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?
Nightshade is a 2010 debut novel that I have heard lots of great things about, so needless to say I was really excited to read it! (Or actually listen to it, since I borrowed is as an audio book). While the story didn't blow my mind, I rather enjoyed it.
Calla is a guardian - half human and half wolf - destined to protect sacred sites from Searchers (the enemy). Calla and the other werewolves are watched over by Watchers, humans who make sure the wolves are doing their job.
Calla had never thought about her lack of freedom or free will, not until she met the human Shay, who made her question everything she had been told since childhood.
Torn between the things Shay tell her, and the things she has known since childhood, and mostly torn between Shay - the human, and Ren - the alpha male she is destined to mate, Calla is more confused than ever. But know is not the time to be confused, not when her mating with Ren is only weeks away...
I thought the wolf aspects of the book was alright, and Cremer was brave not to make the guardians too human. There are in fact several scenes when Calla is in true wolf form and hunts down animals, only to devour their still warm blood and flesh afterwards.
The love triangle between Calla, Shay and Ren felt realistic as well. Calla instantly connected with Shay, and mostly saw Ren as a to-be mate - she didn't love him but she accepted him.
Yet, Calla defended Ren with hands and teeth when she talked with Shay, and when she talked with Ren she defended Shay, she just couldn't seem to make up her mind! I found it quite irritating, to tell you the truth. Calla wasn't my favorite character in the book.
I actually didn't like Shay very much either, he was too stubborn and selfish, and didn't think about how his actions would affect not only Calla, but her whole community.
Ren, on the other hand, was interesting! He was funny, kind and had great alpha qualities. While he sometimes came across as brutal, you could tell that he really cared about Calla. So definitely Team Ren here!
Another favorite character of mine was Calla's younger brother, Ansel. He was so funny and loved to tease Calla, and I found it so sweet when he got together with another pack member!
Overall, an enjoyable read. But the inside of the book isn't as beautiful as its cover!
Rating: 3.75 of 5