Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret Blog Tour Stop: Review of The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler

Goodreads rating: 3.56
ebook, 330 pages
Expected publication: June 12th 2012 by Cedar Fort 
Source: Blog tour [NetGalley]
 She tried telling herself to stop, but it was useless. Something had fully claimed her mind and body. A sound began to erupt from inside her chest, a deep sort of growl that seized her entire being. She felt as if there was a grizzly bear inside her, trying to escape. And then a deafening roar echoed from her mouth, only inches away from Lancer’s face. It took everything inside of her not to attack him.

In Julia’s life, timing is everything. Like the time her paranoid father put bars on her window so she wouldn’t sneak out at night—even though she’s never given him a reason not to trust her. Or the time this weird new kid showed up at her school and pretty much every girl in sight instantly and inexplicably fell in love with him. What was up with that?

But as time moves on, things in Julia’s life go from strange to seriously impossible. Now it’s all she can do to keep herself and the life she’s always known from falling apart.

This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.

I started this review and immediately thought of the bad, so I guess I'll start with that first: I don't understand why she calls her dad Lancer. I just don't understand. It's not like he was missing for most of her life and suddenly he's back. He's been there the whole time. I think that was one of my biggest pet peeves with this one. Another issue was how the author kind of skimmed over details sometimes. I get that time was passing, but it would have been nice to at least know what Julia was feeling while time passed. Most of the characters felt flat to me. Julia was fine, her best friend was fine as well, but everyone else felt two-dimensional. And the final problem was that I didn't believe the romance between either love interest. Maybe with the guy who has protected her from the beginning (who's name totally slips my mind), but I just didn't feel invested in the characters. The only big thing though was that the writing could have been better.

And, of course, here's the good: I love the idea. I feel like not enough is written on Shapeshifters, and werecats at that! I think we may have had another problem if they werewolves. I cannot take another Twilight reference. And Julia is fierce. She's afraid like everyone else is of her own impending demise, but she's got a fire in her too. As she's growing into her powers, she becomes more of a target and more of a threat. What's weird is that she's not just trying to stay away from just any villain. It's her mother that's after her. Apparently Julia is very valuable being an ancestor of the former king of this world, and she will stop at nothing to get Julia on her side. There was definitely a lot of action in this book. There were times when all I was thinking was RUN! And there were other times where I had butterflies from the few kissing scenes. Like I said, the romance wasn't that believable, but I could feel their bond growing stronger while he was away (yes, I'm purposefully keeping his name out), and it gave Julia a chance to not be focused on the guy and actually to do some ill-advised snooping.

For an Indie book, this was well-written. I know that's not the best generalization, because I just recently read an contemporary Indie and it was amazing. But if you want to read about Shapeshifter's and intrigue and other worlds separate from our own, then you should pick this up when it comes out. Besides, have you seen the cover?? 

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