Author: D.B. Reynolds
Release Date: Oct. 26, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Main Characters: Amanda Sumner (Earthling) & Rhodry de Mendoza (Shifter)
My Rating: 4 Shifting ♥'s
First Thoughts: Sometimes, the only difference between success or failure is the ability and willingness to adapt.
Book Cover: To-die-for sinfully delicious!
*Many thanks to Entangled Publishing & Netgally for providing this ARC.
Specialist Amanda Sumner is one of the first to make contact on the Earth-like planet Harp and discovers she's the only Earthling, who can hear the trees sing in the strange forest. Determined to remain and learn more of the planet’s secrets, Amanda sets out to become part of the elite Guild there...
But there is a secret involving some Guild members–one that could get her killed.
Shifter Rhodry de Mendoza wants the Earthlings off his planet before they destroy it—even if that means denying what he feels for the fierce and lovely Amanda. The pair is thrown together in what becomes a fight for their lives. And they might just lose everything–including each other–in their battle for the right to live in peace.
I love the Vampire In America series by D.B. Reynolds and couldn't wait to start her new venture, Shifter Planet. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to read and review it when offered the ARC although I worried a little that it couldn't possibly hold a candle to the VIA books. I'm so happy to say that Shifter Planet meets the high standards set by this author. It's unique, intriguing, and feels very real which seems odd as the book is not only set in the future but on another planet.
Shifter Planet takes place in the year 4668 on the planet of Harp. Amanda is part of the First Contact Team that lands on this earth-like planet after picking up an ancient distress signal. The team discovers that the people living on Harp are human colonists who'd made a critical landing there after a system failure on their ship and had had no contact with Earth in 485 years. When Amanda's spaceship prepares to leave, Amanda remains behind with a scientific team to study the people and planet and quickly discovers that there are secrets there that some will do anything to protect. She soon becomes frustrated and irritated at the society ruled exclusively by men - men with a chauvinistic attitude of male seniority. Of course, Amanda decides to challenge that.
Leading his clan is shifter Rhodry Devlin de Mendoza, a member of the elite Guild - a society of male Shifters who are charged with the task of protecting the people & planet of Harp. Amanda and Rhodry butt heads often in spite of the chemistry sparking between them. Curious to learn more about the Guild, Amanda decides to apply and attempt to pass their trial test. But, it seems, not only is she the only female to ever do so, she is also the only Norm (non-shifter) to do so. And she quickly learns that there are some who will do anything, even kill, to stop her. And so the trials and tribulations begin.
Amanda is a spunky, determined, kickass heroine with a lot to prove. She has lived her entire life isolated on a spaceship. And yet, right away, she feels at home on the planet of Harp. She is mesmerized by the forest of green trees and can hear them singing/talking to her, even as she realizes that she is the only one of her team that can hear them. She refuses to heed warnings to stay out of the forest and often ventures out alone. I loved this character for refusing to follow the status quo and for charging full speed ahead, blazing new trails. One of her strongest traits is her ability to adapt to her surroundings and rise up to meet each challenge thrown before her. This is not your ordinary, swooning, weak female in need of protection.
Rhodry is a strong, protective, gorgeous cat shifter/alpha with golden eyes who fights his attraction to Amanda while doing everything he can to protect her, his planet, and its secrets. He realizes that Amanda is different from other norms and that the trees speak to her. Rhodry believes Amanda is insane for attempting to past the necessary tests for joining their elite Guild . . . after all, women don't belong out fighting. Shouldn't they be home cooking, cleaning, raising kids? And yet, when Rhodry's enemies, under the disguise of friendship, rise up against him and leave him for dead, it's the crazy female Amanda who fights to save him, standing beside him to battle back. Rhodry is forced to reexamine his thoughts and feelings about this female who drives him insane. Both the physical and emotional battle that ensues make this book worth the read!
Shifting Planet takes an unique approach to the world of shifters. While it takes place in the future, it doesn't have too much of a sci-fi feel about it. I found myself so absorbed, so lost in the story that I actually forgot about the time period at times. I enjoyed the developing relationship between Amanda & Rhodry and liked that the author moves it forward in a slow, realistic manner. While the chemistry is there from the moment they meet, Reynolds depicts a relationship that evolves slowly - one that overcomes a lot of mistrust, adaptation to each other's worlds, and oh yeah . . . a battle for their lives. Shifter Planet delves into political arenas, deals with society issues, and portrays different worlds colliding in a magnificent manner. It's a Must Read!
My Rating: 4 Shifting ♥'s . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx