Book Review: Frozen in Amber by: Phyllis Ames


Publisher: DAW

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Amber Treganis constantly reinvents herself. New clothes, new hairstyle, new car—anything she can do to exert a level of control over her life. What she can't control is her shape-shifting other self: the WerCougar that sinks its claws into her brain during the three nights surrounding the full moon.

Though she is a natural-born shifter from a prominent WerCougar family, Amber has been unwilling to change into her cat form ever since a terrible tragedy cost her the man she loved. And she has little patience with Wers of any species who embrace their otherness more than their humanity. She focuses on her life as a defense attorney in Mt. Hood, and stays out of Wer politics. 

But after a blurry night of hunting, Amber begins to notice changes in her transformation. When she hears rumors of research to discover a treatment for shifting, she suspects she may have been unknowingly given the experimental therapy.

With the help of Adler, a WerEagle active in community politics, Amber tries to hunt down the truth about this cure, while staying off the radar of the FBI, which tracks and manages Wer communities in secret.

But Amber doesn't realize how much she depends on her Wer sense until, one by one, they begin to fade. And Amber is left increasingly ill—and increasingly human. Can shifter who is losing her abilities survive for long in either human or Wer society?

Review: In FROZEN IN AMBER, we’re introduced to Amber Treganis who is a member of a powerful WerCougar family. However, Amber doesn’t revel in her Wer identity, instead choosing to shift only when required after a traumatic event while she was in college. Now, she’s a lawyer working at her grandfather’s firm and tries her best to stay out of Wer politics and away from the Wer community as much as possible. Since her most recent hunt, Amber isn’t feeling like herself and seems to be losing her Wer abilities. FROZEN IN AMBER left me feeling ambivalent. I loved the new Wer mythos the author created and the legal aspects of the story as well. Some of the characters resonated with me, but there wasn’t a lot of character development throughout the story. The story was bogged down with minutiae, which severely slowed down the pace of the novel and gave away a lot of the plot ‘twists’ too early. The ending was a classic deus ex machina, which didn’t help matters either. The concept and synopsis drew me in, but FROZEN IN AMBER didn’t completely deliver.

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