Perhaps when the next two books in this trilogy come out I ll give this series another shot I WOULD like to know what happens with Ren because, despite my inability to continue with Nightshade at the moment, I adore him.
This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I ve read this year I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.
e 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did Eventually I became too annoyed to continue.
Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me Sink or swim is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so the story just goes on and you either get it or not Not I still don t understand why these Guardians, werewolves, warriors, whatever you want to call them, would answer to a group of witches, allowing themselves to be controlled in such a horrible way They can t be dominant, Alpha, and submissive at the same time I love my shapeshifter books as long as they don t break one simple rule the author needs to explain clothes right away or I m done I don t care what the explanation is the clothes can magically appear, they can be hidden somewhere or people can just walk around naked, but I need to know For the longest time in Nightshade, Calla kept changing forms in public without any mention of clothes It was explained eventually, but by then I was too angry to even care You know how sometimes it seems, especially in books with a really strong plot view spoiler think The Hunger Games hide spoiler Ok, let s start with some general stuff first In my opinion, Nightshade was a nice and steady read I thought the world building was unique and the heroine easily likeable She s pretty, though and a little bit of a tomboy, so nothing new there, but nevertheless, I found myself liking her instantly There are actually quite a few interesting characters in this book Some were likeable and some just made my skin crawl Efron and Logan Ugh shudders As for the romancebe warned This book is one big fat love triangle and the story is almost solely focused on it There are two boys fighting for Calla s affection.
Ren, a werewolf like Calla, whom she s promised to and Shay, a human boy who s new to town and whose live Calla had saved once which was a major violation of the rules, of course.
I liked how it all started out with Calla and Shay and the author definitely wanted us to whoop for him in this love triangle but in the end, Ren was the one who got my pulse racing I m into strong male characters and don t mind the occasional jerkness and believe me, Ren can be a jerk alright He s basically your typical bad boy If you had issues with, say, Ethan from Glimmerglass you probably won t like Ren, though nudges Olivia I thought Calla s and Ren s chemistry was great and tangible and I really liked the forbidden romance vibe I guess we were supposed to get this vibe off her fling with Shay, too, but somehow that was lost on me.
I didn t get Calla s attraction to Shay at all, to be honest I found him rather dull and that whole oh my god I knew you were my soul mate from the first time I laid eyes on you and that s why I want to make out with you right away thing rarely works for me anyway I need some suspense, I want to hope and fear and wonder along with the heroine whether her beloved one returns her affection or not So if the author had made Shay a little less boring and had given Calla and him time to fall for each other and build up some tension, I probably would have liked him better What irked me was the fact that there isn t that much happening in the first half of the book It s all about the romance and the ways of the packs How the wolves operate is interesting, don t get me wrong, and I really liked the dynamics within the pack but I want to establish that this book focuses mainly on the romance part If you don t mind that, you ll be fine Towards the end, the pace picked up a little but the turn of events didn t really come as a surprise It was rather obvious, unfortunately In my opinion, Nightshade is one of the less innocent YA novels seeing as some pretty though topics were addressed and the make out scenes weren t all too innocent either All in all, I enjoyed this book and I m pretty sure that I will pick up the sequel I m just hoping for a little less love triangle and a little plot in Wolfsbane.
I can see why a lot of people loved this book and from what I can tell so far, I think some of the bookers might like it, too Tina, Nic, this goes out to you especially Olivia, you most definitely were right to kick it off your wish list Oh and, little cover slut that I am, I have to give a few bonus points for the awesome cover and deckled edges So3 stars it is When I first read the description for this book, I thought Here we go with the werewolves again We re werewolves We like to run We like to hunt and we like to kill vampires Thankfully, there was pretty much none of that in this book No vampires Amazing Recently I ve been in a bit a of a rut, and despite picking up some really interesting books, nothing lately has been holding my attention I find my mind wandering to other completed series Hmmmm, I wonder what Peeta is doing right now.
But finally Finally, something held my interest and had me itching to find out I just love that feeling When a book gets under your skin When you start daydreaming about other things going on in it s world, searching for sub text and insight into the characters minds.
As much as I hate to admit it, I couldn t wait to find out what Ren would do next Don t get me wrong, I love my hero types but sometimes, just sometimes, I love some bad in my boys a little bit I mean I ll take Han Solo over Luke Skywalker any day.
And Ren is all the best kinds of bad To put it eloquently, he has the perfect combination of not giving a crap and at the same time giving a crap That is really hard to even out with many characters Many male characters tend to be either too chauvinistic or way too bleeding heart Ren is the perfect wicked combination Maybe not the perfect match for Calla, but I LOVE him Don t get me wrong I love Shay as well, just not in THAT kind of way.
I also really appreciated that this book was not all about warring factions of supernatural creatures like so much of YA fantasy, although it pushes toward a future of war This first book of the series was about a single faction establishing peace amongst themselves and unravelling the mysteries of the past.
Also, alot of first person young adult books tend to either have to much dialogue or too much inner dialogue This had it just right, and the tone and descriptions were very nice.
