Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

nightshade cover From Goodreads: 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?

Oh Andrea Cremer write me a sequel and do it now! I picked up this book at BEA when every YA reviewer I spoke to asked me if I had a copy yet. It was clear that Nightshade was set to be a huge hit for the fall and was included in Penguin’s big five promotion.

I am happy to report that Nightshade lives up to the drama. Cremer sets the reader up perfectly for a book two. I found myself really invested in Calla as a character. It has been quite a while since a YA paranormal has made me want to do anything besides brutally murder the whiny chick.

Calla is strong, and has a great sense of duty. Although it is hard for her to break traditions to do thing things she needs to do Calla is open minded enough to know she should live for herself and at least try to figure out why the Guardians are working for the Keepers.

The Keepers are magical folk that have been around since before humans existed, they help shape the world and use their magic to take care of everything in it. Calla is an alpha Guardian and it is up to her and the other packs to make sure that the Keeper’s holy lands are safe.

Calla has been promised to Ren (oh le sigh at the literary boi hotness) since they were born on Samhain. All of this is fine with Calla until Shay shows up and threatens to rock her very existence to the core. This is a book begging for the reader to pick a side. Do we choose the strong misunderstood alpha male Ren (oh yes please) or the equally strong mystery boy who has a role to play in Calla’s future as well?

Nightshade kept me guessing to the very end where Andrea Cremer leaves the reader waiting with bated breath for more! I do hope there will be a second book at BEA this year and this time I will know what I am gunning for when I make my way over to the Penguin booth.

If you enjoy L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike or, Annette Curtis Klause you will love Andrea Cremer.

FTC Disclosure: I picked up this book at a conference. I paid to ship it home. Boo to the ya.

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Review: Nightworld Series L.J. Smith Volume 1, 2, & 3

The Night World..Love has never been so dangerous.

The Night World isn’t a place. It’s all around us. The creatures of Night World are beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your Best Friend could be one-so could your crush.

The laws of Night World are very clear: humans must never learn that Night World exists. And members of Night World must never fall in love with a human. Violate the laws and the consequences are terrifying.

These are the stories about what happens when the rules get broken.

It’s probably a well known fact to people who read my blog that I am a huge L.J. Smith fan. I didn’t find her works until recently when I saw the Vampire Diaries in reprint from Harper Collins, but L.J. has fans and books spanning back across the past twenty years. The Vampire Diaries is even slated to be a television show starting this fall on the CW, so look out for that one. Also if you are a going to start reading L.J.’s work The Secret Circle books are also in reprint so it is easy to grab copies of those and The Vampire Diaries and the books we are going to be talking about today. The Night World saga.

After picking up a copy of one of the other series, I immediately became hooked to the author’s style of writing. Everything had detail and the situations and places were supernatural but seemed so real as if these events were a fantastic history not a fiction. The Night World is my favorite series from Smith. In the three volumes so far available there are three books each. So in essence nine books are out in three volumes from Simon and Simon Teen. The first volume introduces us to the Night World, what the different inhabitants are and also gears us up to learning what the soul mate principle is. As you read from the book excerpt before, Night People are supposed to stay away from humans, but yet an old power is awakening and humans are becoming the soul-mates of the most influential Night Persons. I recently interviewed L.J. and asked her some questions about the Night World series. Where the idea came from, and who her favorite Night World citizen is.

The second volume in the series, continues with the soul-mate principle. We learn a bit more about why this is happening and we learn of a group of witches called Circle Daybreak that allows humans and Nightworlders into their flock. They want to get along as one society and believe the soul-mate magic is waking up for a reason, something big is on the horizon and the whole world will be rocked.

In the most recent volume we learn that there are four wild powers that will decide the end of the earth. Will they join circle Daybreak and fight for good, or Hunter Redfern and bring about the end of the world? Well the end of humans that is. The stories in this volume are so fantastic and action packed I was shocked when each was done, thinking “that can’t be right, the book is over”. I cannot wait for the final installment so I can tear through and see what happens to the world in this apocalypse. Of course I hope Circle Daybreak finds all the wild powers before the darkness takes over.

I read a lot of teen supernatural books, more than I should probably. I realize a lot of them are fun, and give you a day off from having to think too hard. Relaxation at it’s best. It is however rare to find quality of writing, and quality of story, in these paranormal teen books (ahem Twilight for example), I would like to see the teens who are reading this genre to pick these books up and see what good quality storytelling can mean for how you feel when you lay the book back down. If you liked the Immortal Instrument Series, Twilight Saga, or even the Vampire Diaries, you will love Nightworld.

I think my favorite story of the nine so far is Ash Redfern finding his soul-mate. What is yours?

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