Thursday, 6 September 2012

REVIEW, Shifting Sand

Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is like of the Shifting Sands.

    Prod dets
Shifting Sands
Series: Anthology
Pub:  2010 by MLR Press
Authors: Ally Blue, Brenda Bryce, Jet Mykles, JL Langely, Kimberly Gardner & Willa Okati
Genre: paranormal romance
Format: paperback (mid); 340p
Age Range: adult

A woman’s wrath is bad, but a witch’s wrath is hell on earth. No one knows this better than the six men of Shifting Sands Ranch. When the owner’s Chinese witch of a wife abandons him and the ranch, she takes one of the cowboys and leaves behind a curse that dooms the remaining inhabitants to a life that is anything but normal. Now, ever month when the moon comes full, each man takes on the form of an animal.
Witches, shifters and ancient curse, such is life on the Shifting Sands. 

It’s something I don’t particularly like to, review anthologies. And mostly I only do them when a story is too good and bad as shit, that I need to bitch about the thing.
This isn’t the case here—thought the stories are good, a little confusing in some point if you really want to look at things until you reach the end. But good.
It’s just this one is one book.
Or more so, six books by six different authors, that makes up one story. Like a series rolled in one book. Only each character actually has a different voice because they are different people writing it.
How fucking cool is that?!
And so because of this, well, how could I not talk about it?

Alright, so how I’m I going to do this one.....
First up is the Prologue to the whole book. This is what started it all. Yi, the witch, walking out and cursing all the men while taking one with her. It’s a little odd until you realise that it’s the start of the book, since it’s not something I was use to, it was kinda exciting when the light dinged on top my head.
It also makes you wonder, think, of how much the authors of this book got together and thought about this, or how much they had to know to being writing this book, because though each are individual story, they are six men that live together and share the same place, which means that each author has to write the other characters with the personalities the other authors gave them, or it wouldn’t sit right.
Well, it’s something I find interesting.

Next comes story one, Snake Charmer by Kimberly Gardner, this is Cy, a snake shifter & Bobby Lee, his boy.
This story was good with a quick start of him fucking Bobby Lee just before the shift comes along, and then the rest of the story is about him opening his fucking mouth and telling the boy that he’s a shifter and that he loves him.
Though it dragged a little, because, I’m wasn’t kidding above, that’s the story line, and so....yeah. But it was good, I thought. Gardner did a great job with the whole balls less deal. and I really like the idea of the characters already being in love when a short story romance starts because I just don’t see, or find, someone falling in love that fast, then expressing it, then moving in together, in such a short time frame, especially when the main character, just wouldn’t do that.
So it was a bonus for me that it happened that way.

Next is All the Moon Long by Ally Blue, this is Jud, shifts into a rat & Woody.
This is the same as above, with the whole fallen in love before the story started; only it wasn’t so much the telling that was the problem, more the reaction afterwards.

Next is Cock of the Walk by Willa Okati, this is Michael, a rooster shifter & Zan.
(This one kinda reminded me of a faster version of another book I love—or more so, the characters I liked).
This one is a little too fast passed and very cliché for the whole short story romance that came out of nothing. But at least this one had a character that would be like that. It’ actually wasn’t surprising, nor was it badly done and because of who Zen is as a person the whole love-at-first-sight thing really works for the story.
He’s a character that you can actually fall in love with and want more of, and I probably have a little, even if there isn’t quite enough book for the full blown girl fan!

Hare of the Ox by Brenda Bryce, this is Gordy, a bull shifter & Tristan.
This one is a little bit about abuse. About getting legs back under you and moving on from the fear. This book did well for the short space of recovering from spouse abuse. But it actually worked quite well. I think maybe because even though that was the main part of Tristan’s character, then whole falling in love on Gordy’s part and then the shifting, was kinda funny and took away the whole thing.
Though I’m not going to say it would have been a whole lot better as a longer story, but i don’t feel that way. Maybe because I didn’t really get the whole emotions that would make a longer story necessary. And though there was fear, it wasn’t overly stated to a point that I was standing in his skin.

Lost and Found by J.L Langley, this is Ben, a horse shifter & Shay.
Magic and hatred. What more can I say. This one had a long time frame, but that time frame wasn’t really seen, just said. it was also....I don’t know, but reading it, it was like a page of text, though clearly there was more. I just....
But I really liked both the characters, and I felt satisfied at the end of their part. I just can’t really say anything about it.

Pulling the Dragon’s Tail by Jet Mykles, this is Daniels, a Dragon shifter & Russel’s.
So Daniel has a feeling and then gets a call that says Russel, the guy that got taken away by Yi at the beginning of the story. They have a little play. They don’t mention it. They come home. They shift, it doesn’t change anything. They fuck and then Yi and what we may as well think of him as Yu turn up for the Epilogue and explain. Yep that’s it.
I’m telling you. That’s it.
Though saying this, Russel and Daniel were in love with each other before the book started and it had to end with them. You could kinda see that happening from the beginning. And that’s what happened.

Anyway, I thought the book was a cool idea, though it took me forever to read the damn thing. I think this is because at the end of the day it’s still an anthology and I can’t read them at once. I get bored or my brain gets fucked up ‘cause of all the story lines.
But still the concept is cool. Having a key point for all the stories was a great way of making it more interesting than just any anthology, it made me stick threw to the end (not something I do very often) and I think, though it made it a little weird, because you kept thinking it a little as a series, but the other characters weren’t in it all that much, mostly I think because doing someone else’s character voice would be a little hard.
But I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone who likes this sort of story.

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