My Rating: 4.5/5
Author: Mia Marshall
Title: Shifting Selves (Elements, Book 2)
Genre: Paranormal mystery
Aidan Brook’s world was shattered when the actions of a brutal murderer revealed long-buried secrets about her past–secrets even she didn’t know. A powerful elemental, Aidan discovered she possesses the wrong kind of magic. It’s a secret that could cost her sanity-or even her life. What she needs is some peace and quiet. What she gets is a phone call from a division of the FBI so secret it doesn’t even have a name, asking her help with a series of shifter disappearances. Before Aidan can settle into a new routine of pancakes and evenings by the fire, the case develops claws. She quickly finds herself caught between uptight bears, deadly mountain lions, overprotective parents, and unhappy federal agents. Throw in a stalled romance with an enigmatic shifter and the slow dissolution of her chosen family, and it’s hard to say which will drive her mad first: her magic, or her chaotic life.
Shifting Selves is the second book in the Element series. You will probably need to read book 1, Broken Elements, to stay up to speed with everything. [Review for the first book can be found here.]The author does provide small recaps at the beginning of the novel if you do want to dive straight into this one, but I would recommend reading the first book prior to this one. Please note that the rest of this review may contain spoilers for the first book. The story focuses on shifter disappearances around Lake Tahoe, and yet again, it becomes personal with Aidan and her band of friends. They must join forces to solve kidnappings and strange magical inhibitions. Aidan is coming to grips with what she has discovered from the last book – but balance is not always so easy to achieve. It’s another rocky ride for Aidan and her pals.
As with the first book, this one follows Aidan in first person narrative. At the beginning of the book, the reader sees how Aidan is trying to find balance with her two elements/mental state. She has support from friends, but as with most novels there is some tension between them during certain points. Despite the tensions, they continue to support one another. Still not into exercise, Aidan tries to find ways to calm herself – obviously the yoga is not working for her. (If I was there I would have suggested swimming laps in a pool as her exercise attempt.) The FBI agents are also back. They hire Sera and Aidan to work on a “magical” secret case that involves the disappearance of a shifter. The reader learns more about shifters – especially those outside the bear and cat species. This begins another crime solving adventure, which not everyone is too eager about. Aidan’s parents are also back and more involved than in the prior books, wanting to protect their daughter from other people finding out what she is.
The plot moves along nicely – similar flow to the first book. Crimes that involve magical beings are the theme once again, and Aidan with her friends jumps into action to help. Shifters and elementals do not always see eye-to-eye, which brings more interest to the story when elementals are asked to help shifters retrieve their loved ones. The plot takes a few twists along the way with a surprise at the end. The book leaves room for another – which I believe is in the making as I write this.
The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed this book and will look forward to the third one. If you like paranormal mysteries, you should give this series a chance.