ll need that pesky thing her elders keep referring to as “poise”.  She’ll marry Ren, the smoldering Alpha of the only other pack on the mountain and they’ll rule and guard, side by side. For this, she apparently needs painted nails.

An eye rolling acceptance would be the way of things if not for that cute hiker Calla met the other day, being mauled, nearly to death, by a bear.

Why is it that handsome strangers seem to upset the best, most perfectly laid plans in creepy fauxtopias?

Oh, what the heck. I can’t deny it; I really loved this silly thing. I usually don’t like anything to do with vampires or werewolves or the like but, for some reason, this was just the right thing at exactly the right time.

Cremer has quite a few things going for her story in both character and content. The easiest way to my heart is no surprise. A strong female lead who also can handle complex emotions is my weakness. Usually people go one way or the other, choosing heroines of stone who can fight but not feel or weak women who can bat eyelashes but can’t swing swords. Calla can do and excels at all of the above, making grades, leading her pack, falling inappropriately in love, breaking into off-limits sites and looking good while doing it.

The rest of the gals and ladies are strong, yet flawed in endearing ways and only a few made my groan.  Of course the boys hold their own, too, and though some of the older male pack members are a bit, shall we say, “handsy”, the younger crew seems to have inherited that long dead chivalry without the requisite condescension.

The other part that had me sucked in was the mythology. I’m sure the complexity of the stage was set by many strands of recycled lore but isn’t that how stories are born and have been born from centuries past? I really enjoyed the little bits of old tradition (like Samhain) and newer fascinations (like night clubs) working together.

Of course there was one bad part: it ended. I don’t know if it is to be a trilogy (as most things are these days) or a two part deal or what but, needless to say, I’m going to be holding my breath, turning blue until Wolfsbane arrives in my warm little hands.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 1:43 pm

    I am not sure if I would like this book, but I know my daughter would love it. I am going to have to see if I can score a copy of it for her. Great review and glad that you liked it so much!

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