Title: Shifted Perspective (Tails of Change #1)
Published: August 28, 2012
Source: Received From Author
in exchange for an honest review
Read: November 24-25
In A Few Words: Interesting take on shape shifting
My Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads: Add this to your TBR Shelf
Caleb Byrne is a bright high school senior who has enough to deal with between college choices, taking care of his single dad, and dealing with his headstrong girlfriend Joanna and an eccentric set of cousins in California. He was managing to get by until the day he woke up a Cocker Spaniel. Even if it only happens monthly and is more embarrassing than painful, the so-called ability is something that he's anxious to be rid of.
He didn't realize his transformations would drag him into a hidden society of canine and lupine shape shifters as well as a family legacy he hates. To make matters worse, after moving to Los Angeles to learn more about his heritage from his Aunt Moira and his cousin Kalista, Caleb now struggles through life-and-death matters. He keeps angering the werewolves in charge of the shifter world, especially Kalista's boyfriend Peter, the Southern California alpha's son, who also happens to be grade-A sociopath. Worse, Caleb's floundering to keep his secret from Joanna.
While his family offers him some support, they may not be enough as Caleb realizes that the rules in shifter society---number one is supposed to be don't kill humans---are not so ironclad. Some werewolf out there is leaving a blood-soaked trail across the Midwest and it might just be with the alpha's blessing...
This is an interesting take on shape shifting. I don't think I've ever read a story where the main character shifted into a cocker spaniel. I have to admit that at first I thought this was really strange. I just couldn't wrap my head around shifting into a dog. I know that werewolves aren't that far of a stretch, but a cocker spaniel was just...different.
I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more backstory about Calebs' mom, and her leaving them. That's just a personal preference of mine though, I'm always curious about the characters' backgrounds. Even though I was hoping for more of their background, I see now how not explaining it works well to set up the story and leave Caleb wondering about his shifter heritage.
The writing flows easily for the most part. There are a few patches where the wall is broken and instead of speaking in character, as Caleb, the author seems to be speaking directly to the reader. Sometimes this can work, but in this case it breaks the flow slightly.
There are a lot of nice touches in the details, regarding the shifting and Calebs' abilities. When Joanna starts having seizures, Caleb has times when he realizes when they're coming and helps her through them.
The romance between Caleb and Joanna is sweet, and definitely realistic, not insta-love. I thought for a second that there might be a love triangle between Penny, Caleb and Joanna, but thankfully there's not. Though, now that I'm thinking about it would be unusual in some ways because most if not all love triangles I've read lately have involved a girl and two guys, so it would be interesting to see a love triangle from a guys' perspective. That being said, I hope that doesn't happen. Penny and Caleb's relationship is perfect as is: friends/working partners.
Overall the story is good. It's well paced and has just enough detail to leave you guessing. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a unique twist on shifter stories.