Released (The Shapeshifters’ Library #1) by Amber Polo

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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 academy and 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. (-synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a fun book about shapeshifters, werewolves, and librarians.  It’s an unusual mix of characters but it seems to work in this book.  The shapeshifters come from a long line of librarians while the werewolves come from a line of book burners.  The human librarians get caught in the middle of an ancient feud in this novel.

I had some difficulty getting into the book initially.  There were a lot of characters and I didn’t quite understand what the connection was between the characters.  After about the first fifty pages or so it all began to come together and I flew through the rest of the book.

Liberty, the main character, is a librarian determined to go the extra mile to have her new library be a show piece full of every book imaginable.  Unfortunately, once the new library is open someone begins to steal the books.  This is when Chronus, a shapeshifting sheepdog, enters the picture.  He reveals himself to Liberty and the two begin to work together to stop the book burning, and book stealing, werewolves.

On top of the situation with the stolen library books, Liberty learns that Chronus and the other shifting dogs are trapped in the library by a curse werewolf pack leader Elsie put on them.  The werewolves will stop at nothing to make sure the dogs aren’t able to break the curse.  This includes fires, fights, and plotting against both Liberty and the shifters.

While the fight between the evil werewolves and the librarian dog shifters is the main theme the book does have something for everyone.  The budding romance between Chronus and Liberty is sweet and fun.  The “Dewey Speak” that comes from the human librarians adds some humor to the tense situations in the book.

I think anyone who is a fan of books, dogs, and the paranormal would enjoy reading this book.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

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