TITLE: SHIFT (Mackenzie Grey #1)
AUTHOR: Karina Espinosa
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy
PUBLISHED: Jan 21st, 2015
Shift is an Urban Fantasy Novel about werewolves and the first book in the Mackenzie Grey Series by indie author Karina Espinosa. Shift is set in Manhattan, NY but the author takes us to many places throughout The Big Apple, Brooklyn, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Alphabet City, Central Park, Astor Hall.
The book begins with our main character and Heroine; Mackenzie and her bestie Amy going “toe to toe” with her arch nemesis Diana Stone. Diana stole Mackenzie’s former childhood best friend and now ex-boyfriend James and seems to have nothing better to do than to stalk and torment Mackenzie.
Mackenzie Grey is a college student and aspiring Cop trying to finish her criminal justice degree while surviving the heartache of being cheated on by her ex-boyfriend James. Mackenzie is strong, independent, sarcastic, and impulsive. She’s a feminist with a strong sense of justice.
But Mackenzie isn’t your average college student. She’s a werewolf – a lone wolf to be exact; strangely she has no idea how she became a werewolf. But Mackenzie’s problems are about to get a lot bigger than getting over a cheating boyfriend.
Mackenzie is discovered as a lone-wolf by the Brooklyn pack and kidnapped. Suddenly thrust into werewolf society, the more she finds out the more she wants to escape.
Jonah Caldwell is the Beta Wolf of the Brooklyn wolfpack; he is instantly infatuated and becomes highly territorial when it comes to Mackenzie.
Sebastian Steel is the Alpha of the Brooklyn wolfpack. As alpha he expects obedience even from a Luna ignorant of the ways of werewolf society. Sebastian and Mackenzie manage to push each other’s buttons at every turn yet the sparks to still crackle between the two, but he’s all alpha and expects Mackenzie to become a Luna.
“They do as their Alpha says, like they should,” he said. “Soon, you will as well.” “Not happening. I’m not joining your little club.” “We’ll see,” he said and turned around just as the Luna came up to us with the items he requested. “
Both men are Alpha personalities and seem to run hot, when things are going their way and cold, when things are not.
“He snorted. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be back home with your cheating boyfriend?” he said and I clenched my fists at my side. Okay, now I’m starting to feel like myself again. A thought stopped me, maybe it was better if I gave him space before I couldn’t control what came out of my mouth. “Low blow, Jonah,”
“I think there is, asshole. You can’t just try to seduce me and then act like you do that with everyone. I mean, unless you do, then—then you’re a whore,” I said”
The main plot of the novel is the suspicious disappearances of members of the supernatural community, as well as Mackenzie’s status as a lone wolf and her lineage.
“We have another reported kidnapping, but this time in Spanish Harlem. Do you want to tag along or are you done for the day?”
But there’s also a sub-plot of gender inequality.
“Why does being a woman matter?” “Mackenzie, when are you going to get it through that thick head of yours? The Pack hasn’t caught up to modern human times. In this world, women have a place and they are kept in line! Not doing so is insubordinate”
The book does conclude with a resolution, to the case of the suspicious disappearances. The issue of Mackenzie’s lone Wolf status becomes a moot point, but the issue of gender inequality among the werewolves remains unresolved.
Honestly, I loved the book but it is not perfect, at times the story is a bit ‘choppy,’ but there is never a dull moment. Shift gets more interesting with each chapter. One of the best things about Shift is the story is pretty to the point; the tale is just as long as it needs to be and not a word longer. The author Karina Espinosa considers the book to be adult urban fantasy but it’s pretty PG-13.
Shift is an interesting and enjoyable tale. I recommend it to any urban fantasy lover from teen to adult.