Saturday, June 2, 2012

Torn by Dean Murray

Published synopsis:

Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The new girl at school shouldn't matter, but the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes. Worse, she seems to know things she shouldn't about his shadowy world.

Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep? If she's a victim, then he's running out of time to save her. If she's bait, then his attraction to her will pull him into a fight that'll cost him everything.


Sure, Alec Graves is a shape shifter but he’s also an entrepreneur, a father figure, a leader, a soother, a fierce enemy and a guy falling in love for the first time. That’s a lot to fit in around high school classes and homework. Feeling the pressures build, Alec knows things are going to come to a head soon. The signs have been there for months now.

Torn by Dean Murray takes readers into Alec’s world and holds them there as the story unfolds. He shifts into a wolf but that doesn’t make him a werewolf. He’s in high school but that doesn’t make him any less responsible for the lives of the shifters under his care. Most importantly, he has a conscience. He doesn’t take his role in the world lightly. Trying hard to please everyone, he eventually learns that sometimes you just have to do what’s right and let the pieces fall where they will.

Caught in a world hidden from humans, Alec does his best to do what shape shifters are supposed to do – protect the very same race they are hidden from. That becomes more and more difficult as the threat from his rival pack escalates to dangerous levels. He will soon find out who is really on his side and who is not.

Dean Murray weaves a tale of love and friendship, and of loss and war that leaves scars, both emotionally and physically. I found myself wrapped up in this world where taking the moral high ground is dangerous and falling in love may be even more so. The writing is engaging and the characters feel real. Mr. Murray has painted a world that I don’t think I’d want to live in but I certainly enjoyed looking in on it. In a world full of stories about shape shifters of every kind, this one will stay with me. I thank the author for a review copy and I give the book five stars.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

(un) Dead by Trinidad Giachi

Published synopsis:

Lord Hurlingthon contacts him, requesting his abilities to solve a deeply personal mystery: Hugh Hurlingthon is two hundred and thirteen years old and can't die.

Or so he claims.

Saussure will have to discover if this man is telling the truth, and if so, why he can't cease to exist. Along the course of this investigation, Richard Saussure will question his beliefs while attempting to come to terms with his own past.


Richard Saussure has a reputation for getting to the truth of things. But this case is leading him down paths he’s not sure he wants to follow. How can he figure out if this old man who looks like he’s two hundred and thirteen years old really is that old? Relying on help from people who don’t necessarily work on the right side of the law, Saussure painstakingly puts the pieces in place until he is sure he has found the answer.

(un) Dead by Trinidad Giachino is a well thought out, intense mystery with twists and turns that makes guessing the outcome difficult. The story itself is smooth and the detail is intricate. A good deal of work obviously went into making this book the suspenseful read it is.

I will admit I had trouble liking the main character. A lot of this is because I didn’t really have enough backstory for him. What,exactly, turned him into a guy who hardly anybody likes and left him basically a shell of a man? It is alluded to and I’m pretty sure I pieced it together correctly, but coming into his life at this juncture did not make me feel compassion for him. He may be a good detective but his people skills when dealing with those willing to help him, granted some of them at a cost, left him wanting in my mind. I thank the author for a review copy and I give the book four stars.

Purchase (un) Dead by Trinidad Giachino