Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Pages/Word Count: 166 Pages
At a Glance: The Altered 3 is a suspenseful and romantic end to this series.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Matt is a single shifter living in a house full of couples. It’s not that he begrudges his friends their happiness—especially after everything they’ve been through—but he wants someone for himself. He wants a mate. Living out in the Cornish countryside there seems little chance of him finding one.
Thomas’s life has recently been changed forever. Newly altered, he finds himself in danger as his mother, a prominent politician, works to put a stop to the mistreatment of altereds and bring those responsible to justice.
To keep him safe, Thomas is sent to Cornwall where Matt and his friends offer him refuge until he can return to his home in London. Despite the circumstances surrounding his arrival, Thomas and Matt bond in a way neither of them were expecting. They struggle to come to terms with what this might mean for their future once the threat is eliminated.
Review: I’ve so enjoyed The Altered series and some of the fresh concepts Annabelle Jacobs has brought to the paranormal world her characters reside in. The shifters in the series aren’t the product of supernatural mysticism or the result of being bitten by another infected. The shifters in this series are the product of a bit of science fiction and government corruption, which adds a layer of intrigue and danger to the storyline, as the altered are stigmatized and ostracized by society’s prejudices and irrational fears, forcing them to hide their shifter status.
While shifter families aren’t designated as packs, nor are the more dominant members of those families technically considered the alphas, there is definitely the inference that Jordan and Daniel, Keira and Charlie, Sam and Ash—the mated pairs—and the lone single, Matt, are at least pack-like. They fight for each other, protect each other and, while Keira is definitely a dominant personality and a force to be reckoned with, there’s little doubt that Jordan would be the alpha if such a thing existed. What is also prevalent, though it’s never specifically called a fated mate bond, is the serum triggering the mating instinct in these human/shifter hybrids. It may not be fated, it may have nothing to do with magick, but there’s no doubt it’s potent and, from what we see, it’s an impulse that must be obeyed.
This series begins with the world-building and fulfills our romance needs at the same time in the relationship that evolves between Jordan and Daniel in book one. Their story is a great blend of action set against their resistance to the idea that there’s something calling them at a soul-deep level to be together. As the story arc progresses in book two, the overtones become decidedly more romantic as Ash and Sam resolve not only their feelings for each other but the challenges from Sam’s past, as well as the difficult transition for Ash to his status as a newly turned altered.
The end of this trilogy brings all the action and political intrigue and danger to a head, with Matt’s story and the disheartening reality that he is the lone partial shifter in a family of mated pairs—five full shifters and Daniel, a seer. His status as what he sees as the weakest link in the altered chain, not to mention the odd man out as the only one who doesn’t have a significant other to share his life with, started the story off with me immediately wanting to wrap him up in hugs and reassuring him everything would be okay. In other words, the author plays on our empathy, and it works. At least, it did for me. The surprise isn’t that Matt finally meets his mate, but the surprise for Matt is that his mate turns out to be a man, Thomas Knight, the son of a prominent government official—who also happens to be the woman determined to blow a plot to create a shifter army wide open.
In retaliation of his mother’s interference, Thomas is kidnapped and infected, forcing him into hiding not only to escape danger but to protect him until Teresa Knight can ensure a safer world for all altereds. The horrible miscalculation on the part of the villains in this story is that their plan to subdue Ms. Knight served only to infuriate and give her more motivation. Never underestimate the power of a mother when her child is being threatened. Lesson. Learned.
The building of Matt and Thomas’s relationship happens quickly, as is the norm in this sub-genre of romance, and even though Matt had never explored his attraction to men, his attraction to Thomas was handled well. I believed they were meant for each other, and in the end, that’s what all good stories do—make us believe in the impossible, the improbable, and the great mystery that is the chemistry of a physical, mental, and emotional attraction between two people.
While there may not have been any great twists or surprises leading up to the climax of the story, or in the way Annabelle Jacobs wound things down to the book’s happy ending, it moves along at a brisk pace with some really good suspense thrown in as the danger ratchets up toward the end. This series is a fun way to escape reality for a while and spend some time with hot, sexy shifters.
You can buy The Altered 3 here: