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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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It took reading the first 3rd of the book before I got into it. I guess I didn't connect with Julia for some reason. When I finished the book and looked back I still didn't know why I didn't feel connected. I liked Julia's character but maybe it was all the secrets I thought were going on. Even at the end there's still a certain character I don't trust, but that actually makes me want to read the next book even more. I have to find out more about this character (I won't even mention the name because I don't want to give anything away!). It seems my suspicions about him were wrong, but I don't believe it. I need to read book 2!
Julia has 2 friends, Gabe and Sierra, who really add to the story. They were great. I really enjoyed this book! If you love fantasy, especially fantasy that is discovered in the real world, then you'll love this book. I can't wait to read more!
All in all a great book in a wonderful series.
The book begins with Julia thinking about the complex personality of Caleb, the new student. But her anger issues are more disturbing for her. Julia seems to be losing her temper whenever she isn't satisfied with the answers she wants. She almost feels herself turning into an unknown creature when her father, Lancer, refuses to tell her much about her mother.
Then Sierra has been acting strange lately and her father decided to put bars on her windows. Seriously? The only good thing about her life seems to be the arrival of Liam, her uncle. But then she overhears a strange conversation between her father and Lance.
Things start to get more strange for Julia when she loses her temper in class and almost attacks a student. She even shapeshifts once but Caleb saves her from trouble. Her father then finally decides to reveal what Julia really is and her lineage.
Fast-forward into Ossai which is really Julia's home and the subsequent enrollment in Lockham. Julia is also disappointed in Caleb but finds a love interest in Terence, one of the captains of the Soldier Union. There Julia also discovers the truth about her mother and the people who depend on her to make things right in Ossai. Is Julia ready to tackle with their sworn enemy, the Guild?
The Shapeshifter's Secret is a fast-paced and action-packed book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a spectacular new series from Heather Ostler. One I am sure the readers of paranormal genre wouldn't want to miss out on. A debut author to look out for!
Julia is a very stubborn and inquisitive girl with tendency to get into trouble. This leads her to uncover some pretty dark secrets about her past and the reason why she was in exile. But the closer she gets to finding out more about her past, the more danger she puts herself in. However, Julia is not about to give up! She can't keep letting others risk their lives to protect her and not do anything to protect herself. Through her journey Julia makes some great friends at school, and even finds love. I was never sure about Terrence, but he seems to be genuine. All the time I rooted for Caleb, but sadly he's already spoken for. I have to say, I so wanted that cat fight to happen! I'm still hopeful for those two though. That ending left me thinking there might be more to Caleb and Julia's relationship. And that's the thing about Ossai and Julia's past. There are so many secrets!
The world building was fantastic. I was smiling like a kid in a candy store with all the details Ostler drew into her world, like the guardians at the castle, the stone table, and the color changing scarves! It was a fast paced and intriguing plot. Once Julia got to the castle the pages just flew by. Though I did figure out who was the bad guy from pretty early on, I was still anxiously waiting for the moment Julia faced the villain. And the moment didn't disappoint. Magic battle with magic weapons and shapeshifters and all that. I so wanted more! The ending left me very excited about a future sequel for The Shapeshifter's Secret.
*I received this book via Netgalley from the publisher*