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June 22, 2019 at 04:10 AM UTC

Glad you guys appreciated the eccentric Uncle comment. 🙂 And thank you Kitty for making this your summer reading project. I would have never found it otherwise or possibly have stuck with the first book to get to the point where I could really appreciate it. I am having trouble not picking up the last book (I did “cheat” with the bonus novella”). I’ve been trying to wait until I’ve written my thoughts on Between Floors but I might not make it, which is sad with less than 12 hours to go!

Jocelyn Malone

June 18, 2019 at 09:58 PM UTC

This was probably my least favorite of the four published books, I have to admit. I found the werewolves storyline kinda boring. The idea is neat, I like that we have other “former humans” in the mix, but the story itself there wasn’t my favorite. I knew Daniel wasn’t our big bad, and while I wasn’t sure on the chick, I wasn’t really very surprised when she turned out to be the baddie, either. I felt like that plot was kinda just there so we could get introduced to some further character growth for a few people and some sideline people who turn up more later (like the Sandman). It seemed pretty obvious to me that Pet would get cured, so there wasn’t even that tension. That said, I’m certainly not sorry I read it, it was still a good book and moved the arc of the series forward!

I do think they treat Pet somewhat differently, but in a manner that is natural as they get to know each other better and people start changing in response to the new people in their lives–good to see, but not surprising!

Lynn Zieske

June 18, 2019 at 12:49 AM UTC

This book was when I became officially hooked on the series. In the first book I was a little frustrated with how much Pet didn’t know or wouldn’t remember based on pushing things out of her mind. That meant we didn’t know much. Somehow with this book I was able to settle in and just enjoy the ride. Which is how I see this book, with Pet settling in and learning to go with this weird situation she has found herself. I also see the psychos starting to settle in to her presence. They also are starting to get intrigued by some of her anomalies.

As for ships, I am not trying to read to much into anything yet. There are various bonds forming. All of this could change in later books but right now I get more of a sibling rivalry feel with Jin Yeong Zero almost seems paternalistic and Athelas seems like the eccentric Uncle. I started to enjoy that Pet was starting to form a family dynamic, even if only slightly, since she has been without for so long. So I am not shipping anyone yet but will wait and see how things start to shake out later.

I will admit that as soon as I finished this I immediately began the next book but am not using that book to change what I felt at the end of this book. I wanted to dive into the last book but I made myself stop so I wouldn’t get too far ahead. I can’t wait to dive in though!

Due to the fact that I read the third book since this one I can’t remember when I figured out the villain. I did start getting suspicious of that person before it became obvious but can’t say more without giving spoilers. I also liked the idea of lycanthropy being the result of a virus.


June 22, 2019 at 04:09 AM UTC

Glad you guys appreciated the eccentric Uncle comment. 🙂 And thank you Kitty for making this your summer reading project. I would have never found it otherwise or possibly have stuck with the first book to get to the point where I could really appreciate it. I am having trouble not picking up the last book (I did “cheat” with the bonus novella”). I’ve been trying to wait until I’ve written my thoughts on Between Floors but I might not make it, which is sad with less than 12 hours to go!


June 21, 2019 at 05:56 PM UTC

Ahahaha yeah I have had a heck of a time separating what I already know with what each book presents for these discussions.
I’ve told W. R. before so this won’t come as a shock to her, but I honestly think this series has some of the most dynamic and complex character relationships I’ve ever seen.

I love to give my characters best friends and support networks (ie: Phile, Halvor, and the whole Snow Queen gang) but I usually put the most thought of relationship-transformation into the romantic relationships, not the friend ones.

It’s been fascinating and inspiring to watch W. R. layer each book and make tiny changes to these relationships!

W.R. Gingell

June 18, 2019 at 02:29 AM UTC

Honestly, “eccentric uncle” is my favourite description of Athelas thus far 😂😂😂


June 18, 2019 at 01:54 AM UTC

I think “Eccentric Uncle” is a fabulous description of Athelas.


