Hardcover, 454 pages
Released: October 19, 2010
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
My Rating: 5 / 5
Having been all paranormaled out this year, I was hesitant to read Nightshade, but with rave reviews I had to see for myself...and yes, it lived up to the hype. I'd have to say I was taken in from page one, with my love for the book ranking right up there with Vampire Academy! There was so much to love about Nightshade: wolves (my soft spot) and pack interaction, the ultra-sexy love triangle, the lore and magic.
I adore character-driven plots and this one was a fun ride. Calla has never questioned her life, she is part of a pack, a soon to be alpha and knows her role. But the moment she saves a hiker being attacked, her life changes. Shay, whom she meets later, turns her life upside down and opens her eyes to another world of possibilities. I loved the internal struggle: should she keep living the life she has only ever known & follow her destiny OR can she become her own person & make her own choices? Calla isn't the only one trying to figure out who she is, so is Shay, a human who is thrown into the picture thanks to his Uncle who unbeknownst to him, is high up in the ranks. Andrea plays with the reader, giving Calla two great guys to chose from, albeit quite different. The Ren (her chosen Alpha mate) vs. Shay dilemma is still a toss up for me. Andrea also goes out of her way to ensure, although alpha, Ren has many layers to him which is a huge plus in my books. Shay, well he just seems dreamy & innocent (though I am waiting for the curve ball in book two!).
The lore...wow, I can't wait to learn more! Do the Keepers use the Guardians for good OR are the Searchers really the good guys? What exactly are they guarding? As you can see I am pulled in hoook, line and sinker. Although left with many questions, I didn't feel let down at the cliffhanger ending, just eager to continue what I hope to be a long series :) I'm adding this one to my top 10 list of 2010!