I was glad to see that they got a lot of answers to questions raised about the union and such, instead of stringing us along with endless cliffhangers and no resolution in sight And yes, it ends with a cliffhanger, but it is the best kind The kind that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.
The plot is simplistic and primarily romance driven, but it is an easy page turner, which is what I happened to be in the mood for Yeah, this book may be full of taboos Werewolves Those are in right now A love triangle Haven t read one of those in a while So what It just does it all so damn well.
If you re looking for a plot heavy book with an in depth and sensible story, then this might not be for you right now But if your looking for a romance and tension filled read with that addictive quality, and don t mind a love frustrating love triangle, then go ahead give this one a try.
Oh forget about it, enough already I sat through 221 pages of torment, and I ve had enough, I can t take it any.
I spent months looking forward to this book I mean, come on, just look at the pretty cover The idea sounded great too What could possibly go wrong EverythingCalla is the virgin I cannot stress enough how much of a virgin she is alpha female who leads a pack of wolves, and soon she will be dropped into some kind of arranged marriage business with the alpha male of another pack of wolves, Ren Who has seen every pretty girl in school naked, except for The Virgin Calla, who needs to remain pure until the union I m trying not to laugh right now All of them go to the same school together All is well Enter Shay Who is nearly killed off by I think it was a bear, I can t even remember Calla breaks just about every wolf rule in the book and saves him by feeding him her blood She doesn t know why, she just wantsssssss him dreamy eyes stomps her foot to make the bubble burst You d think the cover has something to do with Nightshade Well, that s an honest mistake, but you couldn t be further from the truth No, this book is actually filled with purple prose, page after page, after page So it literally bleeds purple.
A lot of the wolves engage in curling lips growling at each other Seriously, have you even tried doing one of those things yourself Lip curling only works if you are Elvis, and growling sounds too silly to be threatening.
Now, I wouldn t nag about this if these were the only things that were wrong with this book, but my next two subjects are what basically killed the book for me.
First of all when they turn into a wolf, their clothes just disappear And reappear when they turn human again At first I was constantly confused, thinking um this girl is naked and nobody seems to notice but then they, and I m using those annoying quotation mark hand gestures, explain it They are always wolf and human at the same time Calla could make herself look like a wolf wearing clothes, but she doesn t see the point So all her clothes must be magical They don t rip, they don t have problems with the differences between the shape of the bodies I m not saying the whole concept of people turning into wolves is logical, but this is just lazy writing, not to mention effing convenient It makes it so much easier for her to FLASH into a wolf mid air and FLASH back to her human form It s a real argument stopper, I ll tell you that.
And secondly, my biggest problem the relationship between Calla and Shay it misses everything Buildup, an actual reason for them to want to be together, chemistry, sexual tension, you name it They just react like magnets for no reason at all Oh hi there, you look hot, I look hot, both of us are off limits to each other, want to boink I really like the whole star crossed lovers concept, but for god s sake, please stop with the I want you because you are there romances It never works, it s getting really old and it seriously kills my buzz.
The one relationship I did like was kept in the background And I adore her brother, Ansel 1 star for not liking it, 1 star for the cover I m not making sense Sue me.
Spoilers I LOVED this book and would have given it five stars but seeing as she chooses Shay I decided to deduct a star, purely because I am TEAM REN I really liked Calla as a character, she was strong and determined and her own person I loved the feeling of family and loyalty between the Nightshades and even the relationships between them and the Banes Calla has grown up her whole life knowing that she will be paired up with Ren to create a new pack She of course hates the fact that her free will was taken away and that she doesnt have a choice in the matter Still though she remains loyal and knows its her duty to Ren and the pack members to follow through, until Shay enters the picture.
I loved Bryn Calla s beta, she was a great best friend and kept secrets that could have gotten Calla into loads of trouble I love how she and Ansel Calla s brother end up together although I was sad at the same time when Calla mentioned how they got to be together Due to her and Ren putting in a good word for them later on yet she doesnt get that chance I really liked Ansel especially when he said he would run away with Bryn to be with her if he had to because thats what love is.
I just couldnt seem to like Shay as much as I wanted to he just wasn t appealing to me He came into Calla s life and from that moment on Calla began questioning herself and everything she believes in I like how she finds out the truth about the Keeper s and I cant imagine how it must have been for her to believe in something her whole life only to find out that it was a lie, must have been horrible I can see why she relates to Shay and how she ends up with him over Ren It also helps the storyline along, being with Shay just adds to the list of things she is not supposed to do Also I doubt she would have ever discovered the truth if she chose Ren He has admirable qualities but I still don t think he compares to Ren.
Chapter 33 was my favourite, It was a hard time emotionally for Calla and Ren Even though Ren throughout the book appears to be a sleazy player deep down he is a really nice guy He truly loved Calla and you see that in this chapter He is willing to do anything for Calla including protecting Shay if he has too I thought it was really sad when he asked Calla to return to him, that she would come back to him and the pack and that he doesnt want to lose her You can see that even though they are arranged to be married he has fallen in love with her I wish Calla hadnt been so untrusting with Ren, especially when she questions whether he would be like his father I dont think Ren was anything like his dad He proved many times that he was a good person deep down For a while he just had a funny way of showing it Plus he gives her a ring Who doesn t love a guy who gives the girl he loves a ring I just don t beleive Calla gave Ren a proper go, even though she has known him for a long time she never really knew him She didn t give him a fair go.
