All Things Urban Fantasy's Reviews > Nightshade

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
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's review
Apr 29, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed-by-abigail

Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I picked up NIGHTSHADE super late one night intending to just read the first few chapters of this massive (528 pages) Paranormal YA debut from Andrea Cremer. Instead I ended staying up all night completely consumed by this bewitching novel that reads like a combination between Richelle Meade’s Vampire Academy series and the Underworld movies. There is a deliciously forbidden love triangle between fated werewolfs Calla & Ren and the human Shay; a complex and corrupt world of Guardians, Masters, and Searchers; and a shocking mystery surrounding who/what Shay is.

I mentioned the Vampire Academy series already because NIGHTSHADE has a very similar, if more sinister, dynamic between Guardians and Keepers as with the dhampirs and Morios. Guardians are raised to view their entire world in relationship to serving the Keepers. It’s an ugly and often infuriating system that the Guardians don’t even know to question. I turned my knuckles white because I was griping the book so tightly when some of the abuses of this system were revealed.

And let’s not overlook the romance. NIGHTSHADE is a little steamier than most YA novels given the premise that Calla has had to remain 100% pure (a mandate from the Masters) until her union with Ren. When Shay shows up and starts pushing her to question the world she lives in, Calla’s purity becomes decidedly less pure when both guys are determined to get her to break the rules. It’s a fine line that the author walks to get us to be sympathetic to Calla’s indecisive nature when it comes to choosing between Ren and Shay, but I thought her torn loyalties made perfect sense (not to mention creating lots of fantastic romantic tension) given her background.

Overall, NIGHTSHADE is the kind of book that just gets better the more I think about it. There is a pretty significant cliffhanger ending that perfectly sets the stage for the next book titled Wolfsbane which sadly won’t be released until Summer 2011, followed by the third book, Bloodrose, in Spring 2012. It’s only been two days since I finished NIGHTSHADE and I’m already agonizing over the wait to find out what happens next.

Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. A few scenes of sensuality. References to homosexuality. References to heterosexual and homosexual rape.
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