The Altered

Author: Annabelle Jacobs

Publisher: Self

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type:  Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  Twenty years ago the UK’s water supply was contaminated with an experimental pathogen, Lycanaeris, causing widespread panic across the nation. Terrorism was suspected but never proven, and when nothing happened–no epidemic, no unexplained illnesses–the whole episode was written off as an elaborate hoax. But Lycanaeris was selective. Only those of a certain age, and with a specific gene in their DNA were infected. Time would reveal the pathogen’s true nature, when those susceptible grew up Altered.

Daniel is one of thousands forced to hide his altered status by living a quiet life. He’s not like the others, though. Daniel can’t help looking so distinctive or being able to see every altered for what they really are. To those abducting altereds, that skill makes him valuable.

For Jordan, shifting from human to wolf means living under the radar to avoid unwanted attention. Meeting Daniel complicates matters. Daniel’s existence is a threat to Jordan and his friends, but Jordan can’t seem to shake the strange connection between them. When danger threatens, there’s little time for Daniel and Jordan to work out their feelings before lives are at stake.

 

Review: I’ve never read anything by this author but I’ll be checking out her other books. This was an excellent shifter story set in a modern dystopian world post drug experiment gone wrong. Well wrong for a portion of the public. The tone set in this book kind of elevated the story for me personally. I really felt the altereds fear at being discovered. I understood their frustration at living their lives in hiding for something they have no control over. It was just really good story telling.

Daniel is a seer as a result of the exposure to the virus all those years before. So he can’t shift or has no super human power. What he can do is look at a person and tell that they’re an altered. Which makes him a valuable find to the bad guys that are kidnapping them. On the other hand altereds don’t like him either as he poses a threat to them if he falls into the wrong hands. So Daniel has a reason for being paranoid. Though he’s had years of practice keeping his reactions stoic in public, one night in a pub he gives himself away when he locks eyes with a gorgeous stranger. This brings on an attack from some other altered in the bar. Daniel’s best friend is a partial altered and always has his back but he’s only one man. Luckily Jordan, one of the full altered and the hunk that caught his eye, feels this undeniable need to protect Daniel. Sticking his neck out for Daniel is a big deal. In this world you don’t trust anyone even when they do something nice for you. So Daniel thanks him and leaves. Jordan can’t shake the need to find Daniel again and make sure he’s safe. Jordan doesn’t believe in mates but he also can’t deny his strong pull and ridiculous reactions to Daniel. Daniel is understandably untrusting and kind of prickly but he feels the attraction it too.

I liked how there was danger around every corner. If you’re an altered you really can’t trust many people. Although the government has publicly shut the project down, altereds keep disappearing. One slip up from a guy you know could cost you your life. Most altered choose to live off the grid. Hidden in large cities or in the country side away from civilization. There’s a rumor somebody is still taking them and experimenting on them but they can’t prove it. Thing is nobody ever hears from them again and who do the altered report to if they’re trying to keep their secrets? I just thought all this made for a very interesting read.

I enjoyed reading about Jacob and Daniel falling for each other. They have every reason to stay away from each other but can’t seem to resist seeking each other out. If it was just about them it might be worth it but both men have others that rely on them to keep their secrets and exposing themselves to even one person puts them all at risk. Daniel also takes issue with anyone wanting to take care of him and Jacob NEEDS to. They have some really good chemistry and the author teases us with the boys getting interrupted before they can give into their urges a few times amping up the sexual tension which I enjoy.

I’m hoping we get Sam’s story next. I’m totally intrigued by his story. Why did he decide to stay in his wolf form for so long and what makes Ash so special to him? What is Ash’s story? There’s probably much more to the experiments and the government’s cover up of it to be discovered. I’m looking forward to reading more. I thought this was an interesting unique take on shifters. Nothing cheesy. The characters were imperfect and frustrating but you’re rooting for them anyway. The bad guy was a bit OTT but I hated him so it works. Matt added plenty of humor to add some levity to what could have been a gloomy dark story. If you like shifters or government conspiracy books I’d say give this one a try. The cover is gorgeous and the book is just as good.

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