Reviews for Nightshade

Booklist Reviews 2010 August #1
Werewolves Ren and Callaâ€"the young alpha male and female of two carefully controlled packsâ€"are constantly sparring yet clearly attracted to each other. The plans for their impending union, designed to create a new pack, are upset by the arrival of Shay, a human man, and Calla risks her own safety and the future of her new pack by falling both in love and lust with him. Cremer’s thriller is less overtly romantic than Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series and has minimal character development, but that’s not what will keep readers turning the many pages of this quick read. Though some of the myriad twists and turns are predictable, there’s enough action to engage any reluctant reader. The unresolved ending promises a sequel, and Cremer’s multitiered society of nonhuman creatures with intriguing powers has plenty of room to explore. Her descriptions of werewolves in their wolf state are strongly rooted in their love of nature and the joy of physical strength and freedom, and will no doubt have teens debating the relative merits of werewolves versus vampires. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Werewolf Calla defies her pack by saving human Shay from death. Despite Calla's betrothal to another pack's alpha, she falls in love with Shay. Their forbidden relationship becomes even more dangerous when the two uncover the secret history of the Keepers, the werewolves' magic-wielding masters. Intricate dynamics of pack membership, friendship, and romance strengthen this fantasy's intriguing mythos. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1

Teenage werewolves dominate an exclusive high school in Vail, Colo., in this supernatural thriller. Something else dominates the werewolves. Calla, the alpha female of the Nightshade pack, is scheduled to mate with Ren, the alpha male of the Bane pack. She develops divided loyalties, however, when Shay, a human she's assigned to protect, begins to fascinate her... This may be sounding familiar, and also recognizable is the novel's sexual tension: The mere touch of either Ren or Shay can drive Calla to uncontrollable, ultimate bliss, to the extent that her urges sometimes overpower the plot. The portrayal of the animal instincts and behavior of the wolf-teens rings true, however, and Cremer builds a compelling world, moving her plot forward with well-paced drive that easily holds readers' interest. On the surface, this is not much more than an imaginative B-grade paranormal-suspense story. The book's underlying themes of individualism and freedom, however, lift it to a higher level, and they will probably have a chance to play out in a sequel--one readers won't have to feel too guilty about looking forward to. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #1

Cremer's debut brings mystery and passion to a journey of self-determination. Calla was raised chaste and pure, destined to unite with high school heartbreaker Ren on their 18th birthday and become the alphas of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She has never questioned the authority the powerful Keepers hold over her kind until she encounters a human hiker and breaks the rules to save his life. Shay was almost convinced the wolf-girl who rescued him was a dream until he meets her at his new school. Pursuing his attraction to Calla, Shay also wants to know what the Keepers are protecting and why he seems to be linked to a prophecy. Drawn to both Ren and Shay, Calla is torn: fulfill the role she was born to and deny herself freedom of choice, or choose her own path and abandon everything and everyone she knows? Good and evil are simply portrayed as Calla sheds her naïvet and learns to see past her expectations. Cremer creates a sense of urgency as the pace accelerates, though the well-constructed plot carries readers along to a cliffhanger. Ages 14-up. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 December

Gr 10 Up--Calla Tor is the alpha female of her werewolf pack and is destined to wed the alpha male, Ren Laroche. While in the woods, she spares the life of Shay, the new boy at school whom she just can't resist, and this act violates the laws of the Keepers. This may all seem familiar but what makes Nightshade new and refreshing is that the packs are ruled by the Keepers, who appear to be witches. Cremer has added a bit of superstition and the science of witchcraft that readers will find intriguing. However, they may feel that they have met these characters before even though the author has done a good job of contrasting their strong personalities with their weaknesses for temptation and stepped up the pace of the action. The segregation of the humans versus the werewolves might remind readers of Romeo and Juliet--or is it just a typical love triangle? Readers may find the world that is created here is more interesting than the characters. The end of the book is a cliff-hanger and interested readers will anticipate the second book, Wolfsbane. Mature scenes make this a better choice for older students.--Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

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