Category: Shapeshifters

The Gathering, by Kelley Armstrong


I’ve liked some of Armstrong’s earlier books, but this YA didn’t work for me at all. Our protagonist is 16, but seems much younger, plot twists are signaled way ahead of time, and it feels too much like stronger books, including Shiver, the Mercy Thompson series, and Morganville Vampires. The book ends on a cliffhanger, but I won’t be continuing the series. Okay for 14 and up (though that’s not a guarantee that later books won’t skew older).


Alpha Divided, by Aileen Erin


Tessa’s conflict between her werewolf and witch sides comes to a head, as the local coven demands she be returned to them to head the coven. Great tension and action in this one, as the story rockets forward. Much fun – still for 16 and up.

Becoming Alpha, by Aileen Erin


This nice YA paranormal romance reminded me of the Morganville Vampire series, but with werewolves instead. A fun popcorn romance, in which Tessa gets sentenced to, for her, the worst high school ever for her senior year, and falls for the cutest guy. Some great characterizations here (I really liked Tessa’s roommate) and there is room for them all to grow.

Great fun for the 16 and up crowd.



Magic Binds, by Ilona Andrews


Wow! The best one in this series for quite a while, though I have enjoyed them all. Atlanta mercenary Kate Daniels just wants to live her life: marry her boyfriend, get her PI agency going, fight the occasional monster. But she is the daughter of the greatest evil the planet has ever seen, and she will have to face him sooner rather than later. This novel just explodes across the pages, and it incorporates all the characters we’ve come to care about. A wonderful celebration of all that is great and good in the Kate Daniels novels: adventure, romance, negotiation, and assorted badassery. A fantastic read – 18 and up.

Magic Shifts, by Ilona Andrews


Another great entry in this series. Kate and Curran fight mysterious creatures from an ancient mythology, and once more Andrews makes Kate one of the great kick-ass heroines in urban fantasy. Like the others, this one has romance, adventure, peril, vampires, shapeshifters, and a sword-wielding magic user. As an Atlantan, it’s just bonus points that this series is set in a post-Shift Atlanta. Wonderful stuff, for 18 and up.

Fortune and Fate, by Sharon Shinn


This final book in the Twelve Houses series seems a quieter epilogue to the book that came before, but is no less wonderful in its own way. In this story, the civil war is over, but a high price was paid by many, including Wen, a former King’s Rider, who was one of the king’s┬átop soldiers. Tortured and guilt-ridden over her part in the war, she rides aimlessly through Gillengaria, seeking to atone by helping those in need, but careful not to settle down or commit herself. Her reluctant agreement to help a noble house challenges all of her choices, but may yet bring her the redemption she longs for. Gorgeously written, and filled with quiet hope as well as adventure, this one has everything I love in this series in miniature. Recommended.

Reader and Raelynx, by Sharon Shinn


An excellent climax to the Twelve Houses series, as seen through the eyes of Cammon, a Reader, one who can sense the emotions and intentions of others. Cammon is assigned to protect the Princess as she seeks a husband, but Gillengaria, her kingdom, is roiled with oncoming civil war, and it will cost Cammon more than he imagines to continue to protect her in the midst of that. Shinn excels in stories of friendship, and the entire Twelve Houses series is a story of extraordinary friendship. Beautifully written and utterly immersive, I enjoy her work more than anyone since Robin McKinley.