Ami Rebecca Blackwelder- The Shifters of 2040
When I was asked by Bewitching Book Tours to host a stop and review for this book, I was instantly intrigued. The Shifters of 2040 is the first to be released of a six part story. Chronologically, it is the third book however the prequels are yet to be released. I think this is a great concept- you can choose whether to read the future or the past – very cool!
The Shifters of 2040, introduces the main (human) characters Melissa Marn and Dr Bruce Wilder who are both scientists who conduct experiments on (shape) shifters. They are employed by the SCM (Shifter-Contingency Military) which aim to eradicate the shifters from earth and to keep their plan active they maintain fear in the civilians about the danger that the shifters pose. The shifters invaded earth in 2020 and have the ability to turn into animals or humans for short periods of time but the hybrids (part human part shifter) have evolving DNA and this allows them to infiltrate with humans for longer and be unnoticed.
Melissa is a hard worker at SCM and risks her life everyday to conduct research on the shifters and is strictly monitored by her father, Major Marn. Since her mother died whilst giving birth, Melissa’s father has never been the same. His need to protect Melissa from a similar fate is carried out through controlling his behaviour and Melissa is struggles to make decisions for herself. At her father’s demand Melissa undergoes a procedure so that she can never bear children- and so he will not lose her the way he lost his wife.
After a difficult day at work, Melissa heads to Kino’s Bar to try and forget all about her worries for just one night. When she meets a tall, handsome stranger she forgets all about the shifter world and falls into his arms during one hot intimate evening. Only, this stranger turns out to be the one thing that Melissa has been trained to fear and despise- a shifter. Melissa feels betrayed and used and experiences a confusing mix of feelings towards him but tries her best to get on with life by throwing herself back into her work. Until she finds out she is pregnant. It seems that her arch enemy, a shifter has given her the one thing she thought she could never have- a baby.
Torn between her allegiance with the SCM and her connection with the life growing within her- Melissa chooses to continue with the pregnancy and keep it hidden from the military. Her colleague Bruce, who has always had strong feelings for Melissa, helps her keep the secret and they begin to fantasise about their future together as a family.
Despite the part shifter baby growing within her, Melissa’s training has infiltrated her mind and she struggles to view shifters as anything but a threat. But when hybrid children are caught and caged for experimentation at the SCM, she begins to soften. Melissa needs to figure out how she can protect her offspring without risking her life.
Ami has a talent for writing about real-life issues within a world of fantasy and futurism. The underlying theme of the Shifter Evolutions is the power of human prejudice and the influence of authorities in society.
At first glimpse the book outlines the character relationships and a glossary of terms and I found this a bit overwhelming! However, I was pleasantly surprised that it all seems to fall into place once you get stuck into the reading. I wouldn’t recommend reading over these pages first up as it can be a bit confusing, rather use it as a reference to go back to throughout the story- I did this and found it very helpful. Despite the many characters- human, shifters, animals I certainly was not lost at any point during the story. Ami had my attention captured from the very first chapter.
I like how Ami provides different voices and perspectives of the characters in the story- there are plenty of little sub-plots to keep you engaged. It is action packed and I never really knew what was going to happen next- which I love!
I really enjoyed this read and definitely want to know what happens next among the conflict ridden world of the humans and shifters. The next book in the Shifter Evolutions series, The Hybrids of 2050 was released in March 2011 and is available in paperback or e-book.
For more information about the author visit http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.com