Shifter (The Healer Chronicles 2)

Young Adult - Horror
308 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2022
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Author Biography

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning writer who grew up in Northern California. He taught high school, in both general education and to students with disabilities. He’s also made low-budget horror films, written stage plays, and coached strength training. He volunteers as a youth mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, spent decades mentoring youth within the juvenile justice system of Los Angeles, and adopted a child in 2020. He’s a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens and hopes his books can show young people they are not alone in their struggles.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Shifter is a work of fiction in the horror, thriller, and paranormal fiction subgenres, and it serves as the second installment in the Healer Chronicles series. The novel is intended for the mature young adult readership owing to some moderate explicit language and violent horror situations and was written by Michael J Bowler. The story of wheelchair-bound healer Alex continues as he tries to bond with his twin brother Andy, even under the most trying circumstances when the lads are captured by the U.S. military. As their unique supernatural talents grow into something with devastating capabilities, they also find a dark conspiracy lurking in a Nevada Air Force base that could change the world as they know it.

One of the key factors for any young adult book is holding onto readers and keeping them racing through your tale, chapter after chapter, and Michael J Bowler certainly knows how to keep readers on the hook. The pacing of this novel is cleverly arranged so that there’s always a surprise around the corner and a mystery you’ll keep wondering about if you put the book down. Beyond this, the horror elements are well balanced for the target age range and suitably scary, with several tense moments that make you root for the characters to survive. I also really enjoyed the diverse representation of differently-abled characters who approach problems in unique but relatable ways. Shifter is a fresh take on YA horror that will surprise and delight anyone who reads it.