My favourite line from the book was This isn t about love, it s about survival No Calla His voice became hushed This is only about love I will continue to hold onto the hope that she changes her mind and ends up with Ren, in the next book I definatly can t wait for the sequel.
This book is preposterous, degrading, and offensive to strong women everywhere.
There If you disagree passionately with that statement, you will be offended by what follows.
You ve been warned.
Oh yeah, and spoilers ahead, because I don t really care enough about this Idiot Plot enough not to give it all away Capice Good You may proceed.
The worst part of Nightshade is that I actually liked the basic concepts The notion of a world populated and semi controlled by witches and werewolves, with incubi and chimerae and all that other good stuff that interests me I could go with that So it s a shame to see that ruined by a cast of characters that made my blood boil, and plot that involved most of said cast being stereotyped and or just plain willfully ignorant, and the only exception being stereotyped and occasionally douchebaggey.
But the one I really want to talk about is Calla.
At first, I was glad to see her characterized the way she is A female alpha, a warrior, in command of her pack GIRL POWER right What followed was an argument between me and this book Went something like this.
Me GIRL POWER Book GIRL POWER Me So, because Calla s full of win and GIRL POWER, she s going to stand up to Ren and be his equal, right Book Sure, since he says that s the way he wants it.
Me what Book Well, obviously male alphas have authority even over the females You know, like in real wolf societies Me Yes, but these are WEREwolves They ve got to have been influenced by feminism, right Book No, they don t I don t want them to Then I wouldn t get my enthusiastically flity feminine best friend, or the stereotyped tomboy bitch, or the empty shell of a girl who follows said tomboy bitch around.
Me And Calla Book Calla s an ALPHA GIRL POWER Me Yes, but no See, she s very clearly an alpha in name only Everyone even her own pack before the union defers to Ren At times, they stand up to her and basically tell her to go to hell with her commands IF she was an alpha with GIRL POWER, she would keep them in line and actually behave like a leader Instead, she lets everyone steamroller her from Ren to Shay even when he s human She s never in control of her life, and she hesitates to take control For an alpha, she s not assertive in the least All it takes is a little kissing for her to give up every thought in her head, if she had one in the first place.
Book Me And then there s her mother You know what part bothered me most I marked it specifically You cannot cross an alpha male, even when you belong to another You risk your own life to do so That s what Naomi tells her daughter after Ren s father has been sexually harassing her Now, I understand the point in the society of the Guardians BUT Look at the larger message You know what she s saying If the men are stronger than you, you become their possession, and others of that level of strength may also possess you unless your owner man fights for you Well, book.
Here s my response.
Book Have an angsty ending Me NO GO DIE.
And that s pretty much it I would have been less insulted if Calla hadn t been an alpha by putting her in a position of assumed power and then subverting it, Cremer made her even weaker and of an affront to true strong women.
So everyone is probably going to hate me for writing this review but this is my honest to god opinion I really wanted to like Nightshade I waited so long to read this and I was dying to read it too I heard nothing but great things about this series but I really wanted the book in paperback to save money And the week the paperback came out, I immediately bought it And wellI hated it Okay no, hate is a strong word I didn t hate this book In fact, the beginning of this book started off strong and had me completely reeled in But after awhile, I lost complete interest.
First off, Calla justI don t know how to explain it but I didn t like her I felt like Cremer was trying too hard to make her sound like a teenager and it didn t come off right on paper Its like she was a mixture of too many things all at once She was too fake in my opinion.
Second, there s Ren Yes, I said it I don t like Ren I ll say it again I Don t Like Ren Honestly, I found nothing attractive about him at all Again, I felt as if Cremer tried too hard with his character Ren was too dominating, too sarcastic, toomuch I didn t like the way he treated Calla at all either He seemed all over he place Overbearing at one moment, caring the next And I didn t like the fact that they were so eager to just get together and mate so quickly All of the characters just seemed really poorly written I couldn t connect to anyone except for one character Shay Yeah yeah I know I m getting some wtf faces right now But hey, that s just me Personally, I could relate to Shay From what I read, he loved literature and yet he had a natural curiousity for things that didn t seem right I wanted of him and it confused me why no one else felt the same minus three other people But as much as I liked Shay, I couldn t finish this book, not even for him.
Now, the biggest problem I had with this book is the plot I had no idea what was going on A hundred pages in, I still had no idea what was going on Nothing had been explained or cleared up and this annoyed me I mean, a little mystery is good but you can t leave the reader still guessing so far in the book I lost all interest because not one thing was clear and I don t want to read a book that I can t understand.
Overall, I really didn t like this book There were so many problems I had with this book and there s no way I m going to be able to finish this Too many things left unclear and too many inconsistencies made me unhappy I m sad to say that I only fell in love with this book because of its cover Will I ever read another book by Cremer Probably not.
Rating 1 out of 5 Stars