I’ve read a few vampire novels, and of course my natural progression was to find a werewolf book, and then voila, I found Nightshade. At first, I was under the belief that it would purely be a werewolf novel, no other paranormals in sight. I was wrong, but that wasn’t a problem. It made for a more interesting novel.
Now, what really gets to me is how we are told that the ‘Searchers’ are the bad guys, but we don’t know why. It’s just what we’re told, and for some reason our MC, Calla, is trained to kill them. I suppose on some level it makes sense as this is all Calla knows. She’s been brought up never to question her masters, the Keepers, of which Lumine Nightshade is her main mistress. The packs are named after their head Keeper, thus the Banes are named after Efron Bane, and the Nightshades after Lumine Nightshade. I wish this had been explained earlier.
It is also never really explained why the Searchers and the Keepers hate each other, except for the fact that the Keepers pretty much behave like iron-fisted dictators. Not to mention that they hunt the Searchers to kill. Well, not personally of course. That’s what the Guardians (the werewolves) are there for. By now you are probably wondering what the Keepers and Searchers actually are. At the beginning of the novel, Calla’s ‘school mates’ are divided into three major categories: Guardians, Keepers and humans. This hints that the Keepers are not human, unfortunately it takes forever for Calla to actually spell it out to the reader that they are WITCHES! Would telling us this nearer to the beginning of the book have been so painful? Just wondering.
But why would a werewolf have a master? Surely it goes against the instincts of an alpha to take orders. This was mentioned in another blog I read, and if I’m honest, I hadn’t thought about it too much up until then. I’ve come to realise that if I question things too much in a YA book, I won’t enjoy myself as much because I’ll be too absorbed in the impossibility of such a situation. So naturally, when I was told that Guardians had to be submissive to their masters, I was like ‘OK’. Now I’m thinking ‘Why didn’t Ren totally bite Efron Bane’s head off?’, considering the way he treats Sabine.
So I’ve already covered aspects of this, so this paragraph won’t be long. Cremer has added quite a few interesting characters in her novel. I quite liked Calla’s younger brother Ansel. I know right? Ansel? I thought he was a girl! Cremer doesn’t seem to do ‘normal’ names. Another example is Dax. I’m sorry Cremer but Dax is the stuff that my dad and I used to use in our hair. It kept my hair nice and shiny, thanks to the sheen stuff and it kept it oiled (which with Afro hair is very important! My hair is forever getting dry and breaking!).
Enough mockery now. I generally liked the characters and I enjoyed the dynamic between the Banes and Nightshades. Their interactions were fascinating, and I was forever wondering when someone would do or say something bad enough to cause a fight. Let’s face it- they’re ANIMALS!
Now here’s for the important part:
A capable and strong warrior, Calla Tor should be everything you look for in a main female character. She is loyal to her packmates, she can hold her own in a fight and from time to time she can even control her infatuation with bad boy Ren. I like that she’s a tom-boy. One of the quotes that comes to mind when referring to make-up is: