Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
Length: 195 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Gabriel made a decision to help a friend, and it cost him. He’s been exiled from his clan, trapped in his owl form, living in a swamp, and slowly losing his humanity. If not for Vincent, Gabriel would have no chance of regaining what he lost.
Vincent is popular and successful, but no one knows the real him, who is gay and would rather become a musician than a lawyer… no one but the owl living in the hollow tree. As Vincent shares his secrets, he not only unburdens his heart, but stirs Gabriel’s. In each other they have a chance to heal… to live.
Unless Gabriel’s grandfather has his way.
Vin is desperate for an answer to a question he knows will create a rift that may be unbridgeable between he and his parents. So, maybe ending it all is the answer—that way he disappoints no one, including himself. But an errant owl has other ideas and when it breaks through his window screen and scares Vin enough to stop him from making a foolish mistake it also marks the beginning of an unimaginable journey that will bring with it love, danger and a whole new world that Vin cannot conceive.
Trapped in owl form for three years, Gabriel has made the wrong decision before—at least in the eyes of his clan and, in particular, its leader, his grandfather. But Gabe can’t sit idly by while a young man tries to take his own life—not when Gabe knows how precious life really is. So he risks it all and breaks through to the teen who, in the end, will not only restore his humanity but bring love with him. Now if only he and Vin can survive the deadly machinations of a grandfather who wants only power and at any cost.
Owl by M. Raiya is a brand new take on the young adult genre. Complete with lots of action, first love and avian shifters, the novel tells the story of two young men who seemed destined for each other and will fight to remain together at all costs. The idea that Gabe has been trapped in his owl form for so long that he can feel his humanity slipping away takes this story in a different direction from the normal paranormal trope. While there is no onscreen sex, there is a definite chemistry and connection between the two young men and it is not only realistic but deeply emotional.
I enjoyed how these two interacted with each other and how they remained focused on the danger around them as opposed to falling into bed with each other or focusing only on the idea of being in love. While the intensity of their devotion to each other was a bit fast and a bit over the top, at times, the author still kept the flavor of the action/adventure trope in the forefront and allowed the story to remain true to it, making this a more believable novel than many I have read in the paranormal genre.
I think Owl will be a hit among those who enjoy YA novels and like a bit of excitement. It flows well and I felt it was a nicely done foray into the fantasy world of shifters.
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