The Violet Hour: March 4, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

REVIEW – SHIFT by M.R. Merrick

And now, onto my review of SHIFT…

ebook, 1st Editions

Expected publication: February 1st 2012 by M.R. Merrick

ISBN 9780987726230

seriesThe Protector #2
Source: Provided by author for an honest review


“Devastated by the loss of his mother, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else-a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.

It is no secret that I was positively blown away by M.R. Merrick’s debut novel, EXILED. I just couldn’t say enough good about it. I have encouraged countless readers to pick it up, and have gotten great feedback from those that have. I won’t lie. I was more than excited when the opportunity to review SHIFT came up. When you trust in the ability of an author to bring a fresh, exciting story to life, it’s pretty easy to get stoked.

Chase suffers a staggering loss at the end of EXILED, and is really having a hard time coming to grips with his new reality. Recent events have made him a much sought after prize for the Underworld and the Circle. Chase is seeking vengeance against his father, and his capabilities for seeing that come to fruition are growing. And it isn’t just Chase that’s discovering strengths and powers. Multiple characters develop so much in this plot. There are huge revelations concerning Rayna. It was so intense, experiencing the changes happening with her. My favorite stuttering demon, Willy, really steps up to the plate and I’ll admit that I even teared up a little. 

Not every story has to have some mind-numbing romance angle. Sometimes adventure and honor are more important, and that’s how it is with The Protector series. Romance isn’t the main focus of this story. Chase and Rayna have only known each other a few months. It’s NORMAL for people not to be ‘crazy in love’ and all over each other from the get go. They are young, have gone through a lot of crap in their short lives, and all his life Chase was taught not to trust any Underworlder. Besides, they’ve got other things to worry about… like stopping the apocalypse. I am extremely pleased with the pacing of Chase and Rayna’s relationship. This story is action packed from beginning to end, for sure. Some people don’t like that because they say you don’t get to know a character as well, but I disagree. You can tell A LOT about a character from the way they act in a high-stress situation, and there are plenty of those in SHIFT. It was easy for me to envision each scene, which is something that I have come to rely on with this author. I was able to do the same thing with book one. Merrick’s descriptive storytelling is still shining like a beacon amid the waves of monotonous, predictable storytelling floating around in the young adult genre. 

Chase’s powers are growing, and once he gains full control, he will be a force to be reckoned with. I really have no idea where Merrick is going to go with this. I just know that I absolutely want to be along for the ride. I am standing by my original recommendation of the Protector series to anyone who loves a good fantasy thrill.

Personal note to the author: If you, Matthew Merrick, ever hurt Rai again… I will end you. =)

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