Shift by M.R. Merrick
Devastated by the loss of his mother, 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.
Why did I pick this?
First off, I read the first book in the series Exiled. You can read my review of that HERE. Second, I love me some Merrick 🙂 I met him on Twitter and became friends. He’s a great guy and an awesome writer! Third, after reading the first one, I could NOT wait to read the second. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of the book and I completely devoured it.
What did I think?
***COVER LOVE***COVER LOVE***COVER LOVE***
I absolutely freaking love this cover. I mean look at it. Wowza to the extreme. I loved the cover when I first saw it on his blog and now that I’ve read the book, I love it even more. I can appreciate how the entire book ties in with the cover. The panther, the fire, the hurricane in the back….it just takes my breath away. I am such a sucker for covers. Can you blame me? It’s what draws the eye in the first place. If I saw this in the store on a shelf, my eyes would be drawn and they’d linger.It’s just….awesome.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system…On with the review….
This picks up right after Exiled and takes off running. The whole book starts off fast-paced and does not let up the entire time. I’ve tweeted a couple time how absolutely visual this book is. It’s like I can feel everything. It’s like the heat from Chase’s fire was literally emanating off the pages. I loved it. When there’s a battle going on, I totally picture myself IN the battle.
The characters that you only got a peek of in the first book, get reintroduced in more depth in this one. I felt more of a connection to each one which made it so great. I love it when characters grow and you get to see more sides of them. Each character grows and you seem to grow right along with them.
Chase is absolutely swoon worthy to be sure. He deals with so much stuff in this book and he handles it all so fantastically. He’s a very strong character and I admire him in so many ways. He takes things in stride and is a natural leader. I love that he fights for what he believes and takes care of the people he cares about.
Rayna is adorable. I can’t get over what a kick in the pants she is. She’s such as awesome part of this entire series. She’s strong and handles her own. My kind of chick. She’s also pretty badass with a whip. She also goes through so much and it’s great that she can lean on Chase and he helps her through all of it.
Marcus is a good man. He is hell bent on protecting the people he loves. I liked that I got to see a little bit more of the man behind the Hunter in this book. My heart broke for him a couple times but overall I admire him. He does what he thinks is right and stands by his word. He’s a very wise man as well. He’s someone to be reckoned with too.
Tiki….Oh Tiki how I love him. He is just so hilarious. He is a wonderful addition to this book. I couldn’t see this series without him. Whenever he went all demon, I totally did a happy dance. He is some serious badassness. He is a serious force. I mean serious. I loved him more and more in this book.
Willy. Ok, so I fell in love with Willy in the first book. Absolute love. He is just so dang adorable I couldn’t help myself. I think one of the nest parts in this book is when he stands up for himself and for Chase. It warmed my heart all the way to my toes and made me have a goofy grin on my face. I swelled with pride and did a fist pump in the air for him. It was a great moment. He’s still so adorable. *cheesy grins*
Vincent. Oh sweet baby Jesus. LOL He is one conniving vampire. Serious shyte. But I love him nonetheless. He is a fantastic necessity to this book and adds that certain comic relief. His banter with Chase sets off some of the best scenes in the book. I can’t WAIT to see him go toe to toe with Chase. Man to vamp. It will be so EPIC.
Riley: One. Bad. Ass. Mo-Fo. Not to be taken lightly. I wanted to smack him myself so many damn times. He’ll get whats coming to him I’m sure.
Like I mentioned above, this entire book was a non-stop rollercoaster of action and intrigue. When I thought there was a second of breathing room, something would explode or someone would jump out. It was madness. But I loved every second.
The chemistry between Rayna and Chase is so magical. They are the perfect team. The unconditional trust is there with both of them. It’s a wonderful thing to read and a great feeling to get.
I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading this book. Merrick has this a way to capture your attention and keep it the entire time. He did a fantastical job of creating this demon/hunter world that takes my breath away. His attention to detail in even the minute things is so addicting. The battle, the blood, the shifting, the different dimensions…everything was almost poetic (I know that sounds kind of cheesy but there are only so many times I can say awesome).
Merrick gave this book before it hits the shelved on February 1st. I felt so privileged to have received it.
It really is a great feeling when an amazing writer chooses you to read and review a book of this stature. So a special thank you goes to Merrick for bestowing that honor to me. I knew this book was going to be a smash hit because the first one was amazing.
Some of my favorite quotes:
I realized then, that besides my mother, I’d never completely trusted anyone. Not like I did Rayna. It should’ ve worried me that I had such faith in her. Worried that one day she might leave, too. I should’ve been scared, but I wasn’t
Willy looked up at her with fear in his eyes, and Grams reached down and ruffled his hair. “Ah, don’t worry Williams, we’ll get you some help. Besides, I always wanted a puppy.”
“For someone who’s five hundred years old, you’re an immature dick,” Rayna said. <—This is a personal favorite hehe