Author: Charles de Lint
Publication Date: February 2012
For the past six months, something has been happening to young people in Santa Feliz. Week after week, there’s news of another teen changing shape, transforming from human to wild animal and back again. The federal government has stepped in, running public service announcements calling for affected youth to turn themselves in for “orientation and training.”
Josh Saunders has seen the news reports, but he is still unprepared when it happens to him. one minute he’s arguing with his mother’s boyfriend and the next, he is looming over the man, blood dripping from his claws—he has transformed into a mountain lion. When he switches back to his human body, he knows his life has changed forever. He has become a Wildling.
Trusting only his best friends des and Marina with his secret, Josh tries to return to regular living. But an encounter with Elzie, another Wildling, brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. And when an accidental betrayal reveals Josh’s secret, his carefully constructed cover is ripped apart, forcing his friends to intervene. They must grudgingly put their trust in others, including other Wildlings—and, most challenging, in each other— if they ever hope to save him.
For the past couple months, teens from Santa Feliz are finding out that they have the ability to shape shift into animals and no one knows how or why. Its made national headline news and there’s always a new story or video coming out about it happening to yet another teen. Josh just found out that he too is a Wildling. After that moment, his life will never be the same. But Josh has also gotten the attention of the FBI and it seems that they are keeping a close eye on him. Only trusting his two best friends, Des and Marina, Josh must keep the fact that he’s a Wildling a secret while eluding the authorities.
Josh’s first transformation into a mountain lion happens right at the start of the book. It immediately drew me in and had me asking questions and wanting to know more. After his first transformation, Josh tries his best to live a normal life but with every day that passes, it seems more and more impossible. Both Des and Marina are great friends to Josh. They don’t treat Josh any differently after they find out that he’s a Wildling and will always have his back no matter what--even risking their safety when Josh finds himself in danger.
The story was action-packed with some great twists--you think you know who the bad guys are but it turns out to be someone totally unexpected. There’s still so much about the Wildlings, their history, and what they can do that we don’t know about.
Under My Skin is the first book I’ve read by Charles de Lint. I know he’s written a lot of other books and was even the winner of the World Fantasy Award so I’m definitely looking forward reading more about Josh and learning more about Wildlings in the next book.
Rating 4 Stars
* Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review