After really enjoying The Poison Diaries I have to admit I was excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of Nightshade and I couldn't wait to start reading it. Although Nightshade goes in a completely different direction to the one I was expecting and is a lot darker than The Poison Diaries I still really enjoyed it. In fact I think I liked it even more because it managed to surprise me! The story is a quick read and one I was able to whizz through in one day, the action is fast paced and you never know quite what will happen next which definitely kept me turning the pages.
Jessamine has done a lot of growing up since the first book, the discoveries she made about her father have changed her dramatically and I was pleased to see her stand up for herself more this time around. Although there were times I wanted to shake her for listening to Oleander it was easy to see why she turned to him. With Weed missing and her trust in her father destroyed she has nowhere else to turn and this makes her an easy target for the prince of poisons. If Jessamine is to have any chance of finding Weed she has to hope that Oleander will help her but he has plans of his own and it isn't going to be easy for her to remain focused on her goal.
Weed is also searching for Jessamine but even the plants don't seem to know where she is. Weed is having to try and fit into the human world while he tries to find his lost love and I enjoyed seeing things through his eyes, he actually becomes much more comfortable around people which was nice to see. I still love Weed's character but I was a bit disappointed that we don't really get to see as much of him in this installment. While this was understandable considering what is happening I missed reading about him and hope he is more prominent in the next book.
Nightshade is a much faster paced read than the first book but it is still a beautifully descriptive story and I loved the setting of the gardens that Weed finds himself in during his quest to find Jessamine. I can't say too much because I don't want to give spoilers but I liked the contrast between the new garden and Thomas Luxton's poison one. The story ended on a killer cliffhanger and I can't wait to read the final book in the series and see how things turn out, I wonder if the author will manage to surprise me again with the direction the story takes next?
If you haven't started this series yet I'd highly recommend picking up your copy of The Poison Diaries now, the series is totally different to anything else I've read and stands out all the more because of that.