Title: The Choosing
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Jerath is facing the biggest problem of his life. When boys in his shapeshifter village Eladir get their fangs, they must endure a coming-of-age rite called the Choosing, so they can take on their animal form. The rite is performed on the full moon, but the trouble is the Choosing involves having sex with a girl, and Jerath’s only interested in boys. Even if he manages to somehow get through the rite, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever find a mate in his village, where opposite-sex couples are the norm.
Even worse, he may miss the rite altogether after raiders attack his home and take several young men prisoner. Jerath will need the help of warriors if he’s to free the captive shapeshifters, so with his best friend, Serim, he flees south to find aid. Along the way, they meet Meren, a handsome warrior whose attraction to Jerath is instant and very much returned. But with the next full moon approaching and available time for the prisoners to undergo the Choosing running out, Jerath’s love life is far from his only worry.
Review: This is a great book. Excellent world building and engaging writing. I was in this world of shifters and hunters and their goddess. I found the mythos intriguing and would enjoy exploring this world in more detail, maybe there will be more stories in this universe.
Jerath is sweet, brave, shy and loyal. A bit of a late bloomer in his village he feels like he will never make the transition and then suddenly he is terrified that he will not be able to complete his transformation without the proper rituals as they are on the run to find help for their families and friends.
Merin is a good and honest man, he does not hesitate to offer the two strange shifters aid and quickly adapts the plans of the hunting party he is leading to allow them to seek help with his tribe. He is immediately smitten with Jareth and has no problem making his attraction known. While he struggled with the consequences of falling for someone who lives so far away, he never tries to hide or deny his growing feelings for Jareth.
Jereth rises to the occasion when his village comes under attack and I was impressed with the way that he and Serim stayed calm and found the help they needed to save their people. It would have been terrifying for two young people who had never strayed so far from their home and were used to loving in a small, strict and old fashioned community.
A fun and charming adventure story full of shifters, hunters, and a few battles. I very much enjoyed my time in this world.
Reviewed by Nina