Shifters: City of Wolves (Review)

This blog post features the book Shifters: City of Wolves by Avery Burch. I am going to include my opinion of the book, a few spoilers, my favourite quotes and my whole experience working with this author.

On Facebook a few months back, an advertisement appeared. Now, usually I quickly click away from these; it's normally a stupid app advertisement or a new service which you have to pay for...something I have no interest in. This time it was different. It was a new author advertising a book and not only that, but allowing it to be downloaded for free.

I read a bit about the book and got the gist of it was about werewolves. I'm a massive fan of anything supernatural so I quickly clicked the link and added my email. I had expected a quick email with the book but that wasn't what I got.

I received a number of emails over the next month, but none included that which I didn't appreciate. They weren't spam emails that meant nothing but they included actual things of interests. From news about the author, to the book coming out soon, to a guide to the hottest supernatural characters of the time.

I felt like Avery Burch cared about me as a reader and she made an effort to communicate with me personally. Yes, the emails were probably a batch but that personalisation and informal communication chit-chat really made me feel wanted. I had never felt that with an author before and the experience was fresh. I loved it.

Since the book came out, I've already received a new email regarding the next book and I seriously can't wait to receive it!

Go visit Avery Burch's website to get the same great and genuine relationship.

So back to the book and the series that I have completely and utterly fallen in love with.

She's an elite. He's a wolf and an outcast. Their forbidden passion will move worlds.

Everyone knows that wolves love with a passion that can be dangerous. They imprint on a woman and never let her go. From the moment they love their female, they will kill for her, and die for her.

Lyla is more than rich. She's one of The Elite, a paranormal class that rules society with an iron fist. She arrives in Manhattan to begin training as an enforcer. 

Zac is an orphan, an outcast, and a shifter. Turning into a wolf is an unforgivable crime in the elite regime. Enforcers hunt down and kill anyone who can shift. 

When Zac and Lyla meet, they know love is hopeless, but their powerful attraction is simply too great. Fighting to overcome the ruthlessness of their society, Zac and Lyla learn that true love can overcome any obstacle, but not without dire consequences. 

Shifter: City of Wolves is the first book in a paranormal romance series that features passionate romance, intensely real emotion, supernatural powers, and forbidden shifter love.

The story captivated me from the start where it began to tell the tale of Zac the boy who has just lost the person who he considered a father. When his father died, he left him a piece of his diary, a name in a guitar case and a task to find his long lost daughter, Zac's sister.

Upon entering the big city, his eyes meet Lyla's across a sea of people and that's it. He knows she's the one.

'She's like the sun. Sometimes you've just got to stare at it even though you know it's dangerous.'

With his mission seemingly forgotten, Zac chases after Lyla, risking his life to see her time and time again before she soon feels the same way.

'It will change your life forever, Lyla. There will be no going back.'

One of the strangest relationship is that which Lyla has with her mother: Edith Stanton...or Satan? If there was a book on the World's Worst Mother, it could be written by her. It''s hard to initially wrap your mind around the way she let everyone treat her own daughter. Allowing and supporting her own brother, Oswald, to form an arranged marriage with Lyla - incestuous relationships are apparently fine - and beat Lyla, because sacrifices have to be made; his attempt to rape Lyla is brushed off just as easily because it's bound to happen sometime.

'...her hands against his muscular chest, the black hairs coiling like weeds around her fingers...'

When Lyla attempts suicide, her mother is disappointed because she has everything she needs to live a happy life...clearly. It's only when society as they know it begins to fall apart do we begin realise why Edith is the way she is and finally see the nurturing side to her that we've all prayed for.

'Edith's mistake, her indiscretion, her passionate, crazy affair twenty years earlier...'

This book reads as young adult until around half-way when suddenly entirely graphic and clichéd sex scenes are added in. It wasn't the sex scenes themselves but their placements that were bizarre. While running from men with gun, you stop on a roof for intimate sex? I think that the scenes felt rather forced rather than a natural occurrence. I don't think they were needed at all because the novel would have been just as good without them, but, I don't think they ruined it as some reviews admit. It wasn't as if the sex filled in some missing hole in the book that needed to be filled.

What I didn't realise until after I looked up Avery Burch, after reading this novel, is that she is an author who writes erotica under another pen name. Clearly, she was likely to put in some sex scenes into this novel regardless, because that's what she knows how to do. It was similar scenes to Fifty Shades of Grey but without the 'kinky-f*ckery' Mr Grey insists on.

A message from Avery Burch at the end of the novel made my whole experience come to a close perfectly:
'I am very grateful that you have chosen to read this series. It is centred on the idea of fated mates and what it means to be completely and utterly devoted to the person you love, no matter the cost. I hope you enjoyed it.'

Be on the lookout for a sudden change when Lyla finds out a truth and both best friends suddenly meet for the first time. Powerfully addictive and finished within a day! I am seriously so excited for the next novel; I can't wait.

To read the novel for your self, click here for where to buy! Happy reading :)