June 17, 2019 at 12:36 AM UTC

I finished book two and had to jump right into book three!

But discussing book two… I agree with “settling” as well. I feel like Pet is getting comfortable with her three Psychos and the whole idea of Between and Behind.

I don’t know if I would say they treat her differently in this book but I would say their relationships become more comfortable as they get use to each other. I feel like all good relationships develop the longer they last so it wasn’t a dramatic change but I feel like Pet because more comfortable with the relationship of living with her psychos and the weird world she is now noticing.

I’ve heard of werewolves being a virus before so that didn’t throw me off but I admit I really was surprised with Erica. I totally did not suspect her at all. When she explained everything after it made total sense but yeah before that I had no idea.


June 17, 2019 at 12:58 AM UTC

I had not heard of a “lycanthropy virus” before so that was totally new and unexpected for me. I love the way it played out though. The fact that Pet got accidentally changed into a werewolf as a result of a ridiculous childish fight with JinYeong? I thought that was super creative and funny.


June 17, 2019 at 06:37 PM UTC

If you’re interested in reading more “werewolf virus + mystery” books, that’s pretty much the premise of the Virals series by Kathy Reichs. The books are more stereotypical young adult fiction-y than Kitty’s stuff or the City Between series, but I’d still recommend them. 😀


June 17, 2019 at 10:00 PM UTC

Thanks! I always need more book recommendations 🙂


June 17, 2019 at 01:11 AM UTC

Right. I thought that was really funny and fit into their relationship


June 16, 2019 at 08:50 AM UTC

I think “settling in” is the perfect description for this book. I confess that I don’t love it quite as much as some others in the series. Don’t get me wrong; I still really *really* like it. The others in the series are just exceptionally awesome 🙂 And I think it does a fantastic (and important!) job of giving us a deeper understanding of the three psychos’ baseline behavior and personalities while also giving us a peek at the ways they can grow and change in response to Pet’s presence.

I didn’t feel like the psychos’ behavior to Pet changed dramatically from the first book. And I am glad. Cause I wouldn’t believe it if they did. But I do think the tendencies that were hinted at in the first book are more pronounced here. Zero seems more determined than ever to prevent the death of his pet. (Although, Kitty, I cannot believe you called him adorable. Bet he would be mighty offended. Or maybe just confused haha). JinYeong seems to still be struggling with what to do with a human that a) is his pet and b) doesn’t smell like food. Maybe that is why he is seeking her out more; he is trying to get a handle on the situation. I certainly do find his attentiveness—coming to get her/ check on her in the morning even after she wounds Zero for doing the same thing, looking for her at lunch etc.— very intriguing. “A new development in his psychopathy” as Athelas would say. Speaking of Athelas, I think that when it comes to having a secret fondness for Pet, he is the deepest in denial. And man is that saying something considering the competition! I think he really truly believes that he is only being nice to her in order to manipulate her. I am greatly looking forward to him facing the reality of his own feelings some time in the future 😀

As for the discussion of love…..Like I said, I think Athelas has convinced himself that Fae cannot feel real love. Given the sad details we find out about his life in the next book, I can understand maybe how he came to believe that. And I think in Athelas’ mind Zero is definitely Fae. To him, Zero’s human side is a minor personality quirk at most. Ergo, Athelas believes Zero cannot love either. JinYeong is a whole other matter. He is clearly far more emotional than the other two psychos. We have seen him rage and seen him hate. We have also seen his brotherly love for Zero. So it makes sense to me that JinYeong is very capable of romantic love. Perhaps, though Athelas believes it is not wise to stir up strong emotions in a vampire? Since he is so volatile? I also wondered if it is an issue of um suitability? Who or what would JinYeong love? He is dangerous to both Fae and humans. Fae he can kill (assuming I properly understood that conversation about things that are lethal to Fae) and humans he can accidentally turn. Plus his spit literally knocks them unconscious. And does he even have any vampire friends? Basically I don’t really know what Athelas was getting at, but I sure enjoy trying to figure it out!


