Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Fall Into Fantasy)

Coming October 19, 2010!

Calla Tor has never questioned her fate. As the alpha wolf of the Nightshade pack, she was born to marry the alpha male of the Banes and form a new pack of Guardians - the ancient protectors of the Keepers and their magic. The life of a Guardian is bound by incontrovertible rules - a fact Calla knows well - but when she finds a teenage boy fighting a losing battle with a grizzly bear on a lonely mountainside, something that she can't explain compels her to defy her masters and save his life. Calla could never have anticipated where this decision would lead her, and soon she finds herself questioning every truth she's ever known. Things in Calla's world are not what they seem, and she must make the choice that will decide not only her own fate, but the fate of her family, her pack, and her entire world.

Nightshade is a tale of freedom and fate, servitude and loyalty, deceit and desire. Calla is a strong heroine who, naturally, comes across as somewhat animalistic - an intriguing and compelling characteristic. The opening chapters are expertly crafted to build the suspense, and the ominous mystique shrouding the secrets of Vail, Colorado pique the reader's interest immediately. The dystopian microcosm Andrea Cremer creates is fresh and fascinating. The dynamic of this world is deeply disturbing, and yet the characters and their plight are so bizarrely entrancing and thought-provoking that it's impossible to look away. Though it's possible to see some of the events coming, this helps build the increasing sense of desperation that pervades the story. Nightshade is a very intelligent novel, full of literary allusions that will keep fans of philosophy and literature on their toes. Cremer weaves an intricate blend of history and legend to create the unique type of magic that rules the Nightshade world.

Nothing is straightforward - each of the characters is full of contradictions and conflicting emotions. Calla is fighter, and yet she is afraid, showing a captivating vulnerability. Shay is quirky, sweet and determined, yet he often seems fragile - a refreshing trait in a hero, and one that makes him all the more endearing. Then there's Ren, who is completely inscrutable, taking Calla and the reader for a roller coaster ride of emotion. Just when he seems like the biggest jerk, he suddenly reveals a surprisingly sensitive side that will leave readers reeling. Even the supporting characters jump off the page, especially those in the Nightshade pack. Ansel is the most adorable little brother in the world, while Bryn's loyalty and Mason's playful smugness stand out in turn. Nightshade is a very insightful story, taking society's problems and magnifying them a hundredfold in order to examine them more closely. This stunning debut novel will capture readers' imaginations, leaving them eager to discover what dark revelations lie around the next bend. It's impossible not to fall headfirst into this uncanny world and be swept away by the churning current of mystery and suspense.


Click here to preorder Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this novel via We Love YA! Tours. This did not affect my review in any way.

Tomorrow: Don't miss my author interview with Andrea Cremer!

This novel is part of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge and the Fall Into Fantasy blog event!


yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Thanks for this interview! I have been following Andrea's interviews and I'm looking forward to this book!
Thnks for hosting this!

Ekta said...

Great review! You have such a way with words. You've reviewed this book perfectly! And I totally agree with you; the plot, characters, setting and the whole world in general was very well created and it had me hooked from the first chapter!

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Thank you both so much!

yllektra - I hope you enjoy Nightshade!

Ekta - I'm glad you thought I captured it well! The sequel seems too far awayyy!!

danya said...

Really fantastic review Casey! I had no idea there was any kind of dystopian/societal slant to this one - intriguing.

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Thanks, Danya! I wasn't expecting it either, but in the end it's what really made me fall in love with this novel! =)

Cherry said...

...will have to get my hands on this this book somehow!!

Diana said...

Great review, great cover, great story. Everything is great!!!

JellyBear7 said...

I have read several of reviews on Nightshade, I have to say this is the best one I have read yet! Great review and blog.

nfmgirl said...

Interesting premise! I have this one waiting on my TBR shelf.

Anonymous said...

The cover would be enough to make me wanna buy it. Add to this all the great comments I've seen around the blogosphere! Also in my TBR shelf ;)


Vivien said...

I fell for Ren hardcore in this book. Plus the construction of the book itself with the deckled pages is phenomenal.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

This is sitting in my TBR Pile can't wait to get to it!


Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

Although I did not like Nightshade, Wonderful Review!

Syki said...

I don't like wolf stories... BUT... this one was really good. It was hot! No, Ren IS incredibly HOT! I still don't get (and don't like) that Calla choose Shay -.- Definitely TEAM REN!

Jennifer said...

I do like wolf series and have read so much about this one (and the sequel). This book is definitely on my to read list!

Sounds like it will be right up my alley. Thanks for taking the time to review it.

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