Shapeshifter's Quest - Dena Landon Oh boy… this book… I have so much to say about it. It sure was a journey to get through this book. Not because of the book lacking in content but because I have just been in a HUGE reading slump. Every book I picked up just… fell flat because I was just not in the mood to read. Nevertheless, I managed to get through this book and I am quite glad that I did. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first picked up this book. This is a book that I would have never noticed on my own. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s start from the very beginning, shall we? Yes. Let’s.

About two months ago, my best friend came to visit me from up North. It was more than five years since we last saw each other so naturally I was freaking excited and happy! Also, like any good friend would, I took her to my library! Well… one branch of it… I wanted to take her to the other branches but there’s only so much you can do with your best friend that you haven’t seen in five years in just nine days. (Man, I wish we had more time. DX) Anyway, we went to the library and began browsing the shelves, just to see what would catch our eyes. I found a few books I’ve been meaning to read, along with a few others my friend picked out, and then decided that I had enough books to last me for a while. Among the books my friend picked out was Shapeshifter’s Quest. I didn’t think it was too special but my friend was surprised to find a book about shapeshifters. Since she was a child, she was fascinated with the concept of a person being able to transform into any creature at will and, honestly, I don’t blame her! It sounded like a wonderful gift to have. So when she saw this book, she took the name down with its author and made a note about looking it up in her own library (since she never read this book or many other shapeshifter books). I’ve never read any books of this nature myself so I decided to take it home with me that day and look into this idea that my best friend seemed so fascinated on. Of course, I didn’t know if this book was going to be any good or not… but I had hope!

Long story short, I finished reading the book and… it was okay. I thought it was a very good book and that the story was unique and different from what I usually read. However, there are some things about the book I had an issue with. The first thing… the writing. Dena Landon isn’t a terrible writer. I like how she goes out of her way to describe the scenery to you. She even manages to convey the history of the shapeshifters very well. Another thing I like is that she doesn’t shy away from the cruelty that a higher power can hold over people just because they are different from oneself. Just the entire concept as a whole was fascinating to me. I really enjoyed visiting this world and getting to know its people. It was wonderful! However, I am not a fan of how she mentions things over and over again. It makes the book sound repetitive and I feel that it slows the book down. Speaking of which, I also felt that some scenes were too rushed! (I know… contradiction but it’s true.) Some scenes should have been drawn out a bit more so that way the reader can get the full enjoyment of what was taking place. What bothered me most about this book was that there was no balance. It either went too fast or too slow and that got to me. I wish the author would have just took her time to think things through a little more before executing some of the events that took place. One last complaint about the book as a whole before I move on to characters. What really got under my skin… WAS THE ENDING!!! My god woman!!! Why would you end a book on such a cliffhanger if you weren’t planning to write a sequel? Seriously, there is absolutely no closure whatsoever! Nothing is resolved except one problem and the characters are left to just… wander! I am so upset! I mean, sure, there are reports that Landon is working on a sequel but it’s been five years! FIVE YEARS! I know writing a book takes time but five years? *Sighs* As I’ve said, I don’t hate the book. I enjoyed it very much so… just… I was disappointed in some areas.

As for the characters, I like them. For the most part. I enjoyed a lot of the side characters a lot more than the main ones but that’s something that I always go through when reading books. XP Syanthe, the main female protagonist, was… annoying. Her stupidity was out of control! At first, I thought she was just naive because she spent her entire life trapped in a forest (I would tell you more… but that’s a spoiler) but she is really stupid! Who uses magic near the capital city where the evil King, who enslaved your people and has magical power that can literally kill you with just a thought, resides? He HAS the power to sense when others are using magic yet she STILL was stupid enough to call forth her own magic. And that’s not even the only time she did something stupid! No! There are other times where she put her whole caravan in trouble because she wanted an easy way out of the task that was placed upon her. See, her mother is ill and she needed to go to the capital to get the medicine. That’s all well and good… IF SHE DIDN’T TRY TO ASK EVERY FRIKIN’ PERSON SHE MET ABOUT THE MEDICINE!!! This medicine only works on shapeshifters. Shapeshifters were put into isolation. Shapeshifters have a bad rep with normal folk… YOU DO NOT ASK SUCH A QUESTION WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO HIDE THE FACT THAT YOU ARE, INDEED, A SHAPESHIFTER! God! What a moron! Ugh! I cannot STAND this girl! *Head/desk* Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!

Her love interest, Jerel, was a lot better. I thought he was going to be an ass at first but he soon proved me wrong. Thank God! One idiot in this book is bad enough. He turned out to be quite intelligent and caring. He was so gentle and even when Syanthe did something incredible stupid, he forgave her and thought her to be charming (he clearly has bad taste in women but I digress). What I love most about him was that he always thought ahead. He didn’t just RUSH into things without thinking about every possible course of action beforehand. Also, I just love how gentlemanly he was. You could say he won me over in the end. XD There is one thing about his character though that pissed me off: INSTALOVE! That’s right! He fell victim to what other YA protagonists fall victim to. Instalove. I’m serious. He met Syanthe one night and the next day he was already having feelings for her! What the frig? Really? It takes a lot longer to fall in love with someone than just a day! You need to get to know the person, find out their history, see if you have some things in common, and so on. Not just meet, say “Wow… you’re purddy!” then have babies! It doesn’t work that way! (Not that they had babies in the book… I’m just saying.) It just annoys me to no end when characters in books do that. I would love to see them grow, develop some more, before seeing them fall in love. *Sighs* Shame really… because I was really liking Jerel.

As for side characters, I don’t have much complaints about them. I thought each of them were innovative and fun! There are quite a few side characters that appear in the book but I am only going to talk about my two favorites! (Because if I talked about all the others… I would be here for quite some time.) The first one I want to talk about is Johann. Granted he doesn’t appear a lot in the book, but when he does it’s always memorable! He is witty, blunt, and hilarious! I love his one-liners because they were always so sarcastic! Just! AH! I love him! The other character I want to mention is Dell. He is my absolute FAVORITE character! I love him! He’s so gentle and sweet and caring and nice but he’s not a pushover! He knows when to step up his game. I think he is so cute! He has a gapped-tooth smile! Tell me that’s not adorable! <333 Also, he has a very tragic past… when they revealed what he had been through, I just wanted to grab him and give him a huge hug! The man needs it, damn it! DX Anyway, this is turning slightly “gushing fangirl” so I shall end this here. Just wanted to say that when it comes to both Dell and Johann… I just love them so much!!!! WAH!

All-in-all, this book wasn’t bad. I liked it. I’m glad I read it. I’m glad my friend was there to point it out to me; otherwise, I would have never read it. The story was great, a lot of the characters were memorable, and I got to see some fantastic magic! If the writing was a bit sharper, the story wasn’t rushed, and the main character was such an idiot, I would have loved the book a whole lot more. Oh, and if the ending had a PROPER ENDING!!! The reason this book got a three was mainly because of the ending. Ugh… what a bother. *Sighs* If Landon ever decided to write a sequel, I might give it a shot. Until then, this book was just… meh… for me. Try reading it for yourselves. You may end up liking it a lot better than me. Who knows?