Publishing Company: Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Rating:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
I was so excited to read this, and my expectations were definitely met. Calla's introduced to me as a strong, independent character first thing in the book, and I got taught the Guardian (aka werewolf) traditions fairly fast. You first meet Ren, Calla's "mate" or the guy she's going to marry and have kids with basically the rest of her life. She's the alpha of her pack, and so it's traditional to mate with another alpha of another pack, and in this case, her pack, the Nightshades, are joining with another, the Banes.
Ren is just like you might expect a male alpha to be: fierce, drop-dead gorgeous, and extremely smooth. Calla at first thinks that they're just friends, who're going to have to be mates in the very near future, but you kind of get that feeling that Ren wants more from Calla. He doesn't want that "friends with benefits" title. It's just too bad there's another guy. Who, in my opinion, is a better choice for Calla than Ren is because he's so much more supportive and nice.
Shay. Oh, Shay. *Sigh* Calla saves him from his very near death very early on in the book. She exposes herself to him, basically broadcasting that she's a werewolf. In fact, it's the first thing that happens. As soon as Calla saves him, she thinks he'll be out of her life forever. That is, until he enrolls in her school. Calla's pack leader tells her to get closer to Shay, and they do get close. Real close. As in, Calla kissing Shay when she's not supposed to close. I seriously love Shay. He's so sweet, and he's handsome, and he's not as pushy as Ren is.
Throughout most of this book, Calla and Shay were doing research on the Keepers, and Calla was learning some really questionable things about them. They were lying to the Guardians the entire time, and Shay helps Calla unearth all these lies and find the truths that go with them. My problem was that Calla kept doing these "forbidden" things and although it was supposed to help in the long run, it just felt so risky and I was annoyed that she didn't put up a bigger fight.
Along the way, a love triangle forms, which I really love. I like love triangles, but only when both people get a fair chance. And this was one of those love triangles. Ren and Shay are basically having a fight about who gets Calla, even though Calla belongs to Ren, and it's made quite clear. Shay tries oh-so hard to stay away, but he can't, and there's this one scene where you could really see that Shay cared for Calla. I think that was really sweet, that scene, and it was definitely a really...hot scene.
The action in here was also great. An unexpected twist came in halfway through the book, and there were a few really intense fight scenes, which was great. I think that being able to shift into a wolf at will was really beneficial for the action and the intense fights that crept its way into the book every few chapters. The book was never slow, and I was hooked from that first page.