by Kate Ormand
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: September 1st 2015
A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance
Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.
In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.
Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.
Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?
I really like the idea of the shifters disguising themselves by being a traveling circus. Although it seemed the circus itself was minimal. With only one main tent attraction it wasn’t really elaborated on. I was more interested in the characters so it didn’t bother me but I could see how you might be expecting a larger circus scene. It made me think of Ringling Bros coming to town as oppose to going to Circus world and Baraboo. It was pretty cool how all the acts are actually people who can change into animals. At times though the circus seemed more like a prison than a refugee.
I thought the part with the animal cruelty protesters was interesting. I was thinking in my head what they would do if they knew the people were the animals, and the reason they have to hide is because they are endangered by hunters. How would they react to that.
Flo and Jett have an established relationship, so you don’t have the build-up but it’s just as sweet. They work through the story as partners and truly respect each other. They are also both understanding how they don’t want to leave either one behind. I enjoyed their romantic scenes.
There are all kinds of characters coming in and out. I think I would have to write down what everyone his to remember what animal they can shift to. We spend the most time with Flo who is a horse and Jett who is a bear. The triplets who are elephants also have a big part in the story, at least they are more memorable to me. Then of course the elders who run the show.
It has that thriller aspect where they are on the run from the hunters and finding out more about the history of the circus. It always stresses me out when I read a book like this, like why can’t they just be safe! It’s also addicting for that reason, I need to read to find out if they will ever be safe.
I really enjoyed the book. I think if you are fan of paranormal with that kind of thriller vibe. This is definitely a unique read. I don’t know if I have ever read a book with such a broad spectrum of shifters.
You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).