Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
While I really enjoyed that the book jumps right into the action, I feel that the author may take the reader for granted a little in that she expects the reader to immediately latch on for the ride. If you prefer a little bit more ease into a book, and their characters, then this may be a little shocking for you.
I love Calla's spirit. She is a true alpha, and while she tries to keep things as simple and non-confrontational as she can, events begin unfolding rapidly when Shay arrives on the scene. No one can figure out why a mere human is of such importance to their bosses, The Keepers. If I had one gripe about the first book, it would be the progression of Shay's character. You know something is important with him, but the development is very slow. The author spends a lot of time on the chemistry between he and Calla, and it's not until right until the end of the first book that you start seeing WHO he is, and how it is going to completely turn Calla's world upside down!
I have my favorites from the very beginning of this book. Calla for her strength, Shay for being the underdog, Bryn (Calla's second) for her wit, Ansel (Calla's little brother) simply for being awesome to Calla, no matter what.... Ren has a tendency to be a bit obnoxious, but it's endearing how unsure he is with Calla... There's more, but you'll need to read the book to figure out why I despise the Keepers - especially Emile and Logan.
Overall, I'd give Nightshade a star-rating of 4.5 out of 5. It's a solid, page-turner. There's unrequited love, action, adventure, humor and decisions that you really DON'T know what the author is going to do.
About the author: Andrea Cremer grew up in Wisconsin. She has a Ph.D. in early modern history. She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, a pug, a border collie and a parakeet. Her website is www.andreacremer.com