Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever: DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened – dogs who can shift into human form. The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist, and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work. Perhaps if he figures out how the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.
Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.
When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible – if you wish upon a star.
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)
First, though it says this is a standalone – I don’t think it is. So much groundwork is laid out in books one and two that, though you can sort things out, it makes way more sense in light of having read the previous books.
Second, the other books are way awesome so you should read them anyway!
Milo is a newly quickened human (a dog who receives a magical blessing and can now shift from dog to man) who finds himself in Lily Beufort’s helping hands.
He ends up staying at Jason Kunik’s house – a geneticist and born quickened – intent on studying the DNA of his species and finding out how new quickened are created.
Jason is all cerebral and Milo is all heart. Two more opposites never did meet. Jason absolutely NEEDS Milo – he’s so separated from his dog and his emotions that he’s a nervous wreck. Milo – for all his “newborn” mistakes – grounds Jason and brings him back to the present. All without letting Jason know he’s being helped!
Milo, meanwhile, is happy to be useful and is enthralled with Jason and willing to do anything to be near him.
Unfortunately, the town needs Jason now more than ever. A new virus is spreading and affecting only the quickened. As a result Jason has to expedite his research and find a cure or everyone could end up stuck in their furry forms forever!
OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! I was so excited to read this! I was on pins and needles the entire time the folks of Mad Creek were sick – I can’t tell you who or why but – it was HARROWING!
Milo made this book for me. Jason is rather like a porcupine – prickly and sticks to himself – but Milo is that breath of fresh air who hugs everyone and makes them smile. Together they are truly breathtaking!
Eli is such a great writer. She did an amazing job of matching dog types with human personalities – a game I play at work! – imagining what this or that breed would be like as a human and vice versa.
Milo is the easy going, happy go lucky, Golden Doodle and Jason is the high strung and intense (and sometimes whiny!) Malamute. Perfect! I also loved Simon the Jack Russel Terrier bouncing into rooms and talking a mile a minute! Or the dumpy Gus – the bulldog and of course the Border Collies – always on the lookout!
I also loved seeing all the guys again – but I hated them being at risk! – and bit my nails throughout all of the virus crisis.
The science was clearly researched as was the medicine (though the time table was a bit convenient and unrealistic, but had to be for the story’s sake), I found it fascinating.
I highly recommend this to fans of the series and if you’re new to the series – do yourself a favor and start at the beginning – it’s well worth it!
My only complaint – and this I feel pretty much every time I read Eli’s books, is that they end too soon! I really wanted to see these guys as a couple more. I felt like we worked so hard to get them together – can’t we have a little bit of time with them as a happy couple?
My favorite remains book one – though I loved this and book two tremendously – you can’t beat Tim and Lance for a funnier and sweeter couple. (Be warned there are tears of joy and happiness in store for Tim and Lance – and potential danger!) I was also moved by Matt’s speech to Jason when Roman was put in the pathway of the virus – GAH! – man emotions – so sweet! – it was so touching. So – in a way – we get more of the couples we loved again in this story and that adds to the overall enjoyment of the book and the series tremendously.
4.75 of 5 stars
Matthew Shaw has narrated the previous two in the series, so if you’re a fan you’re familiar with his work. He already knows the story and has voiced several of the secondary (previously primary) characters in the story. He adds Milo and Jason to the bunch just perfectly! He gives Milo just enough air of innocence without making him appear juvenile. It worked wonderfully! Jason is the determined and sometimes oblivious researcher, not exactly cold, but definitely warming up more as the story proceeds. I highly enjoyed this and can’t recommend it or the series enough!
6 of 5 stars
Overall 5 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased For Review