Nightshade by Andrea R. Cremer

Calla Tor has always known her destiny. She is an alpha werewolf of the Nightshade Pack and is to be mated with Ren Laroche, the male alpha werewolf of the Bane Pack. The plans for their impending union, designed to create a new pack, are upset by the arrival of Shay, a human, when Calla impulsively saves him during a night on patrol. With this one simple decision, Calla has changed everything. Her fascination and attraction to Shay will cost her everything that she has held so dear-including her own life.

Nightshade may sound like an ordinary paranormal romance with a forbidden love story, however, its supreme world building, mythology, and intrigue sets this book apart.   There is a hierarchy and social class structure in Calla’s world. Guardians, what we call werewolves, are created by magical creatures (who, in my opinion, are very similar to witches and warlocks) called the Keepers. The sole purpose of the Guardian’s role is to serve and protect the Keepers against their enemy, the Searchers. Humans are the lowest class and not given any importance, which is why Calla’s disobedience in saving Shay is so striking. In addition to the social structure of Calla’s world, we also learn about the customs and traditions of the pack. It is through her increasing fascination with Shay and his challenges to her traditions that catalyzes Calla’s rebellious attitude. From the werewolf books that I have read, this mythology of magic and power is refreshing and intriguing.

Calla is a strong heroine that I’m sure many will like and her love interests, Shay and Ren, are equally well developed and fascinating. Cremer does a great job in describing the individuals that make up the two wolf packs. I loved watching them interact with one another and how they responded to their alpha’s call. Don’t miss out on this well written paranormal romance!

Availability: Nightshade is available through My Media Mall.

Read alikes: Wolfsbane (NightShade #2; available in 2011) by Andrea Cremer, Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Dark Divine by Bree Despain, or Matched by Ally Condie

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