I started reading Nightshade with high expectations, because there were so many positive reviews about it, and they weren't disappointed, rather exceeded.
Nightshade is located in the fantasy genre, it combines elements of our human world with otherworldly experiences and elements of the animal kingdom. As many other werewolf novels before, Cremer achieved to create a unique picture of a new werewolf world. But as I noticed in no other novel before, she gifted humans with animal-like gestures and wolves with human feelings. The wolf-like gestures Cremer describes appear so natural, she must have been living with a pack of wolves studying their every movement to create such a coherent picture.
The transition between human and wolf form of our heroine Calla and her pack mates is always fluid and there are no abrupt breaks of change or for example loss of memory. I like the fact that Cremer's werewolves get the chance to control both forms and connect emotions, memories, mimics and gestures with both of them to extend their personalities to their fullest.
Her characters are comparable to no other. Our heroine Calla is strong and fearless in war, an alpha, but when it comes to love and controlling her heart she is totally lost in a maelstrom of feelings. Her heart is torn between desire and duty, between Shay and Ren, a human boy and her destined male alpha. Shay and Ren are characters just as strong as Calla regarding my affections.
Nightshade is the first novel that doesn't let me fall for the forbidden but appropriate love couple, the boy who I don't expect getting the girl!
Other novels know how to direct my attention at the "right" hero, the one who always gets the girl and doesn't break my heart by being abandoned. That Ren totally got me just shows the talent of Cremer to create powerful and tempting characters. I will hope till the last page for Ren and Calla, and even if their relationship doesn't work, there will always be a place in my heart for Ren, sexy and more than selfaware on the outside, but vulnerable and insecure at heart.
Cremer created a love triangle I am more than interested in, but she also involves sub plots that are no less thrilling and important for the course of the story. In the end of Nightshade I care about every single character, who are all so varied and well-thought-out.
Furthermore she applies a writing style, that is one of the best I've got to experience so far. She has a good feel for syntax and choice of words, the right sense for plot arrangements, just as my favourite author would be capable of.
This novel is a mixture of romance combined with a love triangle, supported by slightly erotic but esthetic elements, which make it a very seductive and exciting read!
Nightshade surprised me like no other novel before by applying a major plot point, change in nature and character so early. As Nightshade is just the first novel in a trilogy I would have expected this certain plot point being part of the third novel. Then after a moment of confusion I really appreciated the idea of involving aforesaid surprising event in Nightshade, because it makes me think of the huge events and surprises Cremer has planned for the next two instalments and makes me giddy. I can't wait for Wolfsbane to come out!
Cremer opened the gates to a new realm of werewolf novel that keeps your heart hammering against your rip cage, your mind busy with the magic of Nightshade and your body in the arms of your favourite alpha.
Although it stands out due to a high complexity in word, characters and world, Nightshade can be easily described by a single word: perfect!
I was so happy about receiving a shiny Nightshade proof copy, it was my very first ARC that was sent to me after a request. There couldn't have been any better novel to be my first ARC!
Nightshade overwhelmed me, it played with me, gave me room, took it away again and left me breathless after numerous chapters, especially the last one.
It immediately became one of my favourite books of 2010, and I know it is on top of many other 2010 Best Books blogger lists, which is a really great achievement for a debut author, but Andrea Cremer deserves each single praise! I highly recommend reading this novel, it is one of 2010's great and will always be granted a place in my all time favourites.show more
by David Whitehouse