My Blood Is Singing

Review of 
by Andrea Cremer 
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 have to tell you that I’m a vampire girl. I’ve been one since I was nine, I think and werewolves hardly ever work for me. Basically because they’re made in to this mindless beast that follows pack rules until the ends of times and where the characters are just one pack and they have no self. 
So thank gods for Nightshade and Andrea Cremer, thank you for writing this book. 
Calla Tor. I think she’s the girl we all want to be. She’s tough, a warrior, trustworthy, loyal, an Alpha and beautiful without make up. While that sounds pretty perfect, she makes mistakes: she’s selfish at times and doesn’t always think before she acts. But she has a good heart, I think and tries to do the good thing. The only thing I didn’t like about her, is how she lets Ren be so posessive over her, but I guess with her society’s ideals and her upbringing, it can be forgiven. 
The best thing about Calla is, that it’s easy to follow her narration. I may not agree with it all the time, but I’m not her, so I’m not exactly supposed to. And all the mistakes she does, she fixes by trying to do the right thing. 
I love it how she works towards freedom throughout the book and how she - and Shay - try to solve all the secrets. 
Basically, there’s not a moment that I’m doubting the realness of Calla, which says something when you think of the wide variation of books out there and she seems like a person that if you were her friends, she’d be a good friend for the rest of your lives. 
Before I read Nighshade, I’d noticed the Ren vs. Shay talk and I was afraid this was going to be yet another love triangle thing. (Sorry, but with all the books with love triangles in them, it’s getting old). So, I was pleased to notice that there is none. More like rivalry between suitors, but Calla is so torn between her choice for what she has knows is right and the choice that could lead to freedom for her whole pack, there isn’t much talk about OMG, who do I love? 
Before you start throwing the tomatoes at me, here’s how I see it: There’s the guy she’s engaged to, because some people she’s not related to says so. He’s an Aplha, a nice guy, strong and not stupid. Not forgetting the good-looking thing. She’s known him for a long time, just like she’s known they’re going to be married and supposedly having kids at one time. With a future like that, you sort of have to like the guy. And Ren is a good guy and I like how he’s written. I just can’t stand the whole, “you were promised to me when we were five” -attitude, or the “I can’t wait honey, let’s just make out a littleNOW” -attitude, either. It’s the rules, wolf boy, abide. But with that society, I’m trying to let it pass. Trying, see? I want him to be happy, I do! ...But with someone else, than Calla? 
Because I absolutely adore Shay. The guy reads comic books and his idol was Indiana Jones? My kinda guy.. I like his character, the way he talks and is smart and he seems to be - for a little while - the only character that actually thinks, but yes that is because of the situation. Still, it makes me like even more. I also like how he keeps saying that what the Keepers are doing is wrong and it really hit me, when he says, 
     “You belong to yourself,” he said quietly. “And I can wait for you to figure that out.”
                                                             page 397.

I became a huge fangirl-colord puddle right there. His whole act of pursuing Calla had annoyed me little, because like Ren he hadn’t understood her responsibilities(like men never do). But in this conversation he tells her he’s giving her space, that he finally gets it. But that he’s not letting her go that easily. And I think that while Calla and Shay have less in common that Ren do, they connect more in this book. He sees her in a different way than Ren, who’s “had” her for a longer time. Also the fact that, besides a few kisses and obvious attraction, neither fall in love like SNAP. They’re not looking for love.
I’m not saying he’s perfect, by the way, I think he can be really annoying and not understanding of Calla’s world, but he has his faults too, so thumbs up. 
The characters that surround them are likable, too. There are too many to mention them all, but the great thing is, that even we may see little of them, we get this immediate picture about how they are, and most importantly, how Calla perceives them. WIthout saying we can feel the love Calla feels for her brother Ansel and best friend Bryn. We can feel the protectiveness she has towards her pack. And I think that’s soemthing that’s been missing in some werewolf stories I’ve read. It’s pack dynamics that are amazing here. THey’re obviously following an unsaid hierarchy and I love it how they interact. 
I have to mention Ansel and Bryn, Mason and Neville. The names in this book are the best. I like how the couples act and especially these four. They’re important, supporting characters and without them, this book wouldn’t be what it is now. They make it richer. 
The world Nightshade takes place in is original. It’s magical and it’s awesome. It’s dark and full of secrets and Calla’s warrior that fits right in there. It’s like an unsolved puzzle, that will most hopefully be solved in the next books. We get small glinches at all that is a part of the world, but still, at the end of the book we don’t know everything. 
Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say I hate the whole Keepers bossing everyone around thing. But I think it’s being solved - so far - in a very realistic way, for people who have been living in it for their whole lives. 
The ending is pretty obvious, but not the plot leading to it. And I like it how all these hints and secrets that Calla and Shay are trying to unveil, they’re not so easy to guess. If they are, it’s more because Calla gets it the next moment. And I love it! It’s horrible when the main character is trying to connect the dots and thinks it over and over, but doesn’t get it, while you’re screaming at her that it’s the butler, you blond! Well, it doesn’t happen here.
The plot may be simple, but the secrets and world are not. You’ll never really know what’s coming. 
So I like this book. I think I’ve found yet another new favorite writer and I Need Wolfsbane Now Please. Cremer writes wonderfuly, it’s easy and a pleasure to read and you’ve read thirty pages before you even notice it. It can be smooth the one minute, something about Calla’s uncertainty and the next thing we know is that she’s in wolf form and she’s gotta run. 
What makes Cremer’s writing skills even more awesome, that it’s like reading music. While you’re reading, there’s an invisible, mute, soundtrack constantly being played in the background and at some point you just have to turn the volume up on music player. It’s amazing. 
And I think there might be something to learn here, or something bigger than just the words on these pages. And that’s exactly what this story is like, it’s so big and full of energy and emotion. It’s bursting out of the book’s pages. 
There’re only two things to say: read it, now and can I have Wolfsbane now? Pretty please? 

1 comment:

  1. I saw Ren and Shay completely differently. Calla and Ren have such little control over their lives and Ren pushes boundaries because its the only control he has. I thought Shay just wanted things his way. He never listens to Calla, downplays or ignores her concerns and fears, I really didn't like him. And your quote, I was like "it's about time!". I'm really hoping to like him more in the next book, but I can't help but feel really bad for Ren. Not just losing Calla, but being 18 and the responsibility for his pack (and all the other crap he wants to protect them from).