Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: Released: The Shapeshifters' Library by Amber Polo

Released: The Shapeshifters' Library
Author: Amber Polo
Publication: Blue Merle Publishing (September 6, 2012)

Description: Something is very wrong in Shipsfeather... Welcome to the strange and wonderful world of Shipsfeather, Ohio, where an ancient race of dog-shifters has been charged with cataloging the knowledge of the world, and with protecting civilization’s libraries from the machinations of evil, book burning werewolves. For years a curse has imprisoned the dog-shifters in the basement of the Shipsfeather library—where they have made the best of things with a gym, a spa, a Starbarks, and, of course, their wildly successful internet company, Zoogle—but now, thanks to librarian Liberty Cutter and her zany staff, they may actually have a chance to break free again. If only they can convince her to believe in magic…

My Thoughts: I often found myself chuckling at all of the library in-jokes that filled the story of dog shapeshifter librarians and book-burning werewolves. Liberty is the Head Librarian at the Shipsfeather Public Library. She loves her job but has to deal with a book-hating former head librarian and a mayor who denies all of her requests for funding. The frustrations of her job have made her consider submitting her resignation. But when her beautiful old Carnegie library burns down, she gets the chance to move the public library to the abandoned Shipsfeather Academy building. 

She finds more than she ever imagined in that building. It hides an ancient group of dog shifting librarians who have been cursed by the werewolves who have taken over the town. Liberty makes friends with an Old English Sheepdog who starts to visit her in her new library. She later learns that, in his human form, he is the Headmaster of the Shipsfeather Academy. They fall in love but it takes teamwork between the human librarians and the shapeshifting librarians to solve the mystery that keeps them confined within the Academy's subterranean floors.

The characters were over-the-top but very entertaining. The former librarian who is the book-burning head of the local werewolf pack is incredibly evil. She has gathered a small horde of human groupies to carry out her evil plans since the curse that keeps the dog shifters inside the academy keeps the werewolves out. One of the funnier scenes has one of the groupies getting stuck in the book drop when she is trying to steal all the dog books from the new library.

I enjoyed this light urban fantasy novel and think that it will appeal to both library lovers and dog lovers. 

Favorite Quote:
"Children love fantasy and really need fairy tales."

"Adults do, too. Fantastical stories provide more than escape. The allow us to explore good versus evil and what it means to be human. Like myth, fantasy teaches tolerance for those no exactly like us." Liberty hesitated. "I read a lot of fantasy and want to believe hidden worlds with magical creatures exist." With a sigh, she continued, "In fact, the older I get the more I find myself wishing I could be a child who still believes in magic."
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

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