May 19, 2011

Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (Witches' War, #1), by Andrea Cremer on Goodreads

Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel
Overall: 4 Monkeys
Interest: Series
Categories: Paranormal, Werewolves, Magic, Romance
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Read in May 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
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?
My Opinion:
When this book came out last year, everyone was talking about it. Everyone. But since it's about werewolves, I wasn't very intrigued, despite the 5-star-reviews. Now that I've read it, I can honestly say that I really liked it. Not loved, but liked. 

Cremer does a very good job with her characters, but the beginning of the book was a little confusing to me. I don't know if it was because I listened to the audiobook and maybe missed something, but at first I didn't know if the humans knew about the nature of the pack, and were afraid because of that, or if they were ignorant of it, and were scared of them because of how the pack acted. It took me a long while to get that they didn't, in fact, know their classmates were wolves. (Maybe this happened only to me, or maybe to someone else too, I don't know.)

And there were other things that felt a bit forced, clichéd too. Like the incident in Haldis Cavern that led to... that thing you know if you read the book. It was way too obvious to me. I would have liked -maybe, loved- this book more if that hadn't happened.

What I did love -and the reason I'm giving this 4 stars- was the characterisation of the different characters. There were like ten wolves in Calla's pack, and all of them had a different and unique personality, which was brilliantly written. So, congrats Andrea for that!
Bryn and Ansel were terribly sweet! And the loyalty of the pack towards their alphas was great too. They may had had differences with them, but the pack certainly had no doubts when it came to protecting them.

I loved how Cremer wove the wolves' history with magic! And I cannot wait to learn more about Shay's place in all of this!

Shay was great. Romantic, strong, a bit shy... he was a brilliant character. Calla... she'll have to do more to get my attention. She felt like every other YA heroine to me. She was great in her own way, yeah, but I still wanted to see a bit more of her dark side. 

Overall, a really nice book! I'll have to read Wolfsbane soon!
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