For example, the heroine is a ferret-shifter. All righty then. However, then she makes references to Ferret Law and whenever a normal person would say F—k, she says 'Ferret.' For a 28 page book, I said 'What the Ferret?' a lot. There was absolutely no explanation given as to why this linguistic pattern was in place. It wasn't like she was referencing a Ferret religious deity. It was clearly a substitute curse word. Also, while a ferret shifter is unique and hasn't really been done before, I feel there should have been some background laid down. My little brother used to own ferrets and the buggers were cute, but smelled. A lot. And their scent glands were removed. So how would this translate to a human woman? One could perhaps suspend belief that the animal half is kept entirely separate from the human half, but Kyle makes reference to the heroine getting her coloring from her ferret half.
Secondly, the hero is apparently a water dragon and I did not pick up on this fact at all until he sweeps the heroine away to his lair which is underwater. The reason I did not get 'water dragon' is because he talked a lot about his 'fire.' Now, people who've read Deborah Cooke's excellent dragon series knows that it's possible for a dragon to breathe fire and still represent the element of water. These dragons, however, do not feel tied to bodies of water. I mean, if you live submerged under an ocean, there's bound to be quite a bit of humidity. I imagine it would be extremely difficult to breathe fire in those conditions and one would think that evolution would have selected out fire-breathing water dragons.
The hero also refers repeatedly to the heroine as his 'Souler.' This is a combination of 'Soul Mate' and 'Lover.' I just...No. I give Kyle credit for trying to put an original spin on a well-used cliche, but 'Souler' just wasn't the way to do it. My brain kept thinking the word was mis-spelled as it bears similarity to solder. There's also that scene in Tangled where Flynn Ryder talks about doing the 'smolder.' If you're going to make up words, make up something that doesn't resemble an existing one or create your own language.
I don't know if Changeling Press has some kind of word count or page limit, but I feel like Kyle could have done much better with a longer story. One with an actual, well-thought-out, plot.
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