Book Review: Skin Deep

The Darkworld Series: Volume: 1
Author: T.G. Ayer
Genre: Urban Fantasy - NA
Publication Date: 30th APRIL 2013
Publisher: Infinite Ink

Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.

But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.

The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?

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My Review: Kailin is a Walker (a shapeshifter) and a Wraith-hunter. She has a destiny which she has completely embraced, even though some of her family members do not approve of her decision. When she discovers an insidious evil is afoot, she enlists the help of Logan (a police officer specializing in the unusual) and discovers her tough exterior isn't a tough as she'd thought.

Ayer is an excellent writer and world-builder. She's created a society of shape shifters, wraiths, pariahs, and other paranormal entities. Her strengths are crafting kick-butt fight scenes and moving the story along at a snappy pace. There are some beautiful descriptive passages in this book. The plot was well thought-out with lots of twists and turns. There's a complex hierarchy among shape shifters and other paranormals. It's definitely a story that will appeal to lots of readers of paranormal and urban fantasy.

I didn't fall in love with this book as much as I would have liked and I think it was because of Kailin, the main character. She seemed very one-dimensional throughout much of the book and it wasn't until almost the end that I began to care about her. Maybe it was the nature of her job that made her seem so untouchable and stoic, but I really began to connect with her once I saw glimpses of her vulnerability. The ending of the book was surprising--a perfect combination of action and emotional tenderness. It's a great lead-in to the next book in the series.

I'd recommend this book to readers who like bad-ass heroines and an action-packed story with a little humor, a little romance, and a lot of excitement.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Author Bio:

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.