Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2012/02/shift-brilliant-installment-in.htmlSmashtastic Entertainment Quickie: EXPLOSIVE!Interest in the book: I was totally impressed with the first book, Exiled, in The Protector series by M.R. Merrick, and looked forward to jumping back into Chase’s chaotic life. Or his arms? Either works for me.World-building: Hot damn, the world-building in this book was Ah to the Some. Shifters are more prominent in this book, and I absolutely loved the drama and action they brought to the story. Learning specifics about Shifter life and magic was interesting and entertaining. On another note, Chase is plagued by Riley and other nasty characters in his dreams, causing physical and mental trauma during play time. This type of magic is uber scary!Characters: Chase! My oh my, how this young man has bloomed before our very eyes. Dealing with grief from events in Exiled has led Chase down the path of retribution. Chase has hardened up a bit and has morphed into someone who does. not. play. As the series title so aptly portrays, Chase is ever so loyal and protective of those he loves, always the do-gooder and never backing down from what is right. And hello, confidence. Where has confident Chase been all my life?Rayna also has serious screen times as she struggles with the beast within. Her storyline was exciting and anxiety-ridden, but she is a tough cookie and can take it. Chase is beside her every step of the way, and she too remains by his side, working with him to gain control of his erratic powers. The budding romance between Chase and Rayna is so raw, natural and beautiful. On the topic of romance, M.R. Merrick drew out the tension, interrupting prime smooch time on numerous occasion, resulting in the angry fist of doom more than once.I must give a quick shout out for Rai! I fell in love with this creature in Exiled and was giddy with excitement that she remained in Chase’s life. I adore her and find her to be so valuable, mentally and physically. We also get to see a side of Vincent the vampire that I didn’t know he had, and I was quite freaked out by his demeanor in this book.Lasting Impressions: Explosive is the word I am using the describe this book. The story opens up with an explosive scene that resulted in my jaw making nice with the floor. All I could think about through the entire opening scene was “WOAH!” (Think Joey Lawrence a la Blossom). Then we are hurled through explosive actions scenes, more explosive dramatic scenes, and maybe an explosive romantic notion or two.The last line of the book only means there is much explosive fun to be had. I love where the story is headed and have no doubts that M.R. Merrick will give us nothing less than explosive epic storytelling!