By Andrea Cremer
October 19, 2010
Philomel, 528 pages
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.
But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything—including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
— Amazon.com description
After we both read and devoured this book last weekend, Tara from Fiction Folio and I made the actually quite long drive from downtown Chicago in rush-hour traffic to suburban Naperville to meet Andrea Cremer at Anderson's Bookshop. It was the first signing for both of us—and the first time we met in real life—and we couldn't have had a better experience!
Andrea was such a sweetheart, and I loved hearing her describe her experience of deciding to throw caution to the wind and start writing seriously at age 30. Now's the best time to follow your dream, right? It's obviously paid off—her debut novel, Nightshade, was quickly published is now on the New York Times best-seller list!
What struck me most about the book was the well-developed history of the Nightshade and Bane wolf packs. Which isn't surprising, because when she's not writing, Andrea is a history prof at a college in Minnesota. She's crafted an extremely thought-out world, and the book answered all of my questions about her Nightshade reality as soon as I thought of them. Nice!
There seems to be a big debate in between this books' readers: Team Shay or Team Ren? Not for me. Andrea, Tara and I all said we're firmly on the same team: Team Calla!
I'm always torn in books with love triangles, but not this time. Both guys were equally realistic: They both have their pros and cons. Which is great because, really, how often in real life are things so cut and dry? Especially when you are a teenager. Besides, Calla's got to spend some time figuring her own crap out before she opens herself up to either of these über-controlling guys.
Thankfully, there's plenty of time for her to do so! A sequel, Wolfsbane, will be published in July 2011, and a third book, Bloodrose is coming out in spring 2012. In fall 2012, she'll publish a prequel that delves into the history that started it all.
Bonus reason to be on Team Calla: Andrea said I look like her!
Andrea signed a copy of Nightshade while I was there. Fill out the form below by 12 a.m. CST on Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving!), to win this signed copy. U.S. residents only. The winner will be selected using Random.org. Thanks, Andrea!
Please click here to read about my contest policies. Also...it's not an ARC, it's a hardcover version, but I'm an idiot and cannot get this title to update. :)