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Shift (Volume 2) Paperback – February 1, 2012
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About the Author
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of Exiled & Shift, the first two installments in The Protector series. Having never travelled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.
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So a little recap. Chase is a hunter who was EXILED from the only life he's ever known to being hunted by underworlders. He meets Rayna, a half-breed, and Marcus, a rougue hunter, when they save his life from a bunch of vampires. The life he thought he knew has become a total lie. Joining Marcus and Rayna, Tessa, Chase's mom, they start down a path that ends in heartbreak. By Chase saving Rayna, Tessa dies at the hand of Riley. Riley is Chase's father who is delusional enough to want to bring forth Ithreal.
I wish I could say there was a break for Chase to breath, but that would be a lie. One of the things I love most about Chase is his determination. No matter how much is thrown at him he keeps going. He finally received his element, not one but two, then to be gifted by the Goddess to be also the Protector. It's a lot to take in for anyone. Factoring in the new feelings he's developing for Rayna, it's enough to drive anyone mad. Yet he doesn't falter under pressure, he takes it with stride. Helping Rayna with her shift, forgiving Marcus, standing by Willy, all while trying to figure out what it means to be the "Protector" and figuring out a way to stop Riley in the process.
Let me take a minute to say how awesome Willy is. I mean in Exiled he was a scared little half-breed, who I found adorable by the way, to be a bad ass half-breed in Shift. Willy goes through some changes as well, but the best one is he finally get's the confidence he was lacking. So kudos to Willy!
Having to face some tough dedecisions, traveling to other worlds, dealing with purbloods, and a certain vampire with alternatives, the gang goes on a search for Ithreal's dagger. The only advantage they had is taken away by one of the Dark Brother's. Riley is starting the war with the werewolves and the weretigers. Can Chase unite the two groups of shifter's before it's to late and Riley wins? Well your going to have to read the book to see what happens. I will say that Chase and Rayna make some progress. :)
There is so much action in this book that it will have you at the edge of your seat and will totally leave you wanting more. I cannot wait for Release to be released so I can continue the journey Chase and his group is on.
I love the concept of lycanthropy. We see color symbolism in movies, different chords in music, or different color palates in art that can give a representation of good and evil or light and dark. To me though, the ultimate picture of this "light and dark" is lycanthropy. That's why I feel so strongly about the subject. It was actually the newish remake of the movie The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins that got me into the whole werewolf thing. Then I started doing some research and realized that there wasn't much fiction written about the subject and I was dismayed because, again, I thought that this subject would be beyond perfect for writers to convey a conflict of light and dark. Since then, I have read things like Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and though the latter did do other things with were-creatures than the werewolf, both were very lackluster in that department. Merrick goes into the pain that shifting involves, which is logical. Your freaking bone structure is changing. There's blood and goo spraying everywhere. It's somewhat like a birth, which is weirdly accurate, because in a lot of ways, your beast, whether its a wolf, cat, bird, bear, or anything else is in its own way, a separate entity coming out of you. (I apologize for the gross imagery.) Also, there is the mental pain to contend with. The all out internal brawl with your beast. All these things, as a werewolf fan, I love.
Merrick captures a lot of struggles and conflicts that many people go through while also providing us with a fantastic world with wonderful creatures and characters to take our minds to after a hard day at school or work.