June 21, 2019 at 05:53 PM UTC

Oohhhh I love your description of Athelas seeing Zero as being part human as almost a personality quirk–that does seem true.

Athelas really likes things just so–which makes me think he knows more about Pet than he lets on, otherwise I can’t imagine he’d let her waltz around without trying to experiment. (This is a tiiinnyy spoiler, but in Between Floors Zero comments that Athelas wanted to test something, but figured Pet wouldn’t like it so he drops it. That seems very…odd.)

And I agree with you that JinYeong seems to have the greatest capacity/ability to love. And he seems the least opposed to change, so I think he’s going to fall (whether it’s romantic love, brotherly love, etc) first, which is probably good. Zero is vested in keeping Pet alive, but he’s also clearly the leader and has other stuff he has to do. If JinYeong becomes equally as invested, Pet stands a greater chance of surviving Behind politics.

W.R. Gingell

June 17, 2019 at 04:22 AM UTC

Love in all different kinds is a big part of what I wanted to explore with this series–whether brotherly love, romantic love, friendship love, etc. So it makes me happy to see people chewing over the possibilities and ramifications of that with the characters =)


June 17, 2019 at 06:24 AM UTC

Those different type of love really show so far in the series. I really love all the relationships between the Psychos and not just their relationship with Pet. I really look forward to learning so much more about all of them and their history.

W.R. Gingell

June 18, 2019 at 02:30 AM UTC

So glad to hear that! =)

Natalie Smoot

June 16, 2019 at 05:56 AM UTC

I haven’t read the whole series yet glad to know we learn her real name at some point. I just feel like her name should be Aubrey for some reason but I wonder if it’s something that hints at her fae background whatever that is. At first I liked JimYeong for her but I am leaning toward Zero or even the detective but we shall see.


June 15, 2019 at 09:43 PM UTC

Something weighty and portentous, like Ransom in C. S. Lewis’s Perlandra series–where his name had absolutely no linguistic connection with the word “ransom,” but in a deeper sense it did and he was.
but I’m probably wrong and it’s something like “Polly.”

W.R. Gingell

June 16, 2019 at 08:11 AM UTC

😂 Not Polly, no 😂 But it does have some kind of significance, in a few small ways.

I’d been tossing up whether or not to bring out her real name at all in the series, and I’ve only just lately decided that yes, I will.

So I know what it is…

…but it won’t come out for another couple books 😉


June 21, 2019 at 05:46 PM UTC

“I’d been tossing up whether or not to bring out her real name at all in the series, and I’ve only just lately decided that yes, I will.

So I know what it is…

…but it won’t come out for another couple books”

You are 10 degrees of mean for teasing us like this W. R. 😉 Just so you know–I understand how your brain came up with those twisty fae now! <3

W.R. Gingell

June 22, 2019 at 03:14 AM UTC

…hee hee hee…

Yeah, I’m pure Athelas at this point–I just love to mess with everyone >:D

Natalie Smoot

June 17, 2019 at 01:53 AM UTC

So is the series complete? Or are more books coming out later?

W.R. Gingell

June 17, 2019 at 04:24 AM UTC

There are currently four books in the series, with another six at least to come =)


June 18, 2019 at 01:21 AM UTC

Six? Wowzie, no wonder there are no concrete shipping directions yet!


June 17, 2019 at 11:22 PM UTC

Any clues as to when the fifth book will come out…? I’m eagerly awaiting it ☺️ I tried to find it online but didn’t see anything talking about it anywhere.

W.R. Gingell

June 18, 2019 at 02:31 AM UTC

The fifth will be before Christmas this year =) I have to finish the last book in my fantasy fairytale retellings before the fans of that one kill me for taking two years to do it… D:


June 16, 2019 at 08:19 AM UTC

Woohoo! Excited to hear that her name will be revealed some day 😀

W.R. Gingell

June 16, 2019 at 08:25 AM UTC

It’s necessary for some character growth (and probably also for Pet’s mental and emotional good 😅 )


June 15, 2019 at 07:29 PM UTC

“Certainly not. Zero can’t love; JinYeong shouldn’t, and as for myself–” “You definitely shouldn’t love anyone,” I muttered…”You’d spend all your time tallying up who owed who. That’s not love.”

