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The Shapeshifter's Secret Hardcover – June 12, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Flying into an uncontrollable rage and accidentally turning into a tiger is but the first of many surprises for 16-year-old Julia. She learns that she is a werecat, that she is next in line for the throne of a magical world called Ossai, and that a group of rebels, led by Julia's long-lost mother, is trying to kill her. It turns out that her father was being overprotective for a reason. Now she must go to Ossai, accompanied by possible love interest Caleb, and attend a special school for magic in an enchanted castle. Needless to say, this is well-trodden ground, and the limited character development and a shaky plot keep the tale from developing much life of its own. Clunky writing and grammatical errors further detract from the story.-Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Top Customer Reviews
YA fantasy novel that starts in a regular school than her world is turned around on her.
Julia was raised by her father who is very protective of her. Gives her a ride to high school and home every day even though they live close enough for her to walk. She knows nothing of her mom even if they were married or not.
Julia is losing her temper more often. After talking one day during lunch and mentioning she sneaks out her window when she is grounded never being caught. Her window at home has prison bars on it. Only hers ,
Then she finds out that she is not normal and doesn't come from here. Finds out people want to kill her. Has to escape to different land through portals and goes to a special school in a castle and learn how to shift into an animal.
Thier is regular high school dramas and thier is a whole new way of life she has to learn about. Still have questions that I want answered hopefully in more books.
The book was fun and easy to read. Look forward to more books in this series.
I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley.
06/12/2012 PUB Cedar Fort Sweetwater
However, after we get over the oh-no-not-again groan, it's quite a good addition to the young adult fantasy genre, one that crosses over from our world into a different reality. Julia discovers that not only is she a werecat, but in this other world, she's a kind of royalty and her mother ... I can't let on, except to say that her heritage on her mother's side throws another difficulty into Julia's life.
Once she's through the portal, the reasons for her father's paranoia become clear. We spend time in a school reminiscent of Hogwarts and Julia falls in love. There's a bit of tension with a teacher and another boy, but apart from that the middle of the story drags a little.
The end is a burst of action and then a satisfying conclusion, except for the conversation begun by the boy she supposedly wasn't in love with that is interrupted. We never do find out what he wanted to say and his declaration that he had something to admit bore no relation to anything previously in the story. I wondered why it was there.
I'm giving it 3 stars, but don't let that put you off. It's a good read just nothing special.
This might be a bit spoilerish. Please read with caution.
Julia is a 16 year old, living in New York with her overprotective strict father. All is great in Julia's world until she begins to experience some changes. Turns out Julia is a Shapeshifter. To be more specific, a werecat.
I was instantly drawn to this read because of the beautiful cover. This is a beautiful cover! It spoke to me of youth, maturity, vulnerability, strength, magic, ancient yet very new. Yes, all of that. Well it stopped speaking to me along the way. Ok, maybe not completely but it wasn't what I expected.
This story had a lot of promise, so much potential! It just fell short.
The world the author was trying to create was definitely interesting. I liked the different types of werepeople and the fact that there are other magical creatures like the water folk. I liked Julia's best friend Sierra and Gabe who became her best friend along the way. I enjoyed getting to learn about how a shapeshifter shifts and what can happen if not done correctly. I had a few problems with this read. Ok, I had a lot of problems with this read.
1. Julia is kept in the dark about her shapeshifting abilities and her heritage for 16 years. This is fine. Dad finally tells her she's a shapeshifter and few other details but why stop there? Why not tell her everything else that goes along with it? This is a major pet peeve of mine. I hate when only a few secrets are revealed. The person is kept in the dark and won't make a stink about knowing it all at once only to be told later on when something bad has happened and it's too late.
2. Julia had the potential of being a strong heroine. There were times where her presence in the books eluded to being a great warrior or leader... something of that nature. That never stuck. Instead she was often given an immature voice.
3. Terrence is Julia's love interest. In fact after only meeting him twice they become a couple. The relationship didn't feel organic not even for instalove standards and I felt suspicious.
4. Speaking of suspicious. I felt suspicious of absolutely EVERYONE. I didn't feel comfortable at all with any of the characters. Not her best friend, her father's closest friends and confidants... NO ONE. I kept thinking that at any moment one of these people would turn on Julia. I think the author could have done a better job at making some of these people more trustworthy.
5. Julia is given a truth ring by Caleb for Christmas. It is a huge diamond which is supposed to glow a different color to warn Julia if someone is telling a lie. Julia, one, doesn't ever wear it and two, we never read about the ring again.
6. Speaking of Caleb... Caleb is someone. Caleb is possibly important to the story. Possibly. We never get to find out. His part in the book is so cryptic and the way he reacts to certain events always left me frustrated. He had hissy fits. For no apparent reason! Palmface... I did this a lot.
7. We are to believe that Julia doesn't think things through and just plunges ahead no matter the consequences. This is possibly true but the reader is not given substantial evidence of such a thing. For example sneaking out of your room/house because of her overprotective dad prior to her knowledge of being a target didn't scream compulsive behavior. The Ballroom incident didn't scream it either. It was an incident. They just seemed isolated.
8. There were instances where the characters acted as if they didn't have prior knowledge of certain information. Example: Terrance knew Julia didn't know anything about their world for 16 years at the beginning of the book. Why does he act like the fact she didn't know their traditional dances was brand new information towards the end of the book?
9. The big villain/traitor was not so obvious. However, moments before we get the big reveal the author chooses to have Julia ramble some stuff that gives the villain away when in reality she hadn't pieced things together to know that the villain was the villain making the villain reveal anti-climactic. (Wordy, I know.)
10. By the end of the book there are too many incomplete threads. Much of the storytelling felt rushed as if the author wanted to include everything creating interesting moments or facts but never explained thoroughly so that it could all come together seamlessly.
11. Finally the biggest problem I had with the book is that it screamed Harry Potter. A lot!
There are so many similarities it was hard to ignore.
In spite of all that bothered me about the book, I still enjoyed its possibility and still want to read the next book. This can be a real gem if the author executes the next one a bit better. The possibilities are there to create a very unique story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just purchased the second book, and I can't wait to start it.