Abram Chernov is a bear shifter and bush pilot, living his life in the Alaskan wilderness. He’s enjoying a well-deserved meal at a tavern when he’s approached by Nikan Parande, a wolf shifter sent from Chicago to track down Abram and ask for his help. The company that Nikan works for started tests on a possible mine site, but has lost contact with the small crew that’s supposed to be there. Nikan has been sent to find out what happened. Though it goes against his instincts, Abram agrees to fly Nikan to the mine site.
Things are worse than they feared, and Abram and Nikan find the worst possible outcome when they finally arrive at the mine. Together the men not only deal with their discovery, but also must fight off a horde of blood-thirsty savage vampires. The shifters are strong though and manage to make it to safety. Abram offers Nikan comfort after an emotionally and physically taxing day. With the new day dawning, the threat of vampires is in the past. But can these two men rely on the connection they forged to build something more?
I’m a fan of shifter tales, and I love it when there’s something a little bit different. For that, this book definitely delivers. Shifters are a little bit different here, filled with animal rage when they change, and not always able to control themselves. Vampires are the evil enemy. It made for a nice change of pace to see these aspects in the story, even if I would have seen them a little more explored.
Both MCs were nicely drawn, for the most part, and I felt like I got to know them both well. Abram grabbed my interest from the get go, with his view of the little tavern and the locals. Though I would have liked a little bit more information about his past, I felt like I got enough to understand him and his motivations. Nikan was a bit chattier, which was something he told us himself, and there were a couple of info dump sections where he gave Abram his background. The thing was, this worked well within the confines of the character, so I didn’t find myself too bothered by it. Yes, I would have liked a little bit more info from these guys, and perhaps in a more organic way. But, for the most part, it worked here. I understood enough to be involved in the story, but I needed a bit more to be truly invested. But I had to say I appreciated that there weren’t any grand declarations of love or proclamations of staying together forever. This tale ends with a very solid HFN that works perfectly with this guys.
The world building was a little bit lacking here, and I found myself with questions that weren’t answered. I wanted a little bit more information about how one becomes a shifter, and how things work in the world. I have to admit that this diminished my enjoyment of the book just a tiny bit, as I found myself pulled from the story every time a new questions crossed my mind and there was no answer. That being said, I think that there was enough to get by, and perhaps my own preference for really delving into a world and the way its constructed colored my thoughts here.
One other small quibble is that the story is in third person, so we get alternating POVs, which is fantastic. But there were a few small instances of head hopping that stood out. Also, I found that every once in a while the story would go from the reader actually being privy to what was going on in the MCs’ heads to more like an omniscient narrator was explaining the actions. This happened several times and it was enough to be jarring. And if the prose got a little too purple at times, I was willing to accept it as this author’s style and let it go.
Basically, I thought this was a nice, quick read that had some really good moments. Nothing too memorable, but it was still a nice way to pass the time. This is the first of a series and I’ll be picking up the next book, if for no other reason but to see where the author takes these characters, or others in this world, next.