Author: Ami Blackwelder
Source: Requested Review
Genre: Paranormal Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback, 315 pages
Release Date: October 29, 2010
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.
Summary: Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.
With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.
This is the third in the Shifter Evolutions paranormal futuristic sci-fi series. While each book can be read separately or in series order, the author suggests starting with this book because it has the most information about the shifter and hybrid race. The other books take place either in the past or the future. Blackwelder does a very good job of providing an overall glossary/encyclopedic overview of the shifter race before the story begins.
This is a heart-wrenching story about what happens when aliens land and start to interact with humans and of course the military gets involved. In typical "shoot first ask questions later" fashion the military have decimated the alien population. Unbeknownst to the military, the shifter males have impregnated human females for the past 20 years so there are now hybrid shifters. This is the story of a small band of remaining shifters in Alaska 20 years after arriving on Earth. It is also a story about one such human female who is impregnated and her attempts to keep the knowledge from the military while learning all she can about the new species.
Melissa, the human female lead, is a military research scientist. Unlike her research assistant, she is military minded and wants to see the shifter race wiped out but she can't help being awed by their genetic makeup. She is definitely an "experiments first, humanity second" kind of gal but she's not totally conscienceless. And she can't help being drawn to Brendan.
Brendan, the shifter male lead, just wants to survive and see his babies born and safe as do the others of his race. He finds himself drawn to and loving Melissa.
Keenan and Diamond - a forbidden romance that might just get Diamond's family killed.
Upon finishing the story you have no qualms about labeling the humans the bad guys in this. As usual, fear of the unknown makes idiots and monsters of mankind.
Not having read books one and two of the series, I wasn't lost but did have some questions that I wonder if were answered there. The writing style is a bit unusual but I was quickly drawn in and broke out in tears a couple of times, which shows that the characters are so believable as to incite sympathy and caring. Once I started reading this I couldn't put it down. This is not what paranormal romance or urban fantasy fans are used to but I think they could enjoy the book.