by Dean Murray
Series: Reflections #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The new girl at school shouldn't matter, but the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes. Worse, she seems to know things she shouldn't about his shadowy world. Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep? If she's a victim, then he's running out of time to save her. If she's bait, then his attraction to her will pull him into a fight that'll cost him everything.
Torn is a YA paranormal romance filled with shape-shifters and power struggles. Murray creates a tale that is both fascinating and unique. This novel kept me engaged and I finished it in one evening.
The tale focuses on Alec Graves. He is the alpha of his wolf pack and seventeen years old. They live in Sanctuary; a small town surrounded by woods. Alec is having trouble with another Alpha named Brandon. Brandon’s pack has been pushing deeper into Alex’s territory trying to claim dominance. Murray gives just enough back-plot to let us know there has been a rift, and that it was caused by Alex’s deceased father. There is tension within Alex’s pack and he is working to resolve it. Both packs are wealthy and Alec seems to control the small town, but Brandon is seeking to change that. As if Alec doesn’t have enough on his plate already in walks Adriana Paige. Something about Adriana is different; she glows but doesn’t appear to be a shape-shifter. Alec is leery of her at first, but she begins appearing in his dreams and ultimately she becomes very important to him. This would be lovely, but she had also attracted the attention of Brandon and she appears to be dating him.
The tale that unfolds is fast paced, with battle scenes as the shifters defend their territory. Murray’s descriptions of the shape-shifter transformation and battle strategies are fascinating. There are some key characters whose stories I wanted to learn more about. The romance between Adriana and Alex is sweet and develops at a natural pace. I really liked Alex. He has what seems like the weight of the world on his shoulders. In a lot of ways he is a typical teen, but he is also loyal, honorable and attempts to be a good leader. The ending offers an epic battle scene that had me quickly turning the pages.
Overall, I liked this character driven novel and recommend it to fans of shape-shifters and paranormal romance. I am hoping that Murray writes a second novel, so that we can learn more about the world and characters he has created. This novel was told from the POV of Alec and you can read it from Adriana’s point of view in the novel Broken. Torn is currently available in eBook format. I look forward to reading more work by this author.