I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
The story follows Jenn/Shadow, a human/gryphon woman who falls in love, finds her long lost family, and takes her place as a royal leader of her family's eyrie.
The beginning of the book is very confusing, and not just because of the frustrating writing style and poor editing. The gryphon lore the author bases the story on is very complex and unfamiliar to me, with very little explanation or background provided. It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I felt like I had a grasp of what was happening.
For those, like me, who aren't familiar with gryphons: they are a magical species with almost bipolar personalities consisting of their human persona and their gryphon persona, which are basically people with wings, claws, tails, and big egos? I always though gryphons were half lion/half eagle…maybe that's what they are in this book too, there's not much clarification from the author so I'm not entirely sure. They live in eyries high up in the mountains of western Canada in very tightly ordered matriarchal social structures with the royals at the top and rogues (the story's antagonists) at the bottom. The royal females can do magic but no one else can, and their magic varies depending on individual/family/eyrie? That's another aspect that's not very clear. They have complex mating rituals where during sex he bites her and she cries and then somehow they're mated for life. I didn't really get that part either.
The story begins when Mark/Talon and Jenn/Shadow meet by chance and have a one night stand in the cab of his semi truck. He doesn't tell her that he's actually mating with her for life or realize that she has no clue of who or what she really is, as she and her twin brother were raised in foster homes as humans. The beginning is very "Twilighty," which is the only way I can think of to describe the way that they fall in instantaneous love at first sight with no real insight as to why. Although this is annoying, it gets better in the second half of the novel as more of the gryphon culture is understood.
All in all, the story is interesting and captivating. The horrible editing of the edition I read, however, limits my review to only three stars. Also, the story randomly alternates point of view from Mark/Talon to Jenn/Shadow and it is very unorganized and hard to follow. All of this added together, made me very frustrated while reading, as I am normally a very fast reader and had to slow down just to understand the meaning of some of the sentences.
With some better editing and content revision this book could be fantastic. As is, however, only three for now.