4 out of 4 stars
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For reasons I have never been able to articulate, I am not usually a fan of vampire books. Shape-shifters are more appealing to me, so I took a chance on Theresa Snyder’s novella Shifting in The Realms. From the very first page to the last, I was happy that I did. I simply started reading and couldn't stop until it was over.
Cody is basically an average sixteen year-old boy. He’s a little awkward, and he’s deeply invested in trying to figure out his place in the world. He also occasionally shapeshifts into an enormous, fluffy wolf, and he’s dead. So, he’s a normal kid, except for the dead bit and the part-time wolf deal. Ever since he killed a man and died in the process, Cody has been living in a mysterious, supernatural refuge known as The Realms. In The Realms, humans, vampires, shifters, and other supernatural creatures live in an uneasy truce. Cody’s agenda is to impress his new crush, keep his human best friend safe, and try not to get fired from his job. It’s a tall order, but Cody might be just the tall guy/giant wolf for the job.
The writing in this novella is excellent. There is just enough information about the various creatures and their mysterious home to allow the plot to unfold, but the reader is left with the impression that there is certainly more to learn. Since Shifting in The Realms is only book 1 in The Twin Cities Series, there’s plenty of time for more development and exploration of this new dimension. The pacing of the book is also spot on. Since Cody already dead when he is introduced to the reader, his backstory is fairly important. The author does an excellent job relating Cody’s story without boring the reader or sacrificing the book’s plot.
The tone of the novella is light-hearted without becoming too jokey. The story is told in the first person from Cody’s perspective, so his character infuses all of the narration. He matter-of-factly accepts his “life” for what it is. As he points out on the first page, what is the difference between handing a bloody rabbit to a vampire on guard duty and handing a cup of coffee to police officer? The beauty of Cody’s narration is that not only does the reader have an interesting voice to explain this supernatural world but Cody’s character is also being revealed in every paragraph. The reader will know and undoubtedly love Cody within the first few chapters (if not sooner).
It is my great pleasure to rate Shifting in The Realms by Theresa Snyder 4 out of 4 stars. This is a short book and a very quick read, but anyone would like it. It is appropriate for both younger and more mature readers, and it is so much fun that even readers who do not normally enjoy supernatural or paranormal books might want to try this one. Cody is a treasure, and his adventures are sure to be entertaining for everyone. I am very glad I gave this book a chance, and I hope many readers will follow suit.
Shifting in the Realms
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