by C.J. Barry
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Available: August 3, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book received from: Penguin
Seneca Thomas is an agent with XCEL, a secret government taskforce charged with capturing the dangerous shapeshifters that have infiltrated New York City, passing for humans. Her Native American heritage gives her a special gift–the ability to see the shapeshifters for what they are.
But when her partner is killed in the line of duty, Seneca finds herself teamed up with Max Dempsey–a shapeshifter. And when the pair discover a growing army of shifters gathering beneath the city, Seneca will have no choice but to trust the one man she shouldn’t.
UFOs. Corn field circles. Area 51. E.T.: Extraterrestrial. Despite what you might have read, aliens exist. Well, at least in C.J. Barry’s new release, Body Master, aliens do exist and they are on the hunt for humans. C.J. Barry writes a tight, fast paced story that makes it an enjoyable read, but misses out on some of the rich details and emotions that would have pulled me in more.
In the not too distant future, aliens crash land on earth, infiltrating cities across the world. With the power to replicate human DNA, Shifters can take on the exact appearance of any human. Of course, becoming human often means that the shifter brutally kills the person whose appearance they are stealing. The agents of XCEL, a government task force charged with capturing the shifters, work tirelessly to protect humans and keep their existence hidden.
Seneca Thomas is the best agent XCEL has to offer. Not only a tough copy and fearless fighter, Seneca’s Native American heritage gives her the extremely rare ability to see shifters even when they are in their human form. After losing her partner to a shifter slaying, Seneca is paired with Max Dempsey, an attractive, intelligent and dedicated agent who just happens to be the first shifter hired by XCEL. Max hopes to leverage Seneca’s strong track record of capturing (and killing) shifters so he can find the traitor who murdered his wife. Hell-bent on revenge, Max doesn’t expect his attraction to Seneca or her mutual response. However, to catch the shifter killing homeless people to harvest DNA and the traitor who killed Max’s wife, they have to learn to trust each other and embrace their developing relationship.
I swoon for a hot shifter as much as the next girl and admire a fierce heroine, but it was difficult for me to become particularly vested in Seneca and Max or the book’s outcome. Moments in the story that should have been turning points or quite emotional were told almost matter-of-factly such that I liked the characters, but didn’t quite fall in love with them. In a way, I almost felt like I was reading the Cliff Notes version of the book. I had just enough information to inform me about what was going on, but I felt like it was missing some color on the characters and details in the world-building that would have clarified some of the plot and added depth to our hero, heroine, and this new alien world.
While I still have many questions about the shifters and this new world, those questions and a big reveal at the end of the book have me curious to know what happens next. Though it was not perfect, it was still an enjoyable read and The Body series has the potential to put a fresh spin on aliens and shifters.
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Also writing as Samantha Graves