King of the Fire Dancers (Shift Happens #1)

Author: ST Sterlings

Publisher: NineStar Press

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: NSP & Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: When he’s propositioned by a wealthy stranger, it seems Coy Conlin’s impoverished life is about to be upgraded. But before he can share the news with his family, he comes home to find his grandmother murdered and his little brother missing. To make matters worse, he’s thrown in prison along with every other shifter under the Sovereign’s orders.

August Seaton left his laboratory job at the Asuda Registry to become a Registry officer. But after a mission with his partner goes horribly wrong, August ends up with Coy’s dead grandmother on his hands, and Coy thinks he’s the murderer. Worst of all, his partner discovers his secret.

August is a shifter. And now he’s Coy’s cellmate. Coy and August must survive each other, abusive guards, and a scientist hell-bent on forcing Coy into a breeding program.

Teamed up, the pair escape prison and journey across the country. With the Registry hot on their trail, they have enough things to worry about. Falling for each other wasn’t supposed to be one of them.

 

Review: As the blurb promises this has some dark content. Mainly injustice, captivity and torture. Sometimes these things occur quickly or off page and we’re left to wallow in the MCs feelings on such things. Not in this book. It’s ALL on page. There are also some attempted rapes so prepare yourself for that. This is a trigger for me personally and I normally hate reading anything about it. I will say while it made me sick to my stomach it mostly just fueled my hate for the Registry. Which seemed to serve the purpose of it being in the book. It’s not just there for no reason. The Registry is a group of government officials meant to control and monitor Shifters living in this world. A good portion of this book is spent showing just how evil and cruel humans can be. In this world the Shifters are outnumbered by humans. Out of fear of being the weaker species the humans force the Shifters to register. There’s an apparent prejudice revealed fairly quickly and that includes the officers of the Registry. When a powerful man’s daughter is supposedly attacked by a Shifter they lose every small freedom they had managed to hold onto.

August is the socially awkward Registry officer that helped put Coy in prison. He was also there when Coy’s grandmother was murdered. Coy is a dragon Shifter and considered the most powerful. Despite his hate for August he’s his best chance at escaping. While on the run the guys reluctantly get to know each other. Coy is cocky and rightfully angry. August is full of guilt. He’s also had no friends his entire life so he is easily manipulated. I have to admit to not liking August in the first 100 pages or so of this book. He ignores his instincts to to the right thing out of fear and cowardliness. He sides with the wrong side but ultimately had little choice in the matter. Doesn’t make you forgive him any more easily while the Shifters are being enslaved and tortured. I will say the author did a good job of showing how fear and the need for kindness can make someone do bad things. As the book continues however he seems to redeem himself. Coy isn’t always kind but you always remain in his corner. Together they set out to find out what happened to Coy’s brother and discover who really attacked the little girl. It’s not out right said but there’s obviously a conspiracy of some sort waiting to be solved.

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