Nightshade is one of those books that got tons of hype around the blogging community before its release, and even more after - and in this case, it was 100% deserved. Although Nightshade is about werewolves, it really has something for everyone - great characters, well-developed setting, fantasy, a little history, and a lot of romance. And look at that cover - is it not beautiful?
Calla has never questioned what life has in store for her - she loves being a Guardian, and the Keepers provide for everything her family could want. She's always done what she should, until she reveals her true nature to save a strange boy from certain death by a bear. Though worried, she thinks nothing will come of the incident - until the boy shows up in her class at the Mountain School the next day. It soon becomes clear that Shay plays a much larger part in her world than Calla ever realized; in fact, her world is not even what she imagined it to be. As she learns more of the Keepers' secrets, she finds herself drawn to Shay; but she is mated to Ren, the alpha male. Throughout the book, the tensions and romances heat up, all coming to a head on Samhain, the day of the union - the day for which nobody is prepared.
The world of Nightshade was excellently created. I loved the blending of actual history with a fantasy world. But more than that, I loved the characters. The Nightshade and Lumine pack members were quite diverse and yet all believable. Calla is definitely a strong, independent character, though not without her flaws and unique traits. And Ren and Shay - how could anyone choose one?
Occasionally parts of the story were a bit confusing, but as the reader learns along with Calla, that is to be expected. And the ending...well, all I can say is that I needed Wolfsbane yesterday.
Nightshade kept me turning page after page, eager for more, with its engaging story, sweet (and sometimes steamy) romance, and imaginative world. Andrea Cremer has a brilliant style, and I cannot wait to read more!