I am a big fan of paranormal fantasy books, shapeshifter stories in particular. I am particularly fond of big cat shifters, so I was thrilled to pick up Ms Ayers’ Skin Deep.
The story revolves around Kailin Odel, a young Skin Walker (panther shifter) who is living in the human world after leaving her dysfunctional family. She works as a counselor at a drug rehab center, but her real calling is as a Wraith hunter. She is drawn into a complicated investigation after witnessing a flayed, dying shifter being thrown from a car.
This is a fast-paced, action packed story, with a little something for everyone - mystery, romance, angst, and even a little horror. It felt like a mystery/thriller with a paranormal overlay to me. There are several plot twists and concurrent story lines that keep the reader engaged. Ms Ayer has created an intriguing world, with complicated and refreshing characters; I was completely drawn in. I love the juxtaposition of the various supernatural beings living amongst, and even protecting, the completely oblivious humans!
There were two aspects of this book that I didn’t care for. First, I was a little put off by the torture, although I understand why it was included in the story. Second, I didn’t feel the reason given for Kailin’s mother abandoning the family when her children (especially Kailin) were so young was very plausible.
Overall, I really liked this book, and I can’t wait to dig into book 2 in the DarkWorld series. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.