Series: Flesh and Bone: Book Three
Author: Joel Abernathy
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 247 Pages
Category: Horror, Paranormal
At a Glance: This is some lovely speculative fiction, though not one to seek out if you’re looking for a soft romance, but the way Joel Abernathy turns a phrase encompasses a lot of emotion and builds empathy for Andrei and Mihail’s fight for their happy ending, with just the right words, a tender look, and a yearning for something, and someone, that seems out of reach.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: An angel fell and a devil was there to catch him.
My fathers always told me the rules would keep me alive. For Mihail, I’ll break every last one of them.
Never let the blood run cold.
Never let the monster out in the light of day.
Never let a human witness escape.
He saw the secret I keep buried beneath my skin one night so long ago, and I let him get away. I should have killed him, but my soul knows him the way my fangs long to.
He’s got secrets, too. Secrets of the tarnished past. Secrets sharp and rusty enough to ruin us both.
Either he falls or I do.
Review: The Flesh and Bone series is such a fab addition to the horror/paranormal suspense genre; it’s my catnip, and I love the dark, edgy bent Joel Abernathy gives not only to his shifter-verse but to the romantic arc of each couple’s story as well. Andrei grows up in this book, even if he hasn’t yet completely outgrown the instincts of the feral pup he was when Vasil found him and brought him home to live with Nicolae and Jack, to be raised as their son. The fact that he would fall in love and bond with someone who is meant to destroy him was nothing less than I would have expected from him. He sees himself as a monster, unworthy of but still seeking some kind of redemption, and the payoff to his search was delivered true to form for this author: nothing about it was easy.
Shift is just different enough from the previous two books, Exhale and Bleed, in terms of the relationship storyline, to be unique within the series. We know from the moment Andrei and Mihail meet as young boys, and the circumstances they meet under, that there will be secrets which tie together their fates. They were born to be mortal enemies. That they are drawn to each other adds another layer of complication to the order of this world. Their journey to resolution is filled with warring emotions and desires—heartache, lust, love, hatred and anger, revelations and danger, vengeance and the ultimate decision between betrayal and destiny. The happiness found in the end is earned by the characters, and readers are rewarded for hanging with them until the moment of truth—realizing what the true enemy is and choosing each other over who they were meant to be.
Andrei’s book is one I’ve been looking forward to from the moment I read the teaser excerpt at the end of Bleed, and the ways in which Abernathy eventually commingles Andrei’s backstory with Mihail’s adds a new dimension to the overall world-building and the dynamics of the characters who inhabit it. It has been a long time coming, but I had no idea whatsoever that this is where we’d end up, and, of course, I was all-in for the surprise of it.
While Shift can be read as a standalone, I also agree with the disclaimer: potential readers have an advantage in knowing about some of the events referred to, and being familiar with the characters who have delivered readers to this point. This is some great speculative fiction, though not one to seek out if you’re looking for a soft romance, but the way Joel Abernathy turns a phrase encompasses a lot of emotion and builds empathy for Andrei and Mihail’s fight for their happy ending, with just the right words, a tender look, and a yearning for something, and someone, that seems out of reach.
You can buy Shift here:
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