4 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback - Goodreads Summary
"New pack, new alpha, new life. Be careful what you wish for...
Naomi Varden has just lost everything to the other female shifter in her pack. Her intended mate, her future position as alpha female, and now she's being punished for trying to defend what was hers. So she runs. She ends up in North Carolina and falls in with the Morrell wolf pack. They are more than happy to take in a new female wolf shifter.
The Morrell pack is everything she's ever wanted. Wealthy. Powerful. Feared. The upcoming alpha is without a mate, and she knows she would be perfect for him. Everything she's ever wanted is finally within her grasp. Only it's harder than she believed to leave her past behind. The sacrifices she must make threaten to erase who she is. But she's quickly learning a few things: not all packs are the same, friendship is found in the unlikeliest of places, and secrets can be very dark."
This is the second installment of the Phase Trilogy by E.C. Newman, and if you haven't read Phase, you will definitely want to pick up a copy of that first. Both books were easy, quick reads for me, but packed with such entertaining storytelling! One of the biggest critiques I saw for this book was that the author took 4 years between books one and two. But GUYS! Don't you want an author to take his/her time giving you the very best version of the story? In our time of binge-consuming media (looking at you Netflix), I think we forget just how much time and effort goes into writing a freaking novel. Okay, soap box over. Here are my thoughts on Shift.
E.C. Newman is first and foremost, a wonderful storyteller. Each scene had a clear purpose and nothing dragged or felt boring at any point. Told from Naomi's perspective, it's fast-paced and edgy, which is a huge change from Sophie (the narrator of the first book). The fact that the author can pull off both voices equally well is impressive. I always love looking inside a "villain" and this book does just that. I was surprised how much I connected with Naomi, but the reader has no choice! The writing is fantastic, the characters are realistic and relatable, and it's just a good story.
E.C. Newman doesn't over complicate the shifter folklore, but instead uses a fantastical element we're all familiar with as her base. From there, she builds a story of family drama, jealousy, and the scary realization we all had as teenager that not every family is like yours. If I was a teenager myself, I might have given this 5 stars. As an adult, it did feel more simple, but was still a fully realized story. Can't wait for Book III :)