Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.
Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel…different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.
I can safely say this is a YA fantasy book that I love. Yes, it has shifters in it which isn’t normally a power that I like to read about, I don’t find it terribly interesting and it’s been done too much but the pros and cons of such a power was done really well in this book and the explanation of how the powers fit it into the world was good.
Romance was a theme in the book and the protagonist had a best guy friend yet there was no unrequited love or love triangle! It was really refreshing and I loved how I could enjoy the friendships of many of the characters without worrying about being annoyed by the protagonist having to choose in the middle of an far more important plot about powers and people trying to kill her.
I found the characters all very varied and even the villain at school was shown to have their own goals and personality that didn’t revolve around making the protagonist’s life miserable. The setting was something new as well (a town in the wilderness of 200 people?), I thought there was maybe a little too much dwelling on how small the town was but it worked for me. Especially when it turned out to be plot relevant.
The cliffhanger slightly annoyed me and it was a little over-used (a helicopter?). It didn’t wrap anything up, just added more questions but it didn’t annoy me as much as Maze Runner and Prince of Fools. I want to buy the sequel and will be keeping this book to reread. So five stars it is!