Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclaimer, Mark is one of my friends, but I hope that doesn’t affect my opinion of his work any. We met as writers on the Internet, and I’m real with him about his work, and tell him where it can be improved. That said, Eve has been my favorite of his stories yet, and I’ve really seen him grow as a writer and storyteller over the past few years!

About the Book

Buy Now or Read for Free on KindleUnlimited

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3tk1pJc
Amazon CA: https://a.co/d/eMvDELV
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/193531795-eve
Author Website: https://authormarkjonathan.ca/

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They’ve spent their lives looking over their shoulders – knowing their parents’ pasts and fearing a return to their birthplace until they lost the youngest of their sisters a year ago.

One night shatters that tentative peace and sets Phoenix on edge, distracting the city from the growing threat of a viral outbreak. While the mass shooting lingers in everyone’s mind, no one notices the rising count of animal attacks and violence. Most people anyway. Arden and his sister are all too aware of what it means, and what they carry in their blood. As if being Anglo-Russian wasn’t difficult enough, they weren’t born human…

Finding Diana and keeping their secrets may be harder than it appears in a city teetering on a knife’s edge.

My Thoughts

Even shows off Mark’s forte – worldbuilding. He writes gritty, urban fantasy – I think that is the term. I sometimes call it “realistic” fantasy. It’s where there are fantastical elements alongside our everyday world. Werewolves, gods, and vampires stuck in the mire with the rest of us – sometimes we know, sometimes we don’t.

This is a werewolf story. I don’t usually like those, but I enjoyed this one. Maybe Mark will finally convert me. He continues to weave complex series and casts of characters that overlap, and as a repeat reader, I enjoy seeing characters I recognize from other stories however briefly.

He builds characters well and is especially good at building younger characters coming into their powers in a variety of personalities. Strong, fierce ones. Soft, uncertain ones. Even older, political, nasty ones. I’d like to think that the world isn’t as full of horrible people as his characters portray, but I’m not sure which of us is wrong here.

There is a lot of political intrigue in this story and a great deal of social commentary. Explorations of xenophobia, socio-political relations, gender/sexual identity, and even racism were dynamic within the pages. As a member of the rainbow mafia himself, Mark is incredibly talented and qualified to explore the difficulties of being different and does so beautifully in his writing. I appreciate the beautiful safe spaces he creates in his worlds, but also the real-life challenges he presents his characters.

At the core of all his stories are families, both biological and found, trying their best to survive. Other types of relationships are also a central focus of the book. So it’s got a little something for everyone, whether you’re someone who’s interested in politics, action, fighting, or relationships. If you’re a werewolf fan I think this is an interesting take on the mythos, and you’ll enjoy it. I always enjoy Mark’s unique perspective on various mythos, and all of this writing focuses on various myths and folklore. So if you’re a fan, you should definitely check out his other work, too.

I will note there are a lot of characters. The author does not shy away from character building and builds a diverse and vast world. It can be a little confusing keeping up with all of them. But I feel like if you go into the world knowing this, it can be managed. And it’s not unlike any vast fantasy world, really. All the great fantasy worlds have too many characters, really. Have you seen/read Game of Thrones? Or any book with dragons really?

The author is still a younger writer who also has some attention and learning differences and could use another edit on some of his works, but this is by far his best work in this regard as well. I am particularly sensitive to that, as a fellow writer, and if you are too it’s something to be aware of going in. But it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. I appreciate Mark for gifting me an ARC and valuing my opinion. I am grateful for the opportunity to read this book, and if you’re a fantasy fan I really think you’ll enjoy this book.

Question of the Day

Do you enjoy werewolf books? OR What are you reading now?

Who’s It For?

Fans of werewolf mythos will appreciate this book. If you’re a big fantasy fan, especially urban or realistic fantasy, I also think you’ll enjoy this book. If you’re on the fence but enjoy stories of families and unique struggles, this is also a great read. If you have triggers, please check them, because there are several.

Content Warning: This book discusses several subjects that younger and sensitive readers may find triggering including, but not limited to, sexual activity, sexual assault, violence, adult situations, adult language, harm to children, pregnancy, childbirth, disturbing imagery, xenophobia, racism, animal harm, child abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, organized crime, corrupt police, self-harm, and more.

About the Author

Mark is a transmasculine writer published in several indie journals and magazines. He spent several years trying to figure out a path and where to go in life before almost falling into writing. He hasn’t looked back since. He is the proud owner of a little black Havanese who thinks too much and a Shih Tzu bichon mix who would rather believe it was winter all the time.

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