Shipwise, Zero is still my favorite, followed by JinYeong, though I agree that it’s anyone’s game. (And not knowing how Fae age or how old the psychos really are, I’m kind of afraid there’s gonna be a really creepy age difference or something.) But, like, “‘Don’t bite me, Pet,’ Zero said again, but this time it felt like that wasn’t what he was really saying. It was hard to look away from his eyes.” That could be interpreted in a lot of ways, but my brain is interpreting it as shippy. Plus, there’s the training, and “Stay behind me” from the first book… (Side note, I love all the little snippets of Pet interacting with Between, especially the dryad and the sparring.)

Something I find interesting is that most of the time, when I read books with an older teen protagonist, they seem way older than they’re supposed to be. Their emotional and mental maturity, how capable and competent they are at everything, all the romantic relationships–kids and teens can be incredibly mature when they have to be, but I tend to mentally place a lot of protagonists as a few years older than they are. With Pet, the total opposite is happening. She often seems a couple years younger than she is. Of course, she’s still clever and mature and competent, but if her age was never mentioned and I had to guess, I’d say 15. Maybe I’m just not used to a 17-year-old actually acting her age…is anyone else finding the same thing?

I was always pretty suspicious of Erica–she seemed a bit too good to be true, and as the epicenter of the murders, she could easily be the one causing them, rather than an innocent victim. By the time Pet found her in the locker rooms, I was sure. I was really pleased that Pet kept a healthy hint of suspicion towards her too–it always bugs me when protagonists trust someone blindly for Plot Reasons.

And a question for everyone: if you had to pick a real name for Pet right now (no cheating if you’ve already read the rest of the series), what would it be?


June 21, 2019 at 05:39 PM UTC

Thanks, Kat for digging out the quote! 😀

And I can totally get behind your support group, Caitlin. I actually have what I call “Friendship Ships” in this series, which is a new thing for me as normally I don’t care /too/ much about the friendships. (I mean, friendships are really important for me to see, but I don’t necessarily obsess over their formation. This series has changed that!)

But if it helps, I almost always pick the wrong ship as well. (That’s why I’m actually excited about my friendship-ships. I should win no matter what at this rate.)

W.R. Gingell

June 22, 2019 at 03:17 AM UTC

Something that has helped HUGELY with this in my writing is watching Kdramas–the well-written ones put amazing work into making friendships a big part of the story: formation as well as existence. They do mostly do it with the male characters, while the female ones get token friends who do awful things just to push the plot along, but every now and then there’s an amazing female friendship that’s formed and drawn well. And I LOVE that, so I’m working on it in my own writing =)

(In other words, you can thank KDrama for a LOT of improvement in specific areas in my writing 😀 )


June 17, 2019 at 06:35 AM UTC

Pet is 17 for the next few months. She mentions being born in 2000 in this book and in the first one she is six months shy of being able to purchase her home. Well, legally. Does she have that much squirreled away yet?

W.R. Gingell

June 18, 2019 at 02:33 AM UTC

She has a bit–but I can’t remember if it’s mentioned in the books yet or if that was a piece that didn’t make it into the earlier books and got saved for a later one…

I’ll have to go searching.

