The Shapeshifter's Wife
Leslie Clark, Editor
Sept. 21, 2017
Morgan Hill, CA
ISBN # 978-1-63498-426-3
ASIN : B075VG89WW
$14.95 Print, $0.99 digital
Welcome to San Francisco’s Russian River, where the line between 1994 and 1847 blur for an anthropology professor. In an incredible journey, Alexis is transported to California during the goldrush where desperate people meet offense on their own terms. Women are especially vulnerable and viewed without the rights their sisters of the future enjoy. The air and country are fresh, clean, and raw. Nature hasn’t been compromised yet. The time had come for Alexis to live what she’d always dreamed of.
The Shapeshifter’s Wife is the first of two books in a series about sisters who time hop. Due to traumatic encounters, both sisters decide to take time out of their regular lives to pull themselves together. The focus of the first book is on Alexis, known also as Angelica after she transports through time. The second book focuses on Heather. The story begins when Alexis decides to pursue research on shape-shifting with Native Americans near Healdsburg in Northern California. The trip would allow her time to relax, something she really needed. All goes well until the canoe she’s in enters the “frothing, tumultuous” water of the Russian River, and runs her into a dead tree. The canoe turns over and she prepares for her demise. Alexis soon wonders if she’s hallucinating when water nymphs pull on her arms and provide her with a way to breathe under water. When Alexis surfaces the river, she is in 1848 and meets Reynard, a man who may help her with the loss of her husband.
Alexis begins a series of excitement, romance, and belonging. Unfortunately, she also experiences the dark side of people as well. The goldrush brought out the worst in some, along with a sense of superiority. The now Angelica learns straight from Native American people their shapeshifting knowledge, and finds herself shapeshifting at will. In the end, Angelica faces the decision of whether to go back to her own time and find her sister who is alone, or stay in 1849 where she is content.
Speculative fiction readers and those drawn to unusual possibilities will enjoy this tale. Is transportation to another time-period merely a near-death experience, or a ride though a dimensional door? Radmanvich explores the idea through the main character of her story after suffering near-death herself in the Russian River. History buffs will enjoy The Shapeshifter’s Wife too, especially because Radmanvich shares details and historical events about California’s goldrush. Readers will want to unravel her second book in this series to learn what happens to Angelica and her sister, although the first book stands alone just fine. An engaging and fascinating tale.