Review: Shift

Shift by M.R. Merrick was released in the U.S. on February 1, 2012 in eBook format only and is currently available to order online at Amazon.

Self-published, Shift is the second book in The Protector series by the author.


Goodreads description:

Devastated by the loss of his mother, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else–a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.


Chase Williams knew the battle was only just beginning. His enemies were waiting in the wings. Developing their strategies. Building their armies. Biding their time.

Enemies who would stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Enemies who needed to be stopped before he was powerless to stop them.

But he wasn’t sure just how ready he was. Or if he’d ever be ready.

He was still reeling from losing the person he cared most for in the world. A loss he thought could have been avoided. And one he blamed solely on himself.

And with a friend whose life was already hanging in the balance, who was literally being torn apart by their inner demon, Chase felt unbelievably helpless.

Even as battle lines were being formed, sides chosen and alliances made and ended, Chase still wasn’t sure. How could he win if he didn’t know how to even find his enemies, let alone defeat them?

And he still didn’t know just what it meant to be the Protector or how to harness the powers he was given.

But when he saw one chance to gain control, he took it. A decision he made without the first thought about consequences. One that set him and his friends on a collision course with an enemy ready to unleash an onslaught of unimaginable powers against them.

A costly decision that would put the fate of his friends in his hands, forcing him to make the choice about who lives and who dies.


Non-stop action, exhilarating battles and exquisitely detailed transformations are just a fraction of what M.R. Merrick’s Shift has to offer. This second installment in the author’s The Protector series is even darker and more edge-of-your seat intense.

With new and deadlier enemies, a new world to explore, new powers to master and where even dreams aren’t an escape, Shift takes readers on an exciting and heart-pounding adventure that is absolutely riveting.

As his enemies grow even more determined to turn their deadly plans into reality, Chase Williams has little time to try to recover from the shocking blow of losing someone he loves. And with someone else he has grown to care for at risk of suffering a similar fate, Chase must find a way to help before it’s too late.

But when being the Protector is not enough, Chase is forced to put his trust and his friend’s life in the hands of someone who hasn’t yet proven themselves to be trustworthy. It’s a risk, but Chase is without options.

And as Chase tries to learn more about his powers, what it means to be the Protector and just what he’s capable of against an enemy powerful enough to find him in his dreams and an ancient evil looking to break free, the threat to him and his friends continues to grow.

Making everyone anxious. Keeping everyone on edge. And leaving no one safe.

In Shift, author M.R. Merrick continues to build on the characters and the world he created in Exiled. With every battle won and lost, with every step forward and each and every setback, he allows his characters to learn, to adapt and to grow.

Chase Williams is still every bit the hot-tempered, “act now, think later” boy he was, but he isn’t so quick to judge, he is willing to admit to his mistakes, he is always ready to risk his own life to be there for those he cares about and he is incredibly loyal. He is a hero.

And Rayna Lansing is still a mystery. Perhaps it’s the inner demon she struggles with, literally, but she is moody and unpredictable, yet surprisingly lovable. And she is just as stubborn and brave and fearless as Chase, giving their relationship an incredibly exciting dynamic.

With a wonderfully diverse group of characters who are either there to help Chase or to end him, a blazing fast pace that doesn’t let up and an ending that will leave readers desperate for more, Shift is an absolute must read sequel.

Reviewer gives this book…


On a personal note:

Intense. If I had to sum Shift up in one word it would be that one word. Though mind-blowing also sums it up pretty nicely. I know my mind was blown.

Between the fight scenes and each failed attempt to shift, I was Krazy-Glued to the page. With each crunch of bone, each tear of flesh, each howl of pain, I could not tear my eyes away.

And those battles – and there were many, many battles – were insane. Seriously, fiercely insane. Not only were there daggers and swords, but there were talons and claws and fangs.

And that’s not even including the elemental magic. The fire would and could burn. The water could drown just as easily as it could heal. The air could suffocate or it could protect. And the earth would rumble and shake and devastate. It was epic.

But it wasn’t just that there were a few more battles in Shift than in Exiled, the battles in this book were those battles on steroids. They were bigger. The enemies were way more powerful. The fights were bloody and brutal, with outcomes that didn’t always favor the heroes.

And they were brilliantly detailed. Each slice, each stab, each snap, each twist made me feel like I was a part of the fight.

I thought I’d met all the different types of demons from the Underworld in Exiled, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The demons introduced in this sequel make the ones I met in the first book look cute and cuddly in comparison.

Without beings spoiler-y, I will just say that they’re way more disgusting, a million times harder to kill and there are so very many of them. And they are all dead-set on taking Chase down…Chase and anyone else who is willing to fight alongside him, that is.

Chase’s enemies have grown exponentially since the events that took place at the end of Exiled. Even former allies have been made to question whether siding with Chase is the best bet. Not only because of who his enemies are or what they are capable of, but because Chase has something that could be very valuable to anyone who gets their hands on it.

I loved going on this journey with Chase. I loved going into battle with him. I loved being there as he witnessed the shifts, as gruesome as they were. And I loved watching him become a hero.

What I didn’t love? The fact that now I have to wait for the next book’s release.


I have an absolute favorite passage, but because it comes very close to the end of the book it’s spoiler-y. So, I thought I’d share my favorite line, instead.

My back arched as pain rippled through my insides like someone took a chainsaw to my soul.


If you’d like to check out my review for Exiled, the first book in the series, click here.

This review is based on an eARC I received from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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