I have never been a fan of wolves, but I absolutely adored Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and when I stumbled upon this series on Goodreads, I was interested. Then I found it on sale on The Book Depository and for 3-4€ I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and purchased the first two books immediately. I’m so beyond glad I did, because Nightshade was surprisingly great and original! “The relationship of a girl and her favorite novel can be complex indeed.”
The society of the Guardians (wolves) and the Keepers (witches) and the complexity of it all are thrilling and different. Calla is an alpha of a young Nightshade pack of 5 wolves, including her, and even though she goes to high school, she’s about to be united with another young alpha from Bane's pack – Ren. She is scared a little, but she knows that this is the right thing to do and it is the only way to provide the safety of everyone. Until she disobeys her masters and saves a human boy by revealing her true nature to him. From there, the secrets Calla must keep just keep on coming.
The plot moved on really quickly and yeah, I guessed a few things beforehand, but it didn’t bother me. I found the world building and the layered characters way more important. It was a nice change to see a girl being the predator and telling the story rather than having her be an easy pray to her love interest. Being in Calla’s head was entertaining. Some of her decisions made me roll my eyes, though, but I guess none of us are perfect. I enjoyed learning about the packs' history and about the relationship of the Guardians and the Keepers, discovering it with Calla was more than a thrilling experience.
Then we have the infamous love triangle. There are so many books with love triangles, but Andrea Cremer did a fantastic job in showing us the pros and cons of both of the lads and I get why Calla was so torn between Ren and Shay. However, Shay was a bit dull for my taste and he was so annoyingly good and perfect that even though I’m certain that I know the final outcome, I’m still kind of team Ren. He is such a strong individual and perfect to lead a pack of young reckless wolves, but he is vulnerable and tender when it comes to Calla. I think Wolfsbane will change my mind, but for now it’s definitely team Ren for me. Go underdogs! Wohoo!! “Ren watched us as he leaned casually against the table, holding a pair of scissors. I'd never seen a classroom tool look so dangerous.”
I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely read the prequel series as well. It was completely different from what I expected, but since I didn't expect to like it as much, I was pleasantly surprised. This book was enough for me to get interested in this world and these characters, who practically made the story, and I don’t regret the time I spent reading about this fascinating, action packed, captivating and twisted world Ms. Cremer has created. I can’t wait to read Wolfsbane. Recommend to all smexy paranormal YA lovers!
More of my reviews can be found on my blog