I am a sucker for paranormal YA (in addition to PNR/UF adult novels). Also, I have a habit of picking up books with pretty covers. This is how I stumbled upon Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series. The original cover for Nightshade (Penguin has changed the designs, but they’re still gorgeous) was purple and oh so pretteh. I devoured the book. The end was a cliffhanger that left the reader salivating for the sequel, Wolfsbane and let me tell you, Wolfsbane does not disappoint and I’m already counting down the days til the 3rd book, Bloodrose, is released.
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
I love Calla. She is an Alpha female in every sense of the word. She is stronger than I think even she realizes. Calla has just left everything she ever knew behind in an effort to save one of the guys she loves…Shay. Calla was due to marry Ren and become the Alphas of a brand new pack, however, Calla risks everything once she finds out how the wedding ceremony is to be concluded. It isn’t that she doesn’t love or even have feelings for Ren, it’s because her and Ren were set up to kill Shay and Calla, despite the consequences, couldn’t let that happen. As a result, some really bad things happen to her closest friends and family. Calla comes to learn that everything she had been taught about her world is a lie. What does she do? She takes it all in pretty good stride, determined to change her life and the lives of her friends and family.
I should note we have a love triangle staged. However, we don’t see much of Ren in this book…Ms. Cremer sets the plot up for lots more Ren (it seems) to come in Bloodrose. So, we get to see and learn more about Shay. For some reason, I’m just not a huge Shay fan. He’s a good guy, protective of Calla (who gets really annoyed at times with his protectiveness, because she’s always been an alpha wolf and does not need anyone, especially Shay…who is newly turned…to protect her) and genuinely tries to do the right thing. You can tell Shay really cares for, and likely is in love with, Calla, but I can’t quite put a finger on it, I just am not a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be friends with the guy, but the attraction, yeah, don’t get it. Shay, like Calla, has had his entire world turned upside down. He learns who is real family is and is not, as well as his role in the whole Keeper/Guardian/Searcher triad. Apparently, Shay is the key to long lasting peace.
I loved Wolfsbane . Sometimes you never know if a sequel will be as good as the first book (especially when that first is from a debut author), but Wolfsbane will not disappoint. There is so much more world building that you get a LOT of information on the whole triad and how things really are, and not what they first appeared to be. I’m still not sure who (other than Calla and her pack) to trust, as the Searchers seem just as wily as the Keepers…but they do seem to be the “good” team. As for Shay v Ren, yeah, I’ll admit I’m a Ren girl and I’m super pumped for Bloodrose in February, 2012.
Bloodrose (release Feb. 2012)