Tuesday, November 11, 2014

God's Play by H.D. Lynn

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Sixteen-year old Toby was trained by a family of hunters to kill shape-shifters — but he has a unique weapon in his arsenal. With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade.

Because of his special skill, Toby suspects he may be a monster himself. His suspicions deepen when William, a jackal-headed shape-shifter, saves him from an ambush where Toby’s the only survivor. And Toby doubts William helped him for purely altruistic reasons. With his list of allies running thin, Toby must reconcile his hatred of shifters and the damning truth that one saved his life. It’ll take both of them to track down the monster who ordered the ambush.

And Toby needs his unlikely ally because he has a vicious enemy — the infamous Circe, who has a vendetta to settle against the hunters. Toby has to unravel the mystery of his dual nature. And he has to do it on the run — before Circe finds him and twists him to her own ends.

You know you’re heading up sh** creek when the only person you can trust is your sworn enemy. Someone you’ve been taught to hate, hunt down and kill. And that’s the premise of God’s Play, about two least likely young men who find themselves in a bit of a predicament but who are smart enough to recognize that they could mutually benefit from working together to take down an enemy greater than either of them have ever experienced.

Meet Toby, who’s been taught from an early age by his hunter-mother all that he knows about shape-shifters and monsters.  He’s the lone survivor on the night that she and the rest of his family are killed. William, who’s a shape-shifter, happens to find him and rescues him.  Obviously, neither of them trust each other, especially with Toby’s special power that could put shape-shifters into serious jeopardy. But Toby is desperate to find his mother’s killer and avenge her death. William sees a partnership with Toby as an opportunity to rid himself of a particularly troublesome foe who so happens is responsible for Toby’s mother’s death. Where Toby is all gusto and bravery, William has always lacked the confidence to take care of business himself. Through a series of flashbacks that expose their personal histories, it's fun to see how their opposing personalities and priorities clash and then eventually compromise.

I found God’s Play engaging. I hadn’t read anything like it before and the uneasy alliance between Toby and William became more tense as that developed. The plot also involves other players that make the story more colourful and come alive. With three POVs providing plenty of history and mythology, everything made sense and felt satisfying when events and people finally connected.

I simply picked it up because I liked the cover and I was looking for a break from what I’d been reading lately. Mysteries, secrets, greed, friendship and surprises make this a riveting read. If you like your paranormal with a contemporary feel and some mythology, God’s Play will work for you! 

~ Bel

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