Title: Beasts Like Us
Publisher: JMS Books
Author: Feral Sephrian
Mateo, a jaguar nagual descended from Mayan shamans, attends the Northern Nevada Con-fur-ence furry convention to hide in plain sight. Who will look twice at a long, black tail and inhuman yellow eyes when there are neon huskies and dancing dragons around?
There Mateo meets Dazi, a mountain lion skin-walker who is at the con with friends from his Shoshone-Paiute reservation. They want to find out if the furries are close to stumbling across their tribe of shifters.
When these two big cats rub up against each other, their cultures collide in a way neither Mateo nor Dazi could predict. But Mateo has trouble being entirely human around his alluring new companion, and Dazi puts his tribe at risk when he reveals their secrets to an outsider.
Can Mateo and Dazi overcome their natural secretive and bestial instincts to find their purr-fect ending?
Beasts Like Us is a new book by author Feral Sephrian. This author is new to me and I was not sure what to expect but liked the way the author handled a sub-genre that can easily become stale. First of all ,the author uses Native American and Mayan mythology as the basis of the shifter societies in this book. Next, the author uses a furry conference as the background for the main characters. As the reader can imagine this leaves plenty of opportunity for misunderstandings. Lastly, the author wraps the story up in a way the readers are sure to enjoy.
The main characters are easy to like. Mateo is a jaguar whose family got their abilities from the gods. When others tried to wipe them out, Mateo’s family headed north, settling in the United States. Mateo’s grandfather finds his way to a commune, one that allows its members to follow various believes. This works out well for his family as Mateo was born with an actual tail that does not disappear while he is in human form. Mateo uses the yearly furry conference as a way to socialize without worrying about giving himself away, after all it would be weirder to for him to be running around without a tail.
Dazi is Native American. Like Mateo, Dazi’s people also received their gifts from the gods, but what makes them different is that each person has the ability to choose what their animal is going to be. For Dazi that was a mountain lion. Also like Mateo’s people, Dazi’s live in secret and have strict rules with intense punishments if their truth is revealed. Because they live in fear , when Dazi and his friends hear about a furry conference going on near their reservation they head out to make sure their cover isn’t blown.
Of course with Dazi and Mateo at the conference at the same time, the two are sure to cross paths. I loved the way the author brought these two together. The bathroom scene made me laugh, especially when Dazi asks Mateo not to eat him. There is an attraction between them, however since neither has ever met a shifter outside of their own people, they are unsure of what it is they feel for the other. The attraction they feel for each other is the least of their worries, as Dazi’s people do not like that Mateo knows about them .
There is a lot that goes on in Beasts Like Us that helps hold the readers attention. I really liked the way the author handles Mateo’s meeting with the elders of Dazi’s tribe. When Dazi realizes what is happening at one point in the story and breaks down, i wanted to cry with him.
This is a great addition to a sub-genre that can seem as if nothing ever changes. Fans of shifter stories really should give this book a try as they will not be disappointed.
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