Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: Shifter: City of Wolves by Avery Burch

Shifter: City of Wolves 
by Avery Burch
Series:  City of Wolves / Fated Mates #1
Pub. Date:  Aug. 3, 2015
Publisher:  Self-Pub
Pages:  456
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

She's an elite. He's a wolf and an outcast. Their forbidden passion will move worlds.

Everyone knows that wolves love with a passion that can be dangerous. They imprint on a woman and never let her go. From the moment they love their female, they will kill for her, and die for her.

Lyla is more than rich. She's one of The Elite, a paranormal class that rules society with an iron fist. She arrives in Manhattan to begin training as an enforcer. 

Zac is an orphan, an outcast, and a shifter. Turning into a wolf is an unforgivable crime in the elite regime. Enforcers hunt down and kill anyone who can shift. 

When Zac and Lyla meet, they know love is hopeless, but their powerful attraction is simply too great. Fighting to overcome the ruthlessness of their society, Zac and Lyla learn that true love can overcome any obstacle, but not without dire consequences. 

Shifter: City of Wolves is the first book in a paranormal romance series that features passionate romance, intensely real emotion, supernatural powers, and forbidden shifter love. 

This is a dystopian paranormal... I'm not sure exactly when it takes place, but its after large scale purges of the Shifter population by the "Elite" of society. The Elite live in New York City, and the Normals and Shifters are living on the fringes of society. The Elite are snobby, prejudiced, power-hungry asshats. Some of the Elite are out to eliminate all the Shifters, even though they share similar paranormal powers, and they also want to take out the Normals for some reason. There wasn't really any explanation given for this other than the Elite just thought they were better.

The heroine is Lyla, one of the Elite. She is betrothed her uncle, Oswald. Eeeeuwwww. This was so creepy that I had a very hard time getting past it. Lyla is only 19 and her life is being dictated by good ol' Uncle Oswald and her mother, Edith. She seems like a doormat for a good bit of the story. I could have used some more character development for Lyla because I never really connected to her.

The hero is Zac, a wolf shifter. After his adoptive father died, he has set off for NYC to find his father's daughter, Lyla. (Though this is not mentioned for the majority of the story, which I will discuss below.) Zac is somehow able to go through life with only his guitar, stealing when he needs to eat and sneaking into where ever he wants to go. He has a positive attitude and was okay as a hero, but I still would have liked more character development. This story had more dialogue than monologue so I felt like we didn't get to know the characters like we would if we had access to their inner thoughts. Both of the main characters were pretty one dimensional... and now that I think about it, I can't even tell you what they look like. Other than Zac is "scruffy" with man bits that look like an animal hiding in the forest (seriously) and Lyla is overly perfect in appearance. I need more details.

The story had potential, but unfortunately it hit too many of my "annoying" triggers (other than the lack of detail and character development). A few examples (without giving spoilers):

Zac is supposed to be searching for his sister, Lyla - daughter of Edith and Shay. He immediately meets a Lyla upon coming to the city, and her mother's name is Edith (which he learns of fairly quickly I think), but never once does that trigger that SHE is THE Lyla??? So there was some common sense lacking here.

There are A LOT of Too Stupid To Live Moments. Most of them revolve around sex. Oh, we're at war, no worries, let's get busy on this rooftop. Oh no, the enemy has caught us?!? How did that happen? Yeesh. Then again, the building is burning down around us but let me stop to give you a BJ because THAT is the most important thing in the world. Seriously!?! It happened, check it:
"She loved him. She wanted to pleasure him. She didn't care if the world was crumbling around her. This mattered more than anything else."
Then some of the conflict seemed kinda anticlimactic... particularly between Lyla and Oswald. Then Lyla commits the sin of all sins, running away without allowing her fated mate to explain. I seriously almost stopped reading it at this point... and it was like 98%. I sucked it up and finished and still felt like it was all very "meh".

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, this one just didn't work for me but my OCD kept me reading until the end. 

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