Shift (The Protector Book 2) by M.R. Merrick
Author: M.R. Merrick
Publication Date: January 29, 2012
Publisher: M.R. Merrick
Edition: Kindle eBook
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fantasy
Source: Bought it
Book Description from Amazon:
Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else- a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.
Almost immediately after finishing the first book Exiled (my review HERE ) I picked up the second book Shift. There were so many questions for the reader at the end of Exiled that I wanted to find out the answers as soon as possible!
The covers for these books are always so gorgeous and have such an amazing layout. Each item on the cover is purposefully placed and give a subtle hint as to what’s to come.
After the events of Exiled, Chase is now fuelled by rare powers with a serious vendetta targeted at Riley— his on the lam father who’s focused on promoting himself to a god-like state through a “not-Circle-approved” plan. Since Riley’s betrayal, the various factions of the Underworld (vampires, shifter groups) and the Circle that’s supposed to keep them in check is crumbling, paranoia abounds and each one of them has to decide whose side they’re on.
Merrick has a knack for snaring a reader’s attention in the first chapter by plunging them into the middle of a tense and bloody fight for survival, only this time around it’s Rayna that’s fighting her own internal shifter demon that’s literally ripping her apart from the inside out.
In Shift Rayna and Chase are both coming into some new and surprising abilities. It was really awe-inspiring to see these two trust each other so much and help each other through such difficult transitions. With all the life or death experiences they’ve had together it’s no wonder that some romantic aspect developed- FINALLY! Merrick does it in a very classy way though, the stolen moments together enhances the story and don’t detract from the visceral action; although with the introduction of a particular werecat shifter I think we might be seeing some relationship drama on the horizon (possible cat fight?).
Chase has some serious anger management issues and with all that magic brewing in him, he’s a walking natural disaster. Despite his shakiness at all these powers and everyone trying to get at him, Chase unexpectedly takes on a more serious role that results in him thinking through plans a little bit better, he knows what he’s willing to sacrifice and what he’s going to fight for. He’s grown so much over the course of the book and it just brings proud tears to my eyes.
We have some characters that carry over from Exiled such as Tiki, Willy, Marcus and Vincent. Tiki is hilarious in his attempts to assimilate into the human world, I especially love the scene where he explains his hate of human clothing due to it’s…restrictive properties. Marcus is still the intimidating muscle man, Vincent is definitely up to no good, but it’s the storyline that Merrick puts Willy through that takes the cake. I was on the edge of my seat with Willy - over the course of Exile Willy - to me - was this lovable stuttering demon that needed protection, but Merrick puts him through his paces and he changes into a completely unexpected bad ass that I love even more!
The villains of this story are so diabolical. Riley and the Dark Brothers are playing dirty and doing some very ‘Inception’-esque mind assaults on Chase. These sequences were written in such a way that there were times where reality and dream blurred, which created a deliciously tense atmosphere knowing that Chase wasn’t really safe anywhere. One of my favorite parts is when Merrick introduces new demons in a new dimension, I was completely baffled by the dialogue and it kept me glued to the pages to figure out what was going on.
An interesting aspect to include was Chase’s flashbacks of Riley, it showed a completely different side to Riley and makes me wonder what pushed him into doing all of this in the first place. Merrick definitely did it again with Shift, it’s an action packed thrill ride with some out-of-left-field, game changing secret reveals that leaves the reader wondering where this rag tag team will go next!
Rating: 5/5 Steaming HOT cups of Tea!
It was a great sequel and it just leaves me bouncing on my seat waiting for the third installment!
So Valerie over at Stuck In Books just finished reading the first book Exiled by M.R. Merrick and she loved it so much she's giving away a copy of Exiled to her blog readers here: Stuck In Books: Exiled by M.R. Merrick + Giveaway
So I figured I'd give Shift away to complement it! Especially if you've read Exiled already and you have Shift on your To-Read list- it needs to move up your list, fast! So here's your chance to win it! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form, and if you haven't read either one, visit Valerie at her awesome blog and maybe you'll get lucky and get both!