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?I'll have to say that this is a fun anxious ride that Andrea Cremer invented. I did get into the characters and the world she created. Of course, I also loved that it was set in CO. My only complaint with the setting is that it is stated that grizzles are extinct in CO. Not so. Rare, yes. Not extinct. Okay, got that off my chest... now onto the rest of the review.
As the story progresses we get to know Calla who is alpha of her teen group of Nightshade guardians (read: werewolves). We also get to know Ren, her intended, and also her "counter" alpha of the Bane guardians. These two have been promised to each other since birth with the idea of forming a new guardian group. Calla is certain of her future until Shay shows up in her life. She begins to question everything she has been taught. Not just through Shay, but through the actions of the "keepers" (read: masters).
Hmm... okay, I'll just say it. I did not like Shay. Don't throw things at me. I didn't say I hated him, but I couldn't see Calla falling so easily for him and I found him quite arrogant. To explain further I may spoil a few things, but no, I did not root for her to get together with Shay. I was rooting for Ren. Now, granted Calla had pertinent questions as to why he may not be the one for her. She was correct for questioning, but I felt since she was not mature enough to find out these answers, then she was not yet mature enough to find her one true love... just yet. I will say this. I did like the fact that both had good and bad qualities for Calla to consider. I just don't feel that she put these qualities in a real light for consideration of either character. However, I do admit, I warmed a bit to Shay at the end even if I still don't think (as of yet) he is the one for her. I may change my mind in the sequel. *shrugs*
I give this book 4 stars and I am curious as to what is in store for them in the sequel, Wolfsbane (July 2011). I do recommend this book as long as no one is planning on throwing things at me if they prefer Shay over Ren. ;)
I received this ARC from Penguin/Philomel and was not compensated for my review.
Oh, and as a bonus, if you go to the Amazon site you can download the prequel in PDF format. The direct link is HERE. I have to say I really enjoyed the prequel. It is a bit of a mystery that was solved on the Facebook page. I also suspect that it holds a few clues to what will be uncovered in the next book. Some of the people who helped solve this puzzle on Facebook have also been included in the short novella. So, even if you haven't read the book, you can get this novella. I don't think it spoils anything at all.
Oh, and to see the vlogs he talks about in the novella, goto nightshadebook.com to see all of them. It's easier than going to the FB page and looking for them all.
So, what are you still doing here? Go, get the novella, get the book and have a good read. :)