Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Penguin Five: Nightshade

By Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19, 2010

I am so tired of picking up a book and finding out it’s the first of a series only when I get to the very end. I’ve already ranted about this in a previous entry, but I strongly feel the need to point it out once again. Yes, I know that trilogies and what not are all the rage right now, especially when authors can sell the books as a package which will guarantee that they will have more than one book published, but come on! I would love to pick up a good book and not be left hanging for the next year while the author pens the sequel. I’m already playing that game as we go into season finales for our favorite television shows, must I now have to do it for nearly every YA book I pick up? This is entirely too irksome!

Well with that preface you probably are wondering if I even enjoyed Nightshade. I did. I thought that Nightshade was a fast-paced, original, and entertaining new novel. I loved the concept of the Guardians (wolf shape-shifters), whose job is to protect a mysterious and rather dangerous group of “people” called Keepers. The notion of arranged marriages arises much as it did in Matched, but here the characters defiance is violent, hot, and potentially fatal. There is a very thin veneer of civility within these creatures, violence and for many of the characters, a vile cruelty lurks under the shadows, cracking and finally destroying any concept of humanity. There were a few moments that were irrelevant and irritated me, but they were mostly personal preference and had no bearing on the plot (which is probably why they irritated me). The book does leave you hanging, which drives me nuts, especially as it ends after an endorphin inducing battle of which there is no resolution. I do have to give Cremer credit though, because there is not a doubt in my mind that I will eagerly read the next book in the series.

Stay tuned for the fourth book in The Penguin Five: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller.