Title: The Altered
Author Name: Annabelle Jacobs
Publication Date & Length: April 9th, 2015 – 73,000 Words
Twenty years ago the UK’s water supply was contaminated with an experimental pathogen, Lycanaeris, causing widespread panic across the nation. Terrorism was suspected but never proven, and when nothing happened–no epidemic, no unexplained illnesses–the whole episode was written off as an elaborate hoax. But Lycanaeris was selective. Only those of a certain age, and with a specific gene in their DNA were infected. Time would reveal the pathogen’s true nature, when those susceptible grew up Altered.
Daniel is one of thousands forced to hide his altered status by living a quiet life. He’s not like the others, though. Daniel can’t help looking so distinctive or being able to see every altered for what they really are. To those abducting altereds, that skill makes him valuable.
For Jordan, shifting from human to wolf means living under the radar to avoid unwanted attention. Meeting Daniel complicates matters. Daniel’s existence is a threat to Jordan and his friends, but Jordan can’t seem to shake the strange connection between them. When danger threatens, there’s little time for Daniel and Jordan to work out their feelings before lives are at stake.
It starts out a bit slow, and I was mildly confused at first. However, this ended up working well because the author never relied on filling in the gaps with tediously explaining the backstory. The situation with how the shifters/altereds became that way fell into place nicely.
The first half of the story is a kind of romance, and things heat up between Jordan and Daniel, the two point-of-view characters. It’s drawn out and steamy. The second half is where all the action happens, and it’s fast-paced and exciting. There’s humor, thrills, and heat enough to satisfy most readers.
I’m looking forward to reading the next installment!
He laughed at the joke Matt was in the middle of telling, chipping in for a bit and teasing him, and then he felt it again, creeping up the back of his spine like icy fingers. Daniel stayed perfectly still, suppressing his body’s natural reaction, and carefully turned to place his empty pint glass on the bar.
He let his gaze wander along to the end of the bar, past the couple he’d spotted earlier, and—
He sucked in a sharp breath before he could stop himself. Usually he got a flash of images, depending on how much they’d been altered—claws, teeth, and fur if they changed fully, but never anything like this. One minute Daniel was looking at a tall dark-haired, really hot man, and in the blink of an eye he’d changed into a huge black wolf, fangs bared in a snarl—clearer than anything he’d seen before.
The image vanished almost as soon as it appeared, and the noise from the bar suddenly jarred Daniel back to his senses.
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.