Customer Reviews: The Shifters of 2040
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on May 10, 2012
What, you ask. Yes, let me repeat: This is NOT a romance novel. I say this because I bought this book while searching the romance section of Amazon, so when I started reading it, I expected romance. There are characters who happen to have romantic relationships, but these relationships are not a large focus of the plot. The real focus is the survival of an alien race upon immigrating to Earth. Blackwelder is very successful in emoting the environment and I felt stifled by the martial regime. There were moments that the plot stuttered, more the a few in which a character has to recall an event for the story to continue, or information that is passed on that the messenger should have no way of knowing. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
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on August 15, 2012
This was my first type reading with the Shifters being Aliens. That threw me off at first since I have not read the other books preceding this. Very interesting story that kept my interest. I felt sorry for the Shifters and came away with not liking most of the men in the Military. Unfortunately there are too many people in real life like Raul.
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on May 17, 2012
I found the basic plot to be interesting, and I kept reading because I was curious how things would play out. The book presents a very original concept about how an alien race finds it's way to earth, and the ramifications therafter. So I give the book great marks on creativity, but did have issues with how it is written. At times the writing seemed very choppy and hard to follow. Also a lot of text is used to describe some rather trivial items that are not part of the main plot, and it becomes tedious to try to stay in the flow of the story.
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on April 13, 2012
I won this book from librarything's member giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

The Shifters of 2040 is part of a bigger series about shifters who have come to our planet, but works as a stand alone. I have not read any other books in this series. As far as I can tell, these alien shifters were never given a chance to co-habit peacefully and were considered an enemy from day one. Since then, they've been hunted down like animals, tortured, and experimented on by the military. We follow several Shifters, a researcher named Melissa who finds herself torn ethically, and an interesting character named Keenan, who plays a large role in the later half of the book. I will speak no more of him, as to not give away his secrets.

There are many great things about this book. The biggest strength is Ami Blackwelder's vast imagination. She has created a new alien species who has very interesting powers and characteristics. She elaborates on different scientific discoveries. Every time I thought I was going to put down the book for good, she inserted a different twist. I'll be honest. I wasn't thrilled by the way this was written; a lot of the dialogue and prose was choppy and hard to follow. Her characters seemed very two dimensional in the way they were described (there was a lot of telling instead of showing), in particular Melissa, who I did not find very likeable. There are way too many characters and I couldn't tell any of them apart (especially the shifters) except for a select few that we see more of in the book. I was about a third through and seriously contemplated stopping reading entirely.

There is a section in the book where things change. There is an evil character whose sinister plot starts to be revealed. The ethical issues of what happens next was intriguing. To me, this is where the book really started. Once Keenan was introduced, I was hooked and stayed around until the end. I still had difficulties with the way the book was written, but I almost feel if the book had started here rather than where it did, I would have been grabbed from the start.

Overall, while it was choppy and hard to read in many places, the book is highly imaginative and has a lot of potential.
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on November 22, 2011
This was my first time diving into this world created by the author. To be honest, it's not my typical genre, but I still enjoyed the book. I had a rather easy time getting into the story. However, I was overwhelmed with the amount of characters, but there is a glossary so that helps.

With twists of romance, sense of family and sci-fi it could appeal to a wide variety. It starts off slowly but once I really got into the meat of the story, I couldn't stop. I was hooked. The action was nonstop in the last third.

There are a lot of questions left unanswered. This series is set in a circular time frame, so there are prequels and sequels.
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on June 13, 2011
While I read several reviews that referred to this series as paranormal, it is definitely more sci-fi than PR. Luckily, I enjoy both. Paranormal to me is vampires, werewolves and other types of shifters, basically characters that I don't believe exist. Now aliens from other planets, I'm more open to the possibility of them, so why couldn't they be shape shifters?

I do admit to being a bit overwhelmed with all the information presented at the beginning of the story. I think the glossary would have been a better fit at the back of the book rather than in the beginning. The massive list of alien characters was a bit overwhelming too but it always takes me a bit to settle into the first book of a series anyway. While the first book was not exactly an easy read, it was a fast paced exciting read and once I got about a 100 pages into it was unable to put it down. At this point, the book really took off for me.

One thing that bothered me was the level of total distrust and bias against the aliens. As this takes place a mere 25+ years in the future, I didn't quite buy the pretty much government control of individuals and their loss of rights. I expect the prequels to this book will satisfy some of those questions though. While I'm one who HAS TO read a series in chronological order as I don't want to learn a single detail till the timing is right, I love that this series is written Circular in time and after beginning with The Shifters of 2040, you can chose to read the past or the future. Awesome concept!

