PJ’s QUICKIE POV:
You know how I’m always complaining about the male teenagers in YA always acting abnormally? That they don’t behave like normal teenage boys, specifically in real life? Well, I finally found a novel that I think laid it out on the table pretty well. Now, I’m just trying to process if I liked this way better than the typical YA superhero hero. NIGHTSHADE was a different take on the werewolf pack and on the YA male hero. Cremer had such original ideas to an old tale that I actually found myself delighted to read more and more as the back-story was revealed. It was highly original and very interesting. I can’t wait to read book 2 and find out more about these new kind of shifters (Guardians) and how they came into this world.
Calla Tor is a Guardian. She can shift into a wolf by magic and it is her legacy that she must protect the Keepers, the ones that protect the world. Because she is fated with this task there are a few things required of her as Alpha. She must be mated to whom the keepers choose for her and act accordingly, following the Keeper’s rules to the letter. Any straying from the path will lead to her death. Calla has accepted this. Their legacy is a great one. The Keeper’s care for them, provide them with housing, all the finest things and schooling. They ask very little of them just to guard them and mate with who the Keepers think would make the strongest offspring. Ren Laroche is whom the Keepers have chosen for her. They will form a new pack together. They will be great together. Or so she hopes.
Calla has never questioned her duties much. She knows what is expected of her. She might not like the fact that she will be mated when she is only 18, but she knows there is nothing she can do about it. She might even extend a little bit of extra effort when it comes to Ren, because he does seem to be trying lately. He’s stopped dating (probably because he’s been through everyone at their school) and he’s actually showing a very strong interest in Calla. This could be good, she is attracted to Ren, but how could she not, he’s an Alpha.
But, then a new boy comes to their school. Transfers are unheard of because the Keepers keep tabs on their town and the school. Who is this new boy and what does it mean that his Uncle is an important Keeper but he is human? When tasked with the mission to guard Shay after an attack in town, Calla feels inescpilcably drawn to him and becuase of this begins questioning the life that she thought she had figured out.
Finally teen boys acting like teen boys — meaning they acted like two horn dogs chasing after a female in heat. Typical teen boy behavior, but while they were behaving in this way, good choices and respectable behavior would shine through. I thought out of everything this is what Cremer did best in NIGHTSHADE. The second best was the originality of the Guardians, I thought it was one of the most unique takes on the werewolf that I have read so far. Cremer did a wonderful job of weaving the story together and giving the reader bits and pieces to chew on as more and more was revealed. This is a definite must read for Shifter fans.
Recommended for fans of the Twilight series and those that would like to expand on the wolves a bit more. This is recommended for more mature teens there is violence and some sexual interaction that might not be suitable for younger teens.
411 on the series: