Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Released by Amber Polo (And if you love libraries and sheep dogs...)

(Provided by author):

Released by Amber Polo

Love dogs? Love books ?Love libraries? Hate Book-burning werewolves?

Once long ago the Shipsfeather Academy was a training ground for an ancient race of dog-shifters whose mission was to protect the world’s knowledge. A powerful curse sealed these librarians in the basement of their building and gave the control of the town to a pack of book-burning werewolves.

Librarian Liberty Cutter watches in horror as the town’s public library goes up in flames and plans to re-establish the library in the abandoned Shipsfeather Academy building. Chronus, the Old English Sheepdog headmaster of the academyand leader of the dog-shifters, knows he must make some changes to continue to keep his pack safe. But even if he could persuade Liberty to believe in a talking sheepdog, how far can she be trusted? And will she ever be able to care for him as a man. He has to try, because Liberty Cutter and her staff of zany librarians may hold the key to the dog-shifters’ freedom…and the future of the town.

Being a book lover and an expert library loiterer, the chance to review a new book that somehow intertwined these two things definitely piqued my interest.  But, the real reason?  Bunnicula.

Let me explain.

Bunnicula was one of the first books I became obsessed with when I was younger.  Vampire bunnies draining vegetables to the pale, werewolf daschunds, and of course, the most lovable pup protecting his family.  Now, Released by Amber Polo is far from Bunnicula, but let's just say the cheese has transformed into charming.  And delight!

Once you get past the abruptness of being thrown into Liberty's life (in a frantic opening that introduces her and her situation in a frenetic and information overload way)...a librarian raised by her aunts who desperately wants to learn of her town's history as well as her own but whose library (dream job!!!!!) has mysteriously burned downed but is now being moved into the equally mysterious abandoned old school that always seems to have someone watching her from the shadows as she passes.  PHEW! Wait, the once part!!  At this point, the charming, if not adorable, and dare I say cute (I love sheepdogs) storytelling takes over and we find out the real mystery of this town.  The shape shifting dogs are the librarians of the world, protecting humans and working with them to make the most glorious libraries you can imagine.  And their arch enemies?  Werewolves who split from their canine cousins ages ago in their selfish wolfish ways who burn books and libraries in their quest to destroy both the books and their protectors forever.

The doggie librarians in Shipsfeather have been cursed to stay below grounds in the abandoned school which in turn keeps the werewolves out.  Will this stop the burning?  Or are the books and their caretakers doomed?

I simply adored this book...from the Dewey references (charming!!!!!) to the plethora of dog breeds that so represented their wonderful characters to Liberty herself, it was simply a delight to read. The other characters (Elsie, you mangy Alpha and Harry...we saw that Marley and Me!) added a rich and colorful layer that only made the read more enjoyable. Plus, a little romance thrown in? Who could resist? Sigh...a silver haired dashing man and sheep dog who loves books and a little adventure. Again, sigh...If there was one thing I longed for, it was an epic battle between the wolves and librarians (to really teach those book burners a lesson!), but there's always book two!

Quirky, quaint, and romantic, Amber Polo has delivered a breath of fresh air to this book blogger that was desperately needed.

Once in a while, you come across a story that isn't the newest most popular book obsession but is so worthy of being happily recommended that you know your book vacation would have been a little less sunny without it.  And here it is...

(Thank you, A Buckeye Girl Reads...always a delight.  For serious!!!  Book provided on Kindle for review...)

One lucky commenter from the tour will receive:  Prize pack to include:  Large canvas Shipsfeather Library book bag, 4 signed books by Amber Polo including The Shapeshifters’ Library Book 1: Released, Amber's Relaxation CD, 2collectible dogs, & a tuft of Arctic wolf fur.

Please comment away and make sure you find Release for your own reading pleasure...and to see who wins this battle of the books!!
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  1. Thanks Aria for featuring my book on your blog. And SO happy you loved my world of dog-shifters. Fantasy? Are you sure?
    Now I'll have to trot to my local library and find Bunnicula. :)

  2. I'm pretty sure Zeus Robinson the Siberian / Shepherd does lots of other things in his spare time - thanks for the tip, Amber!

  3. I'm sure you wouldn't have an ordinary dog!


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