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The Shifters: Book Eight
In the year 1866, Sheriff Tobias Goldstein guards a small mining town in the Colorado territory with a cold and merciless hand. A rare rattlesnake shifter, he lives by a code and expecting others to do the same has kept the peace—until a nameless stranger wanders into town. Intrigued by the lone man, Tobias names him Angel Smith, and sensing he’s trustworthy, he deputizes Angel.
A guardian at heart, golden eagle shifter Angel protects the townspeople, but his dedication is to an ancient scroll capable of great destruction. For generations, Angel’s family protected the artifact with their lives. Now something has returned to hunt down the scroll. Forced to leave his tribe, Angel enjoys the quiet he’s found with Tobias, who hides a warm heart under his aloof exterior. Angel knows the quiet will not last and fears the battle on the horizon. But with Tobias at his back, Angel might stand a chance against his enemies.
Following book #7, The Serpent and the Angel continues to set in ‘historical’ era, as we learn more about the magical scrolls that have been hunted by Arcas and his Knights. There are four magical scrolls that are all guarded by bird skin changers – and those who could have their hand on all four will have great power. This time, the story is told of Angel Smith, the eagle guardian who ends up at a small mining town in Colorado and meets the Sherriff there, Tobias Goldstein.
Tobias is probably the coldest, most detached, most calculated character (aside from Arcas) that I met in this series so far. It might have to do with his skin changer animal nature – as a rattlesnake, Tobias needs to be very much in charge of his human side. He doesn’t ‘talk’ to his spirit animal. In fact, he doesn’t change much into the rattlesnake form because he can lose his humanity once he does so. I find him intriguing that way. I also liked this uncommon animal as skin changer. I don’t think I encounter a lot of snake variety in shifter stories before.
Meanwhile Angel – who get his name from Tobias directly – is less intriguing because I saw him mainly as another gentle, kind, almost innocent character. Without Tobias, I probably won’t care about Angel that much.
There was quite an action-driven part of this story, when the enemy finds out that Angel and the scroll is in town. I wonder if this villain is basically Arcas. He does say something that clues in some sort of immortality. I wonder if he will appear again in book #9.
The Serpent and the Angel is the eight entry on Grimm’s “Shifter” series. The series itself is planned around 20 or so stories at this moment, and I could say that it is best to read it in order. While the couples are different in each novellas but there is an on-going arc that moves forward, so one might get lost (or spoiled) if reading them out of order.