Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder

The Shifters of 2040 (Shifter Evolutions: Book 3) by Ami Blackwelder

***I received this book (digital copy) in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.  The blog tour is being hosted by The Bookish Snob Tours.


Amazon Product Description:
Book three begins the saga, The Shifters of 2040. From that the reader may choose the past or the future. You may also read the saga chronologically.

America 2040.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.

Summary: Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.

My thoughts:
     The characters in this book stand out as what drives the story.  They are creatively developed and offer a whole new look at shifters.  Ami's shifters vary in many ways from what you think of when you hear shifter.  These have the ability to assimilate a variety of forms from human to more than one animal, but each has a dominate form that they can easily shift into.  Their original form is more of an energy than an actual creature.  The children - hybrids - are limited in that they each have one animal they can shift into and remain in human form until later in life.  I enjoyed the descriptions, she is very detailed.  It was interesting to me that they had different colored skin that had mottled colors as well.  I liked how she ties the story theme into modern prejudices that we still face even today.
     The military link is frightening - a thing of nightmares and as a reader I pray is just science fiction.  The control of the high up military personnel is terrifying.  I found my heart going out to Bruce in his attempts to get Melissa to break free of the hold of both the military and her father.  At the same time I found myself both angry with and feeling sorry for Melissa.  Sorry that her very identity and sense of self worth were so tied into her work and her father's opinion, and angry that she couldn't seem to dredge up the self confidence to stand up for what she truly believed in and wanted.
     This is an incredible story of the unwillingness of the human race to accept another group of beings because of their own fear and the shifters differences, and the struggle of the shifters to coexist and survive in a world where they are persecuted, hunted, and tortured.  
     This is the story of choices, consequences, desire, fear, hatred, power, control, passion, love, and sacrifice.  The emotional intensity of the characters as they deal with their lives is amazing.  The theme that children are the future is paramount in this story.  
     This was my first Ami Blackwelder shifter read and I can't wait to read the rest of the series!  My only question now is: Do I start with the past and read 2020 or do I look to the future and read 2060?  Don't miss the rest of The Shifter Evolutions series! 

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