Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Shelf: Taming Shadows by Krista Alasti

College Freshman Shella Danforth has spent the past four years running from the part of herself she believes to be a monster: Her wolf. Shella is a shadow-shifter, a being who can shift into one of three forms: human, wolf, or shadow.

When young children start mysteriously vanishing from their homes at night, Shella is sure that something supernatural is responsible. Forced to team up with lifelong nemesis and fellow shifter Tran Dashner, Shella discovers that the culprit may be closer to her than she'd like to believe. To unravel the mystery, Shella must first learn to control her wolf - before it learns to control her.

Blurb from Goodreads....

Review: (Warning, contains mild spoilers)

Alright so I’m a tad biased seeing as the author is a dear friend and I love her to bits, but I honestly thought this book was brilliant. Looking at it as a story completely its own with no connection to anyone I know, I feel it was a fun, funny tale that was believable and very realistic at times. The storyline itself was a very simple one and yet the beauty and power behind it was that, take out the supernatural element, and its very plausible. The motives and reasons behind the “bad guy/s” is something that you can understand and actually see happening in real life.

I really loved each and every character in this book. They all had their purpose and reason for being in the story and they were very real. The issues they faced and the things they dealt with were realistic and understandable. Shella, Tran, Marshal, Kye, Darcy and even Amie all had their own personalities and issues. Throw in the supernatural element, one that included a unique twist on werewolves and you’ve got yourself a great story!
I thought Shella was brilliant—in a, “OMG, I wanna strangle this girl, can’t she see what’s right in front of her eyes?” kind of way! There’s no denying that Shella had her flaws. She’s been though a couple of traumatic things in her life already and she tends to lash out a lot, but it’s pretty obvious there’s a lot more to her under the surface. I get the feeling that she’s never really “belonged” anywhere or really had someone she could rely on and that’s why she doesn’t let anyone in, instead relying on her sharp tongue and bitchy—are witty attitude to keep people at bay. Still, there were a few moments during this book where I really could see the potential for her to fit in with that little family bunch her brother had going even before the emotional ending.

I thought Tran was a really great male lead too. He was silent and subtle, but there was no denying that there was a certain spark to the scenes that he was in, particularly the ones where he and Shella were at each other’s throats. Which was pretty much every scene the two of them shared, until towards the end of the book. Tran’s been through a lot too, more so than anyone in this book and throughout the book I did wonder about just what had happened to him in the past. Although, the main thing, the thing that involves cute little Amie, I totally saw coming a mile away! Don’t know why Shella didn’t. (I swear that girl *sigh*). I still feel like there’s tonnes we don’t know about him though, despite everything that came to light at the end of the book and I think it’ll be interesting seeing how his and Shella’s relationship changes. We know she feels something for him, something that could be really deep, even if she’s only just beginning to notice it and is not ready to accept it either.

Kye was another of my favourite characters in this book. I thought the friendship he shared with Tran was sweet although I would have liked a bit more explanation as to how that friendship came about. He added a certain guyish charm to the story and fuelled the humour between Shella and Tran. He was your typical teenager and he acted like one. I certainly look forward to seeing more of him.
All in all this story was a great read. It was something you could enjoy with just the right amount of action and humour, with an underlying feeling of emotion as the main character fights to accept who and what she is. The story ends perfectly with one chapter in Shella’s life coming to an end and another beginning. There’s a lot that’s changed since the beginning of the book and a lot that I think will continue to do so. And not only for Shella, but for Tran too. He’s faced a lot, but he has to keep going on. My heart breaks for him and I want to see him find happiness *cough* with Shella *cough*.
I can’t wait to read the sequel (and if you’re reading this Krista then there better be one or I’ll have your head!) and see what’s next in these characters lives.....

Rating: ***** stars
Recommend: Yes
Did I Buy, Borrow or is it an ARC: This was given to me by the author who is a good friend
Recommend Buy or Borrow: Buy
Ebook or Actual Book: Ebook
Cover: The cover doesn't say too much about the characters, but it's not bad either
Read sequel/continue with series: Yes....

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