Shifting Selves by Mia Marshall is book 2 of the Elements series.
Aidan Brook’s world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It’s a secret that could cost her sanity—or even her life.
What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking for her help with a series of shifter disappearances.
Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.
These are not great literature, but I’m still a fan of the series.
I read and reviewed the first book in the series, Broken Elements, a little while ago (pop down into the Related Articles at the bottom of the post to read it), and I believe my review was along the lines of it being an enjoyable piece of fiction for its genre.
My feelings on it doesn’t change. It’s not anything groundbreaking, and Marshall hasn’t taken it into that territory with book two. Instead, she’s built on what she created in book one and expanded it, adding more depth and complexity to a fully realised world.
The prose is still fairly basic, but it’s never bad writing, which is better than a lot of works in this genre. Being written in first person means it can be engaging and appealing without being difficult or pretentious, and I appreciate that.
I like Aidan Brook more each time I read about her – she’s a woman who has spent many years isolated and alone and is now rediscovering relationships and it adds a certain uncertainty to her character that many main characters lack. She’s not especially bright, either, which makes a change from never-wrong heroines! She makes quite a few mistakes in the investigation she’s roped into in this book.
If there is a fault with the book it’s that I felt things were too easily wrapped up and were a little too obvious. Perhaps it’s simply the constraints of the genre, but I did think the ending and the resolution to Aidans problems with her magic were clear from early on in the book.
Still, it’s a good second offering in something that’s shaping up to be a very promising series.
3.5 out of 5.
Provided for free by Match Books through Netgalley