Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade

TITLE: Nightshade
Book 1 in the Nightshade series
AUTHOR: Andrea Cremer
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: werewolves, urban fantasy, romance
PREMISE: Calla is a alpha wolf bound to marry Ren but then she meets Shay...
MY REVIEW: This book is a perfect example of why I don't buy into hyped books. When it came out everyone and their mother was gushing over it so I was curious but hesitant because the plot sounded like pretty much every other YA romance fantasy book out there. Turns out I was right to be hesitant because this is basically pretty much more of what is already out there. It's not completely hopeless because I did find some of the world stuff interesting (a little off-putting but interesting) and for the first few chapters I did like Calla. For the first few chapters. The writing is also passable but could use some polishing.
The biggest problem about this book for me is that it's honestly just more of the same old that we've been seeing and not terribly original at all. Love triangle? Check. Stereotyped characters? Check. Girl confused about what she wants? Check. This book is seriously nothing new. The second issue I had with it was Calla herself. At first she was kind of awesome. I love the idea of alpha female wolves. I dug that and related to how she hated to wear dresses. Bur then suddenly it felt like she was Alpha in name only. Because what happens when males show up? She defers to them. That includes Shay the guy who told her to fight for her independance (but then quickly had no problem bossing her around when he became a guardian) and when the guys are gone the pack that she's supposingly in charge of doesn't really listen to her so how is she an alpha exactly? Because from where I'm sitting she's not. It doesn't help that about 80 percent of this overly long book (of which about 50 percent of it could have been cut with no problem, seriously writers: EDIT) is Calla fretting over whether she should go with Ren or Shay both of whom she kisses and flirts with at the same time. Not cool.
Then there's the pack. I have so many issues with the pack politics in this it is not funny. First off the way they treat women reeks of sexism but the women are okay with it and go along with it. Hell, Calla doesn't even see anything wrong with it till Shay points it out to her! What? Feminism never happened here? Then there's the way the Keepers treat the Guardians. Basically, they treat them like slaves and THESE ARE THE GOOD GUYS. I'm sorry I'm supposed to root for good guys who keep slaves (and those slaves never protest?)? I'm sorry, but NO. On top of this, none of these characters are compelling in any way, they all are two-dimensional stereotypes.
The writer did try, I'll give her that and I am keeping in mind that this is her first book. But still, from all the praise heaped on this book I expected a much better book then THIS. Younger Twilight fans will probably eat this book up. But everyone else? This book is pretty much a waist of your time.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tweens, Twilight fans
MY RATING: Two out of Five flowers

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