Once the wolf shifter population was kept locked away, able to barely control their own fate and subjugated by the human population. Like any species who is enslaved, the wolves rebelled and then promised a different type of government, one where humans and shifters would govern together and in harmony. However, along the way that idea was lost and now, in this new world, shifters dominate and every human reaching the age of twenty-three must take the compatibility test to see if they are a candidate for the bite that will transform them into a wolf and lock them into a pack where an alpha would control them.
Cole Moreton has just come of age and, like his brother and sister before him, must now take the test, but with one in four qualifying, it is a sure bet Cole will be compatible. When all is said and done, Cole has been earmarked for the McKillan pack and destined to be an assassin/security team member due to his excellent skill set with weapons and self-defense. But the last thing Cole wants to do is take the bite and become someone who tracks down humans who refuse to join a pack. When Logan, a McKillan pack member, tries to ease Cole into accepting his fate, he realizes that Cole will never go willingly. Now Logan must decide if he can help Cole avoid becoming pack or leave him to a fate he hates more than anything.
With the release of Escape, Annabelle Jacobs has started a new paranormal series featuring a carefully created world that has humans being tested for compatibility with wolves and potentially taking the bite that will transform them into shifters. For some, the idea is very appealing, but for many, it is a form of enslavement that leaves them filled with dread and fear. Cole is one such human. Logan understands Cole’s reluctance and despises the idea that he must be the envoy who will be responsible for bringing Cole in and also moving him to a branch of the pack known for its savagery and delight in hunting humans. But there is nothing Logan can do—unless Cole is willing to give up everyone and everything and simply disappear.
The world building by this author was really incredible. The reader is immersed in a world turned upside down where it’s the humans who are hunted and controlled as opposed to the shifters. With just a touch of background before we are thrust into this new way of life, it isn’t clear how the wolves were initially forced into subjugation or how they managed to rise up and take back their lives. That is something I wish the author had spent a bit more time on simply because I was fascinated by the different angle this paranormal story took and wanted more back story to fully understand it. However, the book moves swiftly with a lot of excitement and hand to throat twists and turns where, at times, no one seems safe and getting Cole to his new life is not a sure bet. There was just the beginning of a romance between Cole and Logan, but suffice it to say that we are left with a tentative HFN by novel’s end with lots of story yet to come.
With excellent world building and this new and refreshing take on shifters, Escape is a standout paranormal tale that I think many might enjoy. I know I will be waiting with baited breath for the next installment to not only see how Logan and Cole fare romantically, but what happens to the humans when and if they decide to take back their lives.