Dec 22 2011 3:00pm

Fresh Meat: Dani Harper’s Changeling Dawn (Dec. 27, 2011)

Changeling Dawn by Dani HarperDani Harper
Changeling Dawn
Brava, $14.00/$9.59 digital, Dec. 27, 2011

Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding the fact that she’s a werewolf. She’s not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska. An isolated archaeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility—as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own...

Dani Harper’s Changeling series follows the Macleod family of changelings, also known as werewolves. This third installment, Changeling Dawn features, baby sister, Kenzie. The underlying theme of the story deals with overcoming prejudices and fears caused by traumas.

Kenzie is an archeologist on a mission to prove that changelings and humans once lived together peacefully. When Kenzie was only a child she was chased by deadly human hunters trying eradicating the local wolf population. She has had a hard time trusting humans since then.

The last time Kenzie accompanied her father to the marketplace in Torridon, she had seen tall stacks of wolf pelts. The death of so many creatures was heart-wrenching, but the true horror was revealed by scent—many skins had come not from wolves, but from Changelings in their lupine form.

We see that although Kenzie has no problems interacting with humans, she feels that she can only build relationships with other changelings.

After she arrives at her new dig site in Alaska, Kenzie notices a wolf pup hanging around her camp site. Kenzie calls in locate Fish and Wildlife Officer, Josh Talarkoteen, to assist in capturing the pup since it appears to have been abandoned. They soon realize that the wolf pup is actually a young changeling child. They know something bad has gone on since changeling parents wouldn’t just abandon their child to the wild.

Little Anya and her mother had been attacked by human hunters. But these hunters weren’t hunting wolves, they were hunting changelings. They want to know the secrets of the changelings. Her mother leads the hunters away, but Anya is left to fend for herself until she finds Kenzie and recognizes her changeling scent.

She wished and wished her mother was here with her. The men had hurt her, taken her somewhere…but where? She’d told Anya to run; she hadn’t told her what to do next.

She was almost asleep when her sensitive nostrils caught a faint scent from somewhere downwind. It wasn’t wolf..and it wasn’t human. It was like her.

Anya is so traumatized by what has happened and her mother’s warnings not to trust the humans that Anya won’t change back to her human form and spends most of the story in wolf form. Kenzie needs to earn Anya’s trust before someone comes looking for the little pup that got away.

“I guess she likes you.”

“Naw. Every kid loves a bedtime story, that’s all. She wouldn’t have come if you hadn’t gotten through to her.”

Was it true? Had the child heard her words after all? “Now what do we do?"

“Not a damn thing. We continue our conversation like nothing happened.”

“She might leave again.”

“Then she leaves. We’re looking for trust here, remember?”

The underlying theme of this story is overcoming fears and prejudices and that a person’s character is not guaranteed by the basic issue whether they are human or changeling. This lesson needs to be learned by both the young Anya and the much older Kenzie and points out that we all need to overcome fears and prejudices and accept each person individually for who they are.

Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog  Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession.  When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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1 comment
1. GRoy
I am reading this series and it is fantastic. If you enjoy paranormal "were" stories, you will love it. I always say start with the first book in the series because I think that is vital to understand everything that is going on.
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