Blackwelder's aliens were remarkable. They were fascinating and quickly grabbed your attention and horror to their hardships and persecution by the human population. This takes place in Alaska and the descriptions of the areas had me picturing the forests and wilderness with no problem at all. If you are in the mood for a great sci-fi read don't hesitate to pick up this series. It will entertain you for hours and best of all there are already 3 books out with the rest to follow shortly. Nothing than I love better than to find a great series that I don't have to wait a year between books for.
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on October 29, 2012
I really enjoyed Mers... that was a fantastic fantasy book about human vs mermaid-like peoples. Really tried to get into Shutters.... but alas, sci-fi is just not my cup o' tea. I read 37% of this book.... it's creative and imaginative, but for me too many characters to have to keep track of. I'm sure the rest of the book and series is wonderful, but not for me.
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on January 31, 2015
The ability to change form can come in handy and there have been times when I wished I possessed the ability to shift for any number of reasons. In Shifters 2040, Evolution #3 the characters are capable of shifting into an array of forms, hawks, wolves, and other creatures that must find safe harbor in the forest / wilderness in order to escape hatred and death. Ms. Blackwelder describes the government's science experiments involving individuals who possess superior abilities. These abilities are not only dangerous for those who can shift but the scientists, country and the militia seeking them. Shifter 2040 is a story with a host of characters and many of them are young children. Some of the youngsters are considered hybrids, part human and alien, and are the primary targets.

Ms. Blackwelder crafts a story of survival from the people who are purist and full of hatred of beings who are different, hence the use of the militia. The book is developed with plenty of running for ones' life, action, medical and social difficulties and sadness. Shifter 2040 will captivate the minds and desires of teen readers and others who enjoy the YA genre. They will enjoy the book and may see some similarities with the books written in the Hunger Games theme. Shifter 2040 Evolution #3 is rich with vocabulary, good sentence structure and possesses all the elements of a story to make it a good read.

I enjoy reading books with shapeshifters, but I couldn’t fully wrap my mind around this one. Perhaps that’s because there are so many characters who pop up out of nowhere and I entered the series later in the series. There are also frequent changes in setting, plot and mini-plots. My recommendation is to read the previous books as this one doesn’t stand on its own.

Review by: Bookshifter of Night Owl Reviews

Disclosure: Review copy from the publisher/author for an honest review.
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on October 18, 2011
This is the third in the Shifter Evolutions paranormal futuristic Sci-Fi series. While each book can be read separately or in series order, the author suggests starting with this book because it has the most information about the shifter and hybrid race. The other books take place either in the past or the future. Blackwelder does a very good job of providing an overall glossary/encyclopedic overview of the shifter race before the story begins.

This is a heart-wrenching story about what happens when aliens land and start to interact with humans and of course the military gets involved. In typical "shoot first ask questions later" fashion the military have decimated the alien population. Unbeknownst to the military, the shifter males have impregnated human females for the past 20 years so there are now hybrid shifters. This is the story of a small band of remaining shifters in Alaska 20 years after arriving on Earth. It is also a story about one such human female who is impregnated and her attempts to keep the knowledge from the military while learning all she can about the new species.

Melissa, the human female lead, is a military research scientist. Unlike her research assistant, she is military minded and wants to see the shifter race wiped out but she can't help being awed by their genetic makeup. She is definitely an "experiments first, humanity second" kind of gal but she's not totally conscienceless. And she can't help being drawn to Brendan.

Brendan, the shifter male lead, just wants to survive and see his babies born and safe as do the others of his race. He finds himself drawn to and loving Melissa.

Keenan and Diamond - a forbidden romance that might just get Diamond's family killed.

Upon finishing the story you have no qualms about labeling the humans the bad guys in this. As usual, fear of the unknown makes idiots and monsters of mankind.

Not having read books one and two of the series, I wasn't lost but did have some questions that I wonder if were answered there. {Note: Blackwelder's latest release, The Invasion of 2020 is the prequel to this series and did answer the questions.} The writing style is a bit unusual but I was quickly drawn in and broke out in tears a couple of times, which shows that the characters are so believable as to incite sympathy and caring. Once I started reading this I couldn't put it down. This is not what paranormal romance or urban fantasy fans are used to but I think they could enjoy the book.
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on June 24, 2011
My thoughts:
The characters in this book stand out as what drives the story. They are creatively developed and offer a whole new look at shifters. Ami's shifters vary in many ways from what you think of when you hear shifter. These have the ability to assimilate a variety of forms from human to more than one animal, but each has a dominate form that they can easily shift into. Their original form is more of an energy than an actual creature. The children - hybrids - are limited in that they each have one animal they can shift into and remain in human form until later in life. I enjoyed the descriptions, she is very detailed. It was interesting to me that they had different colored skin that had mottled colors as well. I liked how she ties the story theme into modern prejudices that we still face even today.
The military link is frightening - a thing of nightmares and as a reader I pray is just science fiction. The control of the high up military personnel is terrifying. I found my heart going out to Bruce in his attempts to get Melissa to break free of the hold of both the military and her father. At the same time I found myself both angry with and feeling sorry for Melissa. Sorry that her very identity and sense of self worth were so tied into her work and her father's opinion, and angry that she couldn't seem to dredge up the self confidence to stand up for what she truly believed in and wanted.
This is an incredible story of the unwillingness of the human race to accept another group of beings because of their own fear and the shifters differences, and the struggle of the shifters to coexist and survive in a world where they are persecuted, hunted, and tortured.
This is the story of choices, consequences, desire, fear, hatred, power, control, passion, love, and sacrifice. The emotional intensity of the characters as they deal with their lives is amazing. The theme that children are the future is paramount in this story.
This was my first Ami Blackwelder shifter read and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! My only question now is: Do I start with the past and read 2020 or do I look to the future and read 2060? Don't miss the rest of The Shifter Evolutions series!
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