Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

This was another of the Penguin YA advanced readers books I got back in August. Wasn't sure if I'd like it. The cover is a little freaky for my taste. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover, but be honest, it's hard not to just a little. Anyway, this is another new take on werewolves and love triangles. Once I got into it, I really wanted to keep reading and finish it. Our main character is Calla. She is the alpha wolf of her pack, the nightshades. Since she was a baby she has been promised to marry Renier, the alpha male of another pack, the Wolfbanes. The plan is to combine the two packs into one in order to create a new young pack. In this case, the werewolves are guardians for the Keepers. They protect sacred sites from the Searchers.

The book begins with Calla saving a hiker from a grizzly bear. Something she shouldn't do. She even changes from a wolf to human form to save his life by giving him her blood. Now you might think this is how to create a new werewolf, but it is actually only part of it. They also have some incantation they must recite at the same time, so no, the hiker isn't changed. However, he soon shows up at the private school, in Vail, where Calla and Ren go to school. Turns out, his name is Shay, and he is the nephew of a big wig in the Keepers. And his uncle asks the young wolves to keep an eye out for him. Shay of course remembers what happened to him with Calla. And is intrigued by her. He also knows there are mysterious things going on in this school/town, and sets out to find out what is going on.

Calla is also intrigued by Shay. But one thing we can't tell for sure from this book is if she loves both Shay and Ren. It seems that she cares for both. And while she does tell Shay she loves him, she doesn't say it to Ren, but from her reactions to Ren's advances, it would seem she is interested in some way.

The end is quite a cliffhanger. It seems, as always, that the Keepers aren't quite the good guys that Calla was brought up to believe. And not only does it leave off at a cliff hanger, leading me to believe there is a sequel, when I typed the name in on, there were sequels already listed, more than one. The fact that there are already this many planned sequels, makes me feel like I should give up my writing aspirations. I have story ideas in my head, but not enough to even finish or flesh out the story for one book, let alone a series. I guess I figure there are so many good authors out there, why should I bother throwing my crap out to be judged and rejected? So, currently debating whether to go ahead and do NaNoWriMo and write my stories just for me, like Stephenie Meyer said she does, instead of thinking what will be an actual published book. Or, to not waste my time. Thinking I'll have so much going on this November with my new online teaching job, that it might be a good idea not to worry about it this year.

Anyway, the book was good, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, which who knows how long till that comes out, because this is an advance readers copy of a book that doesn't come out till October.