First of all, let me thank Author Emily Israd for the chance to read and review this book: Murmur.
As always, these thoughts are my own. This review is spoiler-free and no main plot points are revealed.
I give this story 3.75 stars.
Hannah Sterling can change into a bird.
Or at least, she could until this past summer. When the Sickness takes away her shapeshifting ability, Hannah finds herself grounded—maybe for good.
But there’s no time to worry about that. Life in Jessup, Oklahoma has started heading south, fast. A student is killed, a biker gang is on the prowl, and the man Hannah’s father just hired is seriously giving her the creeps.
Meanwhile, Jack Corbin is having problems of his own. Life as the local miracle healer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Jack’s strange power seems to be drawing clients and danger in equal measure.
With the darkness closing in, Hannah and Jack need to take hold of their powers to protect the people they love.
It’s going to take every ounce of luck—and magic—to get out of this one alive.
So I’m going to be honest, and you guys all know I can be really hard on books. I usually don’t like self-pubs or books that come from small publishers. Usually, these stories have a lot of flaws, a lot of plot holes, and just could have been made way better with a professional editor. I went into Murmur with low expectations.
And honestly, I was really suprised. There were a few things that I thought ‘well, that could have been phrased better’ but for the most part, this Indie author shines. The story is interesting: a modern-ish mystery + shapeshifters and I thought, while the murderer is pretty obvious, that it was handled really well. I’ve always wanted to write a mystery but haven’t yet been brave enough.
One of my biggest complaints is that the title doesn’t make a lot of sense. The main character Hannah can turn into a starling and a group of starlings is called a murmuration, so I see where ‘Murmur’ came from, but I honestly wish the title was ‘Murmuration’ instead.
The world of Hannah Sterling seems like this one in a lot of ways. There are statics (non-shapeshifters- it took me an embarassingly long time to figure that out) and shifters. Most of the shifters in this story change into birds, but a wolf shifter is mentioned and I hope we start to understand that aspect in book two. I’d like to see the magic behind shapeshifting. Is it solely genetic? There aren’t many magical rules to keep the kids from living as birds instead, and I’m interested in the boundaries of the magic.
There were a few instances where the story dragged a bit, but it’s nothing that a little experience can’t fix.