I devoured “Nightshade” and “Wolfsbane” by Andrea Cremer over a period of 48 hours and they were delicious. Seriously, these books are worth staying up late for.. and that’s a big sacrifice considering I have a toddler who thinks 5:30AM is a wonderful time to be awake. What makes them so great? Well let’s review Michelle’s paranormal/fantasy YA romance checklist and talk about it, shall we?
- Strong female heroine - CHECK. Calla is KICK ASS. She not only possesses some awesome powers and skills from being able to transform into a wolf, but she’s a strong willed person. The events of this book rock her safe little world and she has to deal with emotions she hasn’t really experienced. I loved seeing Calla discover her own vulnerability and the injustices in her world’s society. I look forward to seeing her grow more from these experiences in the third book.
- Love triangle (and not one of those “wimpy maybe I sorta like this guy, but this guy is clearly the winner despite guy #2”) - CHECK and it is angst-i-licious. Yes, so much that I had to make up a word for it.
- Creative Paranormal/Fantasy elements - CHECK! I love the world within our world that Ms. Cremer has created.
- Good writing - again, CHECK-A-ROONY. Ms. Cremer’s writing is exciting and fluid. I didn’t ever feel the need to stop because of some bad phrasing or ridiculous situation. She does a great job at foreshadowing without frustrating the reader (a problem I’ve run into a lot recently in YA paranormal books) and she didn’t do any crazy deus ex machina stuff to rush through explanations. She was able to maintain an element of suspense throughout while giving the reader little bursts of knowledge. Well done, Ms. Cremer.
- Great action sequences and suspense - I know I already mentioned this when I discussed the writing, but wow. Ms. Cremer got my heart pounding during some of these big action sequences.
I was provided with an ARC of "Wolfsbane" by the publisher at the ALA Midwinter Conference. "Nightshade" is already available and "Wolfsbane" will be released in July of this year. It is published by Philomel (Penguin). Go to your local bookstore or library and pick up a copy of Nightshade today.