4 out of 4 stars
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Kitlyn came to consciousness fighting for her life and remembering the fall she and her sisters took while on their hike up St. Sauveur Mountain--a major accomplishment considering all of them made it to their fifties with Huntington’s Disease, not to mention Kit’s extensive injuries from the accident years ago that left her scarred inside and out. Unbeknownst to her, Kit’s body was rejuvenated and her life recreated to serve a new purpose. Meanwhile, Radulfr was irked that the newest Made One created by the Alchemic Clan had been dropped in the wrong place and it was now his job to find her in a raging blizzard. Ever since the Clans stopped having female children at the same rate as males, these repurposed females from the Earthly realm were carefully doled out and revered by the Clans lucky enough to possess them.
Altered by Vicki Stiefel is the first book in The Made Ones Saga. Readers are swiftly transported to the realm of Eleutia through the eyes of Kit, a modern woman, and Rafe, son of the Alpha of Wolf Clan. What follows is a fantastical love story in a land where technology and nature coexist; however, there are rival factions who want to make Kit their own and one that thinks she is an abomination that should not exist in their world.
Stiefel weaves a fantasy world that is believable and easy to jump into quickly. Even readers who typically don’t gravitate toward science fiction would feel at home in Eleutia. Her well-rounded characters are portrayed so richly and with a sense of humor that had me laughing out loud as well as tearing up. Even minor characters were given a depth that enriched the plot and added to my enjoyment of the novel. Upon picking up this book, I found myself so engaged that I couldn’t leave the couch for five hours!
Staying true to its genre, Altered follows the somewhat predictable path of a strong heroine thrust into an alien world: Rebel, fall in love, and then fight to protect everyone she loves. What sets this book apart is the truly unique concept and the fantastic relationship carefully built between the main characters. An added bonus is the knowledge that this is a springboard for the adventures of her two sisters in the subsequent books. In addition to the romantic plot, there is also an overreaching plot about the power of the Alchemic Clan and the fate of all Eleutians that promises to be continued throughout the series.
Altered contains romance, humor, flying horses, and a playfulness that any lover of fantasy or romance will want to spend their entire weekend devouring. This superbly written and well-edited book necessitates a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Stiefel does a wonderful job with her heroine and hero, and I can’t wait to while away a few more days reading the rest of the books in this series.
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