I have previously read and enjoyed the first two books in Amber Polo’s Shapeshifters’ Library series. As I noted in both reviews, Retrieved and Released here and here, I wasn’t sure that I’d like this fantasy series that revolved around librarians who could turn into dogs and had to battle evil book hating werewolves. It sounds crazy but it totally works. I happily agreed to read the latest novel, Recovered, and while I did enjoy it, I didn’t like it quite as much as the others.
Here’s the synopsis:
Bliss D. Light was just an ordinary children's librarian until one day she discovered she could grow a tail. Now her life is filled with more magic than any of the fairy tales she tells the children who gather at her feet at the Shipsfeather library. Like many of the other residents of Shipsfeather, Ohio, Bliss is a dogshifter, and her newly discovered ability to change from human form into that of a sleek white greyhound has left her yearning to know more about her true heritage. The answer to all her questions, she is certain, lies with the dogshifters' long lost Library of the Ancients and, undeterred by the fact that thousands before her have searched, she sets out to find it.
Accompanied by her best friend Harry, a disgraced werewolf/dogshifter mongrel, and hotly pursued by the evil werewolf team of Sybilla and Blaze, Bliss's quest takes her across the sacred sites and ancient mounds of the American Southwest. Though kidnapped by dogcatchers, sold into racetrack slavery and forced to fight wolf dogs to survive, Harry and Bliss never lose sight of their goal-or each other. Because the only thing more important than finding the ancient lost treasure might just be preserving what they already have found: an unlikely love that could be the first step toward bringing two ancient enemy races together.
I think my main issue with this book was that I really didn’t like Harry in the first two stories so I found it hard to root for him in this story. I’m as guilty as some of the dogshifters because I could see, as Bliss and some of the other dogs/librarians did, that he really was trying to reform and become more in touch with his canine ancestry. But I just couldn’t get over how much of an evil twit he was before. I also didn’t connect as much with Bliss, for some reason or another. I’m a huge character person so when I don’t fall in love with the main characters it can sometimes be hard for me to fall in love with the rest of the book.
Getting some more background on the shifters and werewolves was very interesting though. We get to learn more about what the bad werewolves are doing and what kinds of jobs they have as well as finding out that there are actually good werewolves out there. Polo has created a whole, incredibly unique,
I really liked the part where Bliss ends up being adopted by a bookstore owner and she helps turn the store around while also dealing with the bookstore cat. I wish that she had gone straight there instead of being shuffled around (I don’t want to say much and totally spoil the story!) after being captured because I really enjoyed reading about her life at the store.
Overall, Recovered was a good addition to the Shapeshifters’ Library series by Amber Polo. I’m not totally sure if it’s the final book, as some ends didn’t seem to be totally tied up, but I think it could be a fitting conclusion. I really enjoyed getting to know these shapeshifting librarians and think other book and fantasy lovers would too!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*