Release Date: October 19, 2010
Penguin ~ Philomel
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?
I'm not even sure I can properly express my affection for this book in a review; I was positively surprised by how much I enjoyed Nightshade, after all the hype it's received. But after receiving an ARC of Bloodrose, I knew I better get into these books and fast.
So, while I know this a series lots of people talk about and gush over, if you haven't read it. Please pick up the books! Give them a chance, because this is an excellent YA series and wonderfully enjoyable.
- The narrator's voice:
Calla makes a fantastic narrator, and since she is a Guardian (shapeshifting wolf-human) everything is told from this perspective. I found this to be remarkable, as the Guardians play a rather interesting role in this world. And as the series progresses, it becomes more apparent how important this perspective is and exactly what it means for Calla and the other guardians... Ultimately, it means that Andrea succesfully weaves in some rather subtle elements in her storytelling which really propel the plot. And THAT is a sign of a talented storyteller.
- It raises important questions:
There are THEMES, guys! I get really excited when I find books that want to make you question norms or ideas often taken for granted. But I don't like them overly preachy either. Thankfully, Nightshade isn't like that at all, while still managing to bring up ideas behind love and power. There's definitely a feminist idea behind it all too, but Andrea seems to realize that it can be better to bring these topics up delicately, and let the characters sort through them on their own time, rather than pushing across a message in one book. And in this way, many of the struggles experienced by the characters are born...
- Cute guys:
I confess that sometimes I'm ashamed that this counts as one of my reasons.. because there are lots of cute guys out there, and that doesn't always mean you should read a book. But Ren and Shay are both really, really hot. And very different, and they're both clearly so much more than just love interests. I really do enjoy a book with solid romance in it, and this is one of the few books where I can say I'm actually TORN over a love triangle. I have no idea which one I'd pick, but I'll happily take whichever one Calla doesn't choose... ;)