Synopsis – 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 Thoughts – I have been yearning to yet my hands on this novel for what seems like eternity, so when I received it for review I wasted no time and dug right in! What was obvious to me from the get-go was that the novel itself was very fast paced and that it was all that it promised when praise included it to be sizzling and seductive! I really didn't realise that it was well over 400 pages until I had finished it. There really is not a dull moment throughout and you are completely hooked from the beginning. Calla is the Alpha female from the Nightshade pack whilst Ren who is promised to her is from the Bane Pack. They seem to have a love hate relationship where Ren takes pleasure in teasing her and Calla in ignoring him. What is obvious that underneath their little mind games both have genuine feelings for each other. Things change when Calla comes across human boy Shay, when doing the forbidden in saving him, she places her life on the line as well as her pack’s.
[Note from Team Atom…this one’s pretty detailed! If you don’t want to know any more about the plot you might want to wait before reading further!]
What I particularly enjoyed was that all the characters had their own story and as the reader I felt like I had gotten to know each and every one of them, some perhaps more than others. It was tough for me at times to accept Ren and Calla's attitude, in which I am relating to their pack mates, although I understand that they have a higher authority I guess I just wasn't to keen on their attitude, I can be a softy like that. Another thought that came to mind when I read more about Calla was, Choose! Seriously, I don't care if you’re an alpha pack leader that is no excuse to throw yourself at one boy then the other. I found her behaviour at times unacceptable, it was almost like at times that she didn't care that she was obviously using and hurting both in the process. Her actions when it came down to Lust were just baaaad, seriously girl control thou self and choose! LOL Now I have heard of this whole Team Ren and Shay thing for a while and I completely get it now! Is there even any competition? Shay is Sweet and everything but I really don't think there is any competition when it comes down to Ren and Shay… REN all the way; hot sarcastic, loyal, loving, sensitive what else do you want Calla dear?
The thing is, I already know who she is going to choose, I could be completely wrong but am I the only one who thinks it's obvious that she will choose Shay even though it should be Ren? Gah why do the sweet boring boys always get the girl and not the smexy bad boy? What I have to say about the author is that I admire her for bringing something new to the table, especially when it comes to this new world that she has obviously created with putting much thought and research into it. I loved the idea of the Keepers and the History that went behind it as well as the hierarchy. I have to tell the readers this though, this is not in any way an emotional or thought provoking novel in any way in case that is what you are looking for, that is not what Nightshade is about, it is full on entertainment for the readers with some intense heated *insert-wink* scenes here and there.
I think the real problems arrived when I found that I may have just preferred some of the secondary characters to Calla, I mean that can never be a good thing under any circumstance in my opinion. However I am pleased to say that there were not any characters that fall into the background which is rare so I commend her on giving each of her characters a voice. Each had their chance to shine but somewhere along the line Calla may have just been left to the side, if there was a little more effort put into making Calla likable like Ren, who may have not have acted in the gentlemanly of ways at times but was found redeemable and even likable towards the end, I would have rated the book much higher. Ansel, Calla's brother and Callas second in command Bryn really shined and made the story in my opinion what it is.
I am actually stumped on this one, it was completely and utterly addictive but Shay if I'm honest I found slightly bland, whilst Ren did aggravate me at times due to the way he treated Calla, I couldn't stay angry at him for to long, he seemed larger than life compared to Shay, there was this sensitivity and vulnerability that you may notice about Ren if you look deep enough and that drew me to him and I still believe that there is much more to Ren which will be discovered in Wolfsbane. Calla, although I did try to like her, I found due to her thoughtless actions I simply couldn't connect with her.
I will finish of with letting you all know that Nightshade is definitely one of the most entertaining and enthralling books I have read this year, don't let my thoughts sway you from at least giving it a chance because without a doubt it is a book that you should give a go, you might find that you will enjoy it more of you don't think too much into it when reading it. I found the flaws that I did literally as I wrote this review. An overall enjoyable read that will leave you hungry for the next, despite my conflicted thoughts I am more than eager to get my hands on Wolfsbane, I want it now!
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