Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: 'The Secrets Within' by Noah Harris

New York author Noah Harris is a 28-year-old bisexual man currently single and living in a small apartment in New York City. Though somewhat shy he is a humanitarian who sees the world in which we live as a community bonded in a natural approach to our feelings and ourselves and our interaction with others. His bisexual nature allows him to create well rounded characters – most all of his novels are M/M romances but they are much more than the usual erotica we encounter in film, television, and social media. Noah explores the boundaries of types and wields a strong brush as he paints his fascinating people. Where Noah succeeds in this book is making the paranormal shifter concept work so well that that shift seems completely credible. That takes talent and Noah has it!

What more intuitive manner in which to introduce the shape shifter concept than the following, found in the first chapter – ‘what is the point of finding out you’re a shape shifter if you’re not able to tweak your looks to your liking? His parents had told him this news when he turned eighteen, which explained a lot— the headaches, the sweating and the lucid, sometimes terrifying, dreams. Shape shifter parents had to declare the path for their children prior to birth, a decision not alterable until they were of age. So, given that his parents had chosen for them to be human, Nick and his younger sister Phoebe (who still didn’t know their true nature) were given special supplements from birth, called Nydor, in order to curb the full expression of their nature as shape shifters. The side effects were the sweating and extra night terrors. Ever since he found out, Nick had been adjusting his own dose, trying to get it just right, but he had yet to find the magic formula.

And so we are deeply inot the intricacies of shape shifting and Noah takes us here – ‘Beginning the year as a college Freshman, Nick was still adjusting to the fact he was a shapeshifter. Dealing with starting college, living away from home, and the side effects of his new powers, life was challenging enough. The one bright spot was meeting Jared, a dance major and creative partner to Nick’s good friend, Abby. What starts out as a seemingly normal year, and the possibility of love quickly turns to danger as Nick discovers a war between a renegade sect of humans and shapeshifters. To make things worse, his parents lied to him about his powers and have been giving him medication to diminish them. Once Nick’s powers start to truly emerge, he must work with a pack of shifters he has just met to try to master them, but he wonders what other agenda they have. Soon, instead of focusing on college and falling for Jared, Nick must decide who he can trust- the new pack trying to recruit him, his parents, his new boyfriend, or himself? All have secrets, which may not only doom Nick’s relationship but endanger all of their lives.’

Noah has successfully combined all his special gifts to enhance this break speed finale. A very satisfying addition to the series Shape Shifter Secrets, making us hope that the series will continue. Grady Harp, June 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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