You know how sometimes you wait for something you really want and when you finally get it you've built it up so much you're disappointed? Well, that did NOT happen here. I'd previously read the first four books in this series and LOVED them (my review here) and Shift did not disappoint either.
Shift takes up immediately where Pride ended: The South Central werecat pack is divided and a battle is coming. There's also retribution to be made for a death, and although she's trying to put it off, Faythe is going to have to come clean about some of her actions in book 4.
The action in this book starts right at the beginning; in the first chapter, as the pack is discussing plans for battle, Faythe takes Kaci out for a walk and in moments Kaci is snatched up by a huge bird - a Thunderbird. They soon realize their pack is under attack by the Thunderbirds in response to the death of one of their flock members. Faythe and her father know they've been framed but don't have any proof; the Thunderbirds are not giving up and two more werecats are dead. Faythe ends up in the Thunderbird's aviary and must find a way to prove who the real killer is or Kaci will die and the rest of the pack will be killed by the Thunderbirds.
I could not put this book down. At every turn I wondered what would happen next. The timeline for this book was only a few days, but so much happened - I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. The book doesn't leave you with a cliffhanger, but there are a lot of unresolved issues still dancing around the werecat world - plenty of stuff to resolve in Book 5, Alpha, which comes out in October 2010. As I understand it, Alpha is the last book in this series.
I will say this - although this could be read as a stand-alone, you really won't get the full impact of everything that goes on without reading the whole series. Trust me, this won't be a hardship - this is one of my favorite series out there right now and IMO doesn't get the props it deserves.
I give Shift 5 out of 5 stars.
Shift goes on sale March 1, 2010.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by NetGalley free of charge for an honest review.