Author: Rosie Best
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 1st October, 2013
Source: Strange Chemistry. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room
When Meg witnesses the dying moments of a shapeshifting fox and is given a beautiful and powerful stone, her life changes forever. She is plunged into the dark world of the Skulk, a group of shapeshifting foxes.
As she learns about the other groups of shapeshifters that lurk around London – the Rabble, the Horde, the Cluster and the Conspiracy – she becomes aware of a deadly threat against all the shapeshifters. They must put aside all their enmity and hostility and fight together to defeat it.
Review by Nara
Basically, when I first heard about this book being about shapeshifting foxes, I was like *grabby hands*. I love foxes, and shapeshifting foxes? Gimme, gimme, gimme!! However, the book wasn't really what I expected. I'm going to say that overall, it was a very...shall we say "safe" read. By which I mean it was a very predictable read. I still did enjoy the book though. It was engaging enough, and quite action packed.
For some reason, the entire time I was reading, there seemed to be some sort of plothole that I couldn't quite put my finger on- the rules of the shapeshifting somehow didn't seem quite sound. I'm probably being a bit vague right now, but it's hard to define properly- there just seemed to be some lacking in the explanations about how the shapeshifting came about, and how it was passed on and such. Also, I was thinking fair enough for shapeshifting foxes, rats and ravens. But one of the other two groups were spiders. SPIDERS. Seriously, man? That would be the worst. What if you're in spider form and someone brings out the ole rolled up magazine?? And the last group of shapeshifters were butterflies. BUTTERFLIES?! That is the freaking most useless thing ever. They're not even fast. What the heck could you do as a freaking butterfly??
And the stones. Basically, each of the five shapeshifting clans (is that even the right term for them? Can't actually remember lol) had a stone of power that they have to protect. I really wasn't convinced about the idea of these. Why does no one really know what they do? Why is there some idiot in basically every clan that seems to think it's a good idea to casually sell off the stone?? Seriously, when they were first inducted, did they not get some sort of speech about how freaking important the stones were?? Surely as a shapeshifter, you'd tell all the other shapeshifters in your clan all the necessary knowledge in order to make sure that you can properly protect the stones! But nope, apparently, for some unknown reason, all the knowledge has been lost. Seems sketchy to me.
I quite liked the characters. They were somewhat stereotypical, I guess, but still interesting enough. And while Mo's identity was totally predictable (not even going to explain who he is, except that he's the love interest, because I don't want to possibly spoil it for people who haven't read the novel- although I guess most people would easily guess it) I did like the interactions he had with Meg. I guess I should say that on the whole, I did like the characters, but I wasn't particularly wowed by any of them. None of them were particularly unique. And actually, I can't really remember much about most of the minor characters. Not even the ones that died.
While I wasn't completely convinced of the rules of the shapeshifting, and the power of the stones, I did like Skulk overall, and will probably read any sequels (I think there are going to be sequels...the ending didn't really seem that conclusive).