It’s dreadful when you get confused about your own books… 😂


June 16, 2019 at 10:40 PM UTC

I’m not proud of how late I stayed up last night reading book three (though I don’t really regret it either). Having finished it, I can officially say that I’m jumping ships…into the ocean. I’m just gonna float there until I can figure out how the heck I feel about the potential romantic relationships in this series. XD


June 17, 2019 at 12:33 AM UTC

I feel like you have *perfectly* captured my feelings on ships in this book. I have no idea where things are going, but I am really enjoying the ride (although by the end of book four I was seriously considering founding a support group for “people who find themselves suddenly and entirely unexpectedly changing ships in the middle of a series” 😅). I am actually kind of surprised by just how much I am enjoying it. Even when it keeps me up at night wondering lol. Normally I hate not knowing who the romantic lead is. But I think that is because some authors, particularly in urban fantasy series, create romantic suspense by having the heroine actively flit from guy to guy. And that drives me nuts. Especially since I always seem to pick the wrong couple to ship 😒 In this series though, the cues are so subtle! I think if I end up picking the wrong ship in this series, I will groan a bit but then I will just be that much more motivated to read the whole thing over again and try to figure out what I missed. In the mean time though, I am so excited to finally have people to talk to and theorize with about a series I have been following since the first book was released.


June 17, 2019 at 12:39 AM UTC

I agree!! After book three I’m totally thrown off. I have no idea who will get the girl and I have reasons for liking all of them!!!


June 16, 2019 at 08:54 AM UTC

Oh man, that “don’t bite me” scene!!! That is the type of subtext that keeps me up at night wondering. I love it.

Reading Discussion: Between Shifts


Today we’re discussing Between Shifts, book #2 of the City Between series.

In Between Shifts we depart from the search for the Behindkind serial killer, and meet a slew of werewolf characters.

To me, Between Shifts is mostly about Pet settling into a life with the psychos that is more permanent than she initially imagined in book 1, and her “owners” also get more used to her.

Zero takes bigger strides to protect her–which to me proves he’s got more of a heart than he or Athelas are willing to admit. I found it adorable that he was so set on teaching Pet to protect herself, and he seemed the most disgruntled with Pet’s temporary jaunt as a werewolf. 😉

JinYeong also seems to be a little more intent on forging some kind of relationship with Pet. I thought it was very interesting that on more than one occasion he wanted to hang out or eat lunch with her at the store, when there was no real reason to. (I don’t think it was just because Zero told him to keep her safe. He had windows in his office, it wasn’t necessary to get her in the same room as him.)

I’m fairly certain that between book #1 and book #2, Athelas has given Pet more information than his usual devious/manipulative personality would allow. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he has a big soft spot for her, but considering that he’s far more cut-throat than Zero, it seems he’s letting his shields down with her more than one would expect.

We don’t get tons of new information about the fae/Behindkind, but I think with the introduction of werewolves that opens to the door to the possibility that Pet might not be fae, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a different sort of Behindkind. (She keeps doing stuff that should be impossible for humans, so I think she really can’t be pure human at this point.)

I did find it interesting, though, that the psychos were willing to drag her with them to go visit the water so the fae could re-charge. It might appear they do so because they don’t think she’s a threat at all, but it seems like she’s really growing on them, even if they aren’t fully aware of it.

This book also went much farther in making me like our favorite Detective. I wasn’t entirely certain how I felt about him after book 1, but I like him a lot more in this story. He’s not as antagonistic to Pet, so their scenes together are quite fun!

As for possible romance, I think it’s still a toss up. I have no idea where W. R. is going to take this series, and I love that! I did find, though, the most interesting line regarding love in this book happened early on–at approximately the 14% mark. Athelas and Pet are discussing the psychos and love (a rather unusual topic). I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but Athelas says something along the lines of JinYeong shouldn’t love, and Zero can’t, and Pet chimes in that Athelas shouldn’t either. (Can anyone get the exact quote? I’m writing this up at a cafe and my Kindle is back home.) My big question for this week, Champions, is what do you make of THAT?

Obviously you should leave your own theories and observations down below, but here are a few additional questions I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about:

  1. Do you think JinYeong, Athelas, and Zero treat Pet differently in this book? If so, in what ways?

  2. What do you think about the concept of werewolves being infected by a virus?

  3. When did you realize who the real werewolf villain was?

Happy chatting, Champions! I’ll see you on Monday for my FAVORITE book (so far) in the series, Between Floors, and remember you still have time to enter this week’s give away–some Elves of Lessa stickers!

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