‘Nightshade’ review

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t quite decide how I really feel about this book. I neither loved nor hated it. But in the same sense, I liked it more than I disliked it. There was more to enjoy from this book than not, so taking that on board I’m going to assume that I did like it.

I have to applaud Cremer for creating a very original and well thought out plot based around wolves. We’ve had a lot of werewolf novels saturating the YA paranormal market, and so when you hear vampire or werewolves, people kind of groan now. But Cremer really thought this through. It took me a while to fully understand the exact world that Cremer had built, but once I did, it was very clever and unique. One I enjoyed learning about.

The wolves were different than the normal werewolf stereotype, however, in some instances, the wolves powers, and the Keepers too, were just convenient for the novel. Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes. Like that the packs can transform into wolves and the human is still fully clothed and holding whatever they were holding before shifting. This obviously comes in handy for later scenes. I found it didn’t seem like a natural ability and was written in simply for ease.

The ending was brilliant. My favourite part of the novel. Seeing that many supernatural aspects in one scene was thrilling. I found myself rushing through the read just so that I could get to the end and see how the characters would fare through the plot twist. It was brilliantly done, and I can’t really fault it.

Then we move onto the characters. I liked Calla about as much as I hated her. In one chapter, I’d like her, but in the next, I’d want to slap her. I had NO idea why Ren or Shay liked her as much as they did. I mean, Ren was constantly hounding her, sexually, which created some pretty tension filled scenes, but when you think about it, was kinda repulsive. Like he only wanted her because it was forbidden until a certain date. And then Shay. She was so back and forth with him. I’m surprised he didn’t have serious whiplash. It did not make sense that he would be willing to give up so much for a girl who was so hot and cold. It made me lose a lot of respect for his character.

Calla played the confused Alpha well. I thought her gradual turn from loyal to disloyal was realistic and we learned with her. Obviously, her feelings for Shay played a huge role, but learning all that she did not only helped us understand the world better, but set out the plot. However, Calla was not only confused but she was STUPID. So many things happened in front of her that she couldn’t see because she was so preoccupied by herself. By her new clothes, by Ren who she loved to hate, by Shay who she wanted but couldn’t have, by the sexual needs she basically felt around any boy whenever she was around them. She was supposed to be strong, but she was the weakest character for me. Easily swayed, couldn’t even keep her own pack respectful (Fey) and lied when she didn’t need to and didn’t lie when she did.

All in all, the book did keep me interested. I like books with a diversity of scenes, though, and this went from school, to the woods, to the library, to Calla’s house and lather, rinse, repeat. I got bored of the scenes quickly. The dialogue was stiff at times and very formal for the age they are. However, there were some instances where the conversation was realistic and carried along the plot nicely. The chemistry was done well between Calla and Shay and the serious themes of the book were handled tastefully. 3.5 stars, but closer to four. The plot really, really saved this book.

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4 thoughts on “‘Nightshade’ review

  1. I really wanted to like this book, but overall, I didn't. You hit the mark about how it had great wolf and witch mythology. And totally right about Calla. She did not come off as the strong Alpha chick, and you so hit the mark about how it got to be repulsive the way Ren constantly hounded her for sex. It was really icky the way so many characters were being forced into sex stuff for “just cause” reasons in their pack.


  2. This sounds really good, but to be honest, I think that your books actually sound better! Don't give up, I know that if you want something bad enough and are willing to fight for it, anything is possible. And when nothing goes right? Go left!


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