Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade, #1
Synopsis (goodreads): Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
ReviewThis book has been sitting on my bookshelf for months and months. I honestly don't know why it took me so long to pick it up and start reading it, but I'm so glad that I did. From the very first sentence, I was hooked: "I'd always welcomed war, but in battle my passion rose unbidden."
Calla Tor is a Guardian, a shape-shifting werewolf who protects the Keepers, who gives her orders. She is the alpha female in the Nightshade pack, where she has to keep her friends and brother in line. She was born to fulfill the destiny of the Keepers who want to create a third and new wolf pack by mating her with the Bane pack's alpha male, Renier "Ren" Laroche. Those wolves under Ren and Calla in the two packs will be part of the knew one. I will admit, that at first I didn't quite understand the dynamics of the relationship between the Guardians and Keepers, so I will attempt to explain it as best I can. The Keepers are basically witches/wizards. They can wield magic, and will do so to keep the Guardians in line. They enforce very strict rules on the Guardians, rules that if are broken will lead to death. The Guardians believe in the sacredness of their duty, which is protect the Keepers from the Searchers who plot to take over the world and use magic wrongfully against the humans. It's what Calla believes in and will even kill to make sure that her family, pack, and Keepers are safe.
At the beginning of the book, Calla is on patrol with her best friend and second in command (beta) Bryn. She comes upon a scene where a boy is badly wounded and about to be mauled to death by a bear, and without a second thought she saves the boy, giving him her blood so that he will heal from his wounds. She saves him, thinking she will never see the boy again; that he will go on believing that the attack, her shifting from a wolf to a girl and healing him with her blood was all the dream.
But then he shows up at her school, and after seeing her again, he realizes that it wasn't a dream at all. Calla is shaken, knowing that if the Keepers were to find out that she had saved this boy, she would be executed. But this boy isn't just any boy. He is Seamus "Shay" Doran, the nephew of a very important Keeper and he doesn't cower away from the wolves like the rest of the human students at the Mountain School do. In fact, he's fascinated by them and defiant against the rules. Calla suddenly finds herself very attracted to this mystery boy who has a knack for rule-breaking, but she's promised to another, and being the alpha female she can't be touched by a boy before the union. She must be pure, which includes not even kissing another. Calla struggles to keep her emotions and desires in check, between the alluring, mysterious Shay and the teasing, sexy Ren.
After spending time with Shay, they discover secrets about who Shay really is, the Keepers and Guardian's past, secrets that could change everything. Calla begins to question everything she's ever known and if being mated with Ren is really what she wants. Could she possibly have a choice?
This book was mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down. There's so much action, sexual tension, and malice. Every page I was itching for her to kiss either Ren or Shay. The emotions and desires were so hard for her to keep under control. I had a hard time figuring out which boy I liked better, but in the end my allegiance lied with Shay. There were times while reading this, that I'm sure my heart stopped or skipped a beat. Andrea did an amazing job at creating intriguing characters and a world so enticing that you just want to jump into the pages, and sometimes you wanted it just so you could punch the crap out of one of the guys. At one point in the book, one of the male wolves mentioned that they were all "animals", girls included, and I would have to agree with him. They are all animals, every one. Their instincts were very animalistic, whether that be in anger or sexual endeavors. Tensions ran high for all of them. And it was especially hard for Calla, because she was the alpha female who was supposed to be pure for the union, yet Ren's sexual behavior could be excused because he was a male and it's their "instinct". It was quite infuriating at times. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves reading about werewolves, romance, love triangles, and defying the rules to do what you think is right. Such a wonderful beginning for what I'm sure will continue to be an amazing series.
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