Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 5, 2012 | 1 Comment

Review: Nightshade by Andrea CremerNightshade by Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #1
Published by Philomel (10.19.2010)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 452 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

3 Stars

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 thoughts

I actually started this book last year and the timing was just terrible so I only made it about 80 pages in. Despite that, I was sure I was really going to love this book and there was a lot of hype about it…so I ended up being a bit disappointed. It was still good and went pretty fast, but it just didn’t cut it for me.
In the beginning I was really confused about all the terminology and hierarchies. Terms were kind of thrown at you, such as “searchers,” “keepers,” and “wraiths” and not much explanation was given. You do get it eventually, but a little bit of information would have been nice early on to set the stage for the packs’ worlds. And then when you do get information, it’s still difficult to understand. There’s a lot of talk about the war of all against all and Hobbes and not only was it over my head, but I didn’t really care about it. I found all of that irrelevant to the history of the wolves.
There was also a love triangle. Ugh. I really hate love triangles and the notion is so overused that sometimes I will decide to not put a book on my TBR list just on the basis that I see a triangle in the synopsis. At one point it got so bad I wanted to hurl the book at my wall. Literally every 20 pages she was flip-flopping back and forth from kissing Shay to kissing Ren. And I’m talking 4 or 5 times. Make up your damn mind, woman! I found it rather disgusting, really. The indecision kept me from really getting into the romance.
I didn’t care much for Calla. I love the name and I love strong female protags, but between her fickle ways and her dull personality, I had trouble liking her. She didn’t have much of a sense of humor and her character just fell flat for me.
I was very disappointed in the descriptions. I had no freaking clue what anyone looked like because she never described anything, and when there’s so many characters, it’s necessary. For most of the book, I was getting a lot of the minor characters confused because I didn’t have a clear picture in my head.
I would have loved to see a lot more humor in this one. I smiled a few times but never actually laughed out loud. A few surprises would have been nice, too – this book was so predictable! Maybe it’s because it made me think of Blood and Chocolate, but I figured out the only real twist in the book 200 pages before it ever happened. So when the moment came, there wasn’t the shock and horror I should have felt at the situation.
Despite all of that, I still somewhat liked Nightshade. Mainly because it’s a werewolf story and I love those, but also because it didn’t drag on like most books that I have complaints about. There was a big bang of action right at the end that made the book more interesting, but I’m not quite sure about getting book 2 just yet.
“I thought opposites attracted,” I countered.
Ren shook his head. “No. That’s pop culture drivel. If you’re a real student of literature, and I mean the good stuff – Chaucer, Shakespeare – you figure out that only  souls who truly reflect each other make good love matches. If they can find each other, that is.”
Agreed! Opposites are no good because then you have nothing in common! I loved that one.
Plot: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Needs more humor! Too stiff.
Characters: 3/5
Not realistic, no real depth and not enough description.
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
I didn’t get bored surprisingly.
Cover: 5/5
The cover is gorgeous. Her eyes are beautiful, I love the font, and I love that there are Calla lilies on the front. And the book is sparkly!

Overall rating: 3/5 starfish

Jessi (Geo)

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