Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Nightshade Chronicles #1: Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner

Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)My name is Clover, and time is running out. Killdeer, leader of the Catacombs, has made me a Chosen One and plans to put me on display during the Grand Speech. My Uncle Juniper has been secretly watching out for me since my parents' deaths, but Killdeer and Billycan will kill him if they discover he's still alive. They murdered the previous ruler, and Billycan thought he'd killed Juniper during their coup. Juniper is now creating a new city for escapees and will overthrow Killdeer when the time is right. However, he doesn't know the Grand Speech has been moved up two weeks earlier. I have no way of contacting Juniper, and I'm getting desperate. The disgusting and dangerous Killdeer came to my home and tried to force himself on me, when ironically, Billycan stopped him. Tomorrow, I am to become Killdeer's Chosen One and my life will be lost. 

You'll enjoy this book if you liked the Redwall books. Some parts also reminded me of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, since a couple of characters had escaped experimentation in a lab. Billycan was the most notable due to his large size and viciousness. Even though Killdeer was the ruler, Billycan was the most feared character. The setting mostly takes place underground, and the land of humans is known as Topside. It was creative and amusing to see earthworms aiding the rebels by helping with the digging of tunnels. Although I enjoyed the book very much, there wasn't one main character to connect with. The focus shifted from Clover, to Juniper, to other characters. I would have liked to mostly follow one rat throughout the plot. Also, there were several moments where I was sure the plot would take a suspenseful turn, only to have the characters escape danger. I was okay with the way things turned out, but these moments seemed like missed opportunities for more excitement and suspense. It looks like this book is part of a trilogy, so that may explain the decisions to move things along. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and suggest you give it a shot.

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