Review: Shifting Darkness

Shifting Darkness Shifting Darkness by Kate Wendley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tortured, isolated and clueless, Vince fights to be able to function every day. His body is weak and fights him. From an outsider looking in, Vince could be a person with muscular dystrophy.  Not so. Instead, he is a werejaguar who is unable to shift into his animal form. His health is slowly deteriorating. With just him and his mom, they are barely surviving on the little bit of money they can earn. I have been waiting for this book to come out. This book can be read as a standalone. It is better to be read in the series order to better appreciate the relationships between the secondary characters. It is not necessary as Ms. Wendley does a nice job of quick summaries to bring a new reader up to speed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story because I liked Vince. Unlike the other characters in this series, Vince's situation is a losing battle. The difference is because Vince is truly without a community. He only has his mother for a friend, confident and family member. His only loosely considered friend is a woman who stops by at the book store where he works. This is because Vince and his mom are hiding from all the other supernaturals. This leaves Vince completely ignorant of the supernatural world. I liked how Vince's history is exposed and how he comes to learn about the new community. Many of his misconceptions are corrected and he learns what life can be in a world where one is not alone. This theme is what I touched and spoke to me in the book. Because if we all made just a little effort to become a community, there is so much more we can do.

What is also interesting in this story is how the community is not perfect. There are those who are free loaders or think they should get more than the share they put into it. Watching this situation implode and how it is handled is fascinating for me. Because it would feel so good to be able to do the same in real life. Instead, I must live vicariously through how justice is righteously mete out in this book.

There are several subplots in this book which help to expand and develop this world better. One of the subplots did not work well for me. Specifically, Vince's love interest. I understand this is a paranormal romance and Vince needs to have a gal. Penny is not a character I liked. I liked her attitude and her job. What I did not like about her is her cold shoulder attitude and relationship drama. "Use words to express yourself, woman" is what I wanted to shout at Penny constantly. I guess Penny's inability to communicate effectively goes with her geeky IT persona. I know many in similar jobs with the same disposition. It is a stereotype which is annoying and it hits a nerve. Penny's naivety also makes me cringe but it is realistic to how some people lack common sense. Penny aside, this book is fabulous and I adored Vince. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy angsty plot lines involving a male with a tortured past.

* Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

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