The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder was gripping and brilliant. 

Melissa Marn was a scientist working for the SCM.  Shifters posed a threat to the military and it was her duty to test the captured shifters to find out how they worked.  Melissa and Bruce put in many man hours,  testing shifters and cloning soldiers at the demands of the new General Raul.

When they bring in children that seem more human than not,  the stress builds.  Melissa takes one night to just forget - about work,  demands on her,  who she is.  After a mug of beer and meeting a new fellow,  she allows herself a night of pleasure,  only to find out he's a shifter.  It was unacceptable and the very thing she was helping to destroy.  How could this happen?

Weeks later she finds herself pregnant.  Determined to keep it hidden,  she plans for adoption after being unable to abort,  her love growing for what was inside of her.

Meanwhile,  Brenden,  the shifter and father to Melissa's baby keeps a close watch on her.  It had been his plan all along to help save his species.  The Shifters already knew they could create a hybrid,  by mating with a human.  The Hybrids were more human-like and better able to save them,  giving them a chance at survival.

When Melissa has the twins and takes them to an orphanage,  Brenden and the other shifters plan to not chance the safety of the shifter babies to human hands and the war begins,  blood is shed.

Blackwelder did such a magnificent job with The Shifters of 2040.  I could only imagine how hard it may have been to write this story,  as it was actually the first in the series but written second to the first introduction of The Hunters of 2060.

I did get a better understanding of The Hunters and the entire story was moving.  I found myself mad at Melissa,  loving Melissa,  and I absolutely loved Brenden and Keenan.  Keenan is one of the cloned soldiers,  and technically #13.  What they never expected after successfully cloning was that the clones might have free will.  Even though they were brainwashed to hate,  capture or kill shifters,  Keenan finds his own way,  even falling in love with Diamond,  a shifter.

Colonel Raul,  well I just wanted to strangle him myself.  He was completely driven by hate and it so clouded his mind.

All in all,  this title was well written,  the characters were likeable,  or hateable,  and it was a pleasure to see how Ami's grown in her writing since The Hunters of 2060.

I give this title ***** (5) Stars and I cannot wait for The Hybrids of 2050.  ~BK Walker

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