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SOULSHIFTER by Barbara Pietron is a romantic thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Though a fantasy novel, this book makes the reader a part of its reality with every page.

SOULSHIFTER is the story of a daring hero willing to put his life at risk for the girl he loves. However, discovering who that is may be more challenging than he first expected. 

Sixteen-year-old Jack Ironwood has his whole life planned out to the very last detail --- he’ll continue training with his mentor to master his Soulshifting ability and become the next Shifter Premier. Once he achieves this title, the girl of his dreams will be his. All he needs is one quest to set him apart and promote him to the next level. A possible quest arises one day when Jack overhears an argument between two fellow classmates, Natalie and her ex-boyfriend.

Natalie knows what she saw that night. Her friend Emma did not just disappear without a trace. Natalie saw the wolf-like creature take her against her will. But after her then boyfriend calls her crazy and her dad is considering sending her to therapy, she may have no other choice but to write her encounter off as a horrific dream she conjured up to cope with the disappearance of her best friend. Jack swears he knows the creature she speaks of --- it’s an Ennuki, monsters that come from Hell to steal the souls of unsuspecting mortals who trespass on sacred ground. Jack promises to go down to the underworld and retrieve Emma before it's too late.

Pietron does a brilliant job of introducing romantic undertones into this high action, intriguing novel.

But just promising Natalie does not mean it will be easy or even possible. Before they can even think about saving Emma, Jack and Natalie must talk to others who have been in and through the dark realms of the underworld. No one has managed to bring back a stolen soul from the underworld and lived to tell the tale, and although one person was saved, their rescuer was lost in the process. Plus, they have a limited time to retrieve Emma before it’s too late.

To add to the increasing pressure, Jack finds himself falling for a girl he never thought he would. But with this new quest, he has the chance to earn the life he has always wanted and will be expected to take it. Will he make it through the underworld with all the lives he needs to save? And what or who will he want to be his future afterwards?

SOULSHIFTER is a thriller until the very end. Pietron does a brilliant job of introducing romantic undertones into this high action, intriguing novel. She creates her own fantasy world filled with darkness and magic while maintaining modern and realistic settings. Her characters are remarkably relatable despite the extraordinary and supernatural situation. SOULSHIFTER will keep the reader enthralled with every chapter, page and word. I would recommend this book to older teens with a love of fantasy novels.

Reviewed by Lauren H., Teen Board member on November 23, 2015

by Barbara Pietron

  • Publication Date: November 24, 2015
  • Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Scribe
  • ISBN-10: 0991602129
  • ISBN-13: 9780991602124