Shift (Shifters #5) by Rachel Vincent

By Rachel Vincent Shift (Shifters) (Library ed) [Paperback] - Rachel Vincent

Faythe’s pack is preparing werecats of North America are poised on the edge of the civil war…


Until a new threat appears – Thunderbirds. None of them are used to fighting the birds and they scrabble desperately to find some way to stop the assault


As ever, Faythe and her fellow tabbies are prime targets.




This book has opened the world building of the series a lot more to include another of the shapeshifter creatures that occupy this world. The Thunderbirds


It would have been really nice if “Thunderbirds” actually involved even a shred of Native American mythology beyond just the word. Instead it just means “werebird”. Actually, given the “spicy latinos” of the first book, I think I’m leery of wishing this book includes more than its two token latino characters.


The werebirds themselves are relatively interesting – especially since they seem to show a very different culture which should, really, be a wonderful challenge to all that is wrong with werecat culture. It’s not patriarchal and it’s completely non-hierarchical. I also like how they’ve adopted a level of avian nature into the shapeshifters with things like carrion eating. One of the many complaints I’ve had of the werecat world building is how it has failed to really establish them as cats (like they keep going for “runs”. Cats play in many ways, but they’re not wolves, they’re not endurance runners)


While the world building of the Thunderbirds is interesting and I’d actually like to see more of this new society, the plot is just a bit meh


The Thunderbirds are attacking… but the sheer inability of them to actually sensibly change their decisions is… dubious


Similarly the werecats inability to come up with any strategy to fight back seems equally dubious. All they did was cower inside, completely unable to fight back against a Thunderbird strategy that seemed limited to picking them up (sometimes needing 2 birds) and the dropping them. On top of that we had an equally dubious decision for Faythe and Kaci to go running off virtually unguarded for their own safety



This is a classic hallmark of dubious decisions pushing a plot that has a gaping hole in it. This whole decision is there to keep Faythe centred on the plot line rather than find a more obvious solution that actually makes sense but doesn’t involve her (like call in other pack members and telling them to come with guns).


Another significant portion of the book is consumed by a ridiculously tiresome love triangle which has designated-love-interest-but-not-really being eternally distracted by the need to rebel and arm wrestle Mark. It consumes a lot of pages and really shows that he’d make a terrible Alpha simply because he cannot focus on the task at hand


Like with the last few books I have to return to how this series is ruined by the awfulness of the first book (and, to a lesser extent, the second). The thing is, while I think there is a considerable amount of author regret over that book, there’s no real walking back what happened in that first book and the context of that continues on.


One of the most galling of which is the continued comparison of Faythe to Kaci (I think there was even a deliberate choice to give them unusually spelled names to emphasise the similarities). Kaci is in the same position that Faythe was in book one – rebellious, determined to insert herself while everyone (Faythe included) tries to shelter and protect her. She is even hunted by ALL THE THINGS because she is a Tabby and that’s basically what this entire world is built on – precious objects-who-are-not-people



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