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I love stories featuring archaeologists.  I do, can’t help it.  I think it might be a result from watching Indiana Jones as a kid.  And combing archaeology with shifters – well there’s a book I have to read.

Why Read:

Archaeologists working Peru, action packed, different take on shifters

Quote that best sums up the lead (male) character:

“He settled onto the rock and stretched out to his full length. When he closed his eyes, he could feel his body locked to the mountain, the earth’s slow rotation and the fixed vigil of the stars. He let his pain, fear and hope, along with all of his tangled strategies fall to the side. He let the silence of this sacred place wash over him and, just for a moment, he was at peace. .”

Review:

Adriano, a Jaguar shape shifter has been exiled by the Yaguara people for, well political reasons really. In order to buy back his acceptance he is hunting down an artefact of great significance to his people. Only problem is that a bunch of archaeologists stand in the way, including Sophie who is a grad student working on a thesis that no one else seem to believe in.  The attraction is instantaneous, if not inconvenient.

Adriano’s character was really well developed with back story and emotional development.  Sophie’s character less so.  For some reason her back story never rang true for me.  It felt like the author was attempting to create a character that had an equal amount of pain and suffering as Adriano.  Which was unfortunate because if you left out her past, she was an interesting character – strong willed, determined and well, academic (in an interesting way).

There was an interesting point in the book where the ethics of archaeology was brought up.  Who owns the artefacts?  Adriano is a direct descendent of the people who created the site whilst Sophie wants to preserve and protect the site.  Unfortunately, this very realistic tension was never explored fully.

However, the action sequences were great and the heat between the two characters was tangible.  I would have like to have seen some more emotional connection develop between the two but I suspect this didn’t occur as a result of the length of the book rather than the authors inability to create the connection.

I did enjoy the fact that Sophie had a somewhat negative reaction to finding out a. shifters existed and b. she had been sleeping with one.  In most shifter novels the non-shifter character accepts the existence of shifters with relative ease or with a sense of “wonder”.  In writing Sophie’s reaction in that manner and by creating a shifter society that is ultra-traditional, distrustful of outsiders and predatory, this book has a slightly more realistic edge to it than a lot of shifter novels.

I really enjoyed this book, although after reading it I do think it would be better if you read Mercy, the first in the series before reading this one.  I believe that the events that lead to Adriano’s exile are occur in that book.

Full disclosure:

I received this book from Netgalley to review.  It will be published by Carina Press on 29 September (ISBN: 97814268922611)

Check Out:

http://eleristone.blogspot.com/

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