Title: Wriggle & Sparkle
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 319 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Genderfluid, Bisexual, Pansexual
At a Glance: Another phenomenal job of world building by Megan Derr, with a new take on paranormal that was quite enjoyable.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Lynn is a kraken shifter in every way: detailed, tenacious, resilient, and hard-working. Also possessive, vain, arrogant, and demanding. It makes him an excellent agent for the Federal Bureau of Paranormal Security and Investigation—and impossible to work with, as the long list of partners who have transferred away from him will attest.
His newest partner is a unicorn, possibly the worst type of paranormal for work that often turns ugly and violent. Everyone knows unicorns are too delicate for such things. Then Anderson proves to be a unicorn like no other, the kind of partner Lynn has always wanted—the kind of partner he wishes was more. But if there’s one thing he’s learned, it’s that the only thing harder to keep than a partner is a lover.
Review: I’m going to throw this out there—I am not a big fan of tentacles… So why would I want to review a book that I knew going in had them and, more than likely, there would be scenes involving the wriggly things??? Because more than once Ms. Derr has managed to take something that isn’t my bag and make me love it, with her writing style and characters. I figured if anyone could make me enjoy the wriggly things it would be her. I was not disappointed. Once again the world building that Ms. Derr has created and the characters’ diverse personalities make up for any squeamish feelings I have about tentacles.
Lynn’s character is a wonderful mix of high maintenance, bratty, arrogant and even sometimes rude, with a sensitive heart and loyalty in spades. He was loveable as a character once you get a look inside his heart and thoughts. As a Kraken shifter, he and his sibling Leslie are both fluid. Not necessarily in the terms we use, but literally fluid. They shape shift in their human form to whichever gender they are currently feeling. I absolutely adored their relationship and how the siblings respected each other and dealt with those around them that truly didn’t understand their shifting abilities and the fluidness of their genders; their bond was clear from the beginning.
Anderson isn’t your stereotypical Unicorn. He doesn’t get his feelings hurt at the drop of a dime, puts Lynn in his/her place when needed, and breaks the mold of his heritage at nearly every turn. Anderson may be five feet nothing and look like a faerie prince, but he has balls of steel and make no mistake, he has will not put up with BS. He is self-aware and knows what others think of him, but doesn’t let that change who he is or what he wants.
The world that Wriggle & Sparkle takes place in is definitely not your average paranormal. Sure there are werewolves and faeries, but a lot of the shifters fall into the mythical beings category that I rarely hear of (or read) in a paranormal, such as basilisks, gorgons, kitsunes and (of course) krakens. They are a part of everyday society, but humans are mostly none the wiser of them. It was intriguing reading about a different types of shifters and their personalities and interactions with each other.
There are multiple mysteries during the course of the book that end up having resolution. Each was intriguing and different than the others, but there isn’t necessarily one main mystery that is the driving force of the story. Each mystery follows Lynn and Anderson from initial meeting forward, and different situations they find themselves in during the course of their relationship. Their relationship was fun to read and the banter between the two kept a smile on my face. They encounter some pretty crazy plots, interesting characters (both good and bad), find friends, face enemies and bigots, and deal with familial issues; all while their relationship progresses and they investigate the cases they find themselves involved in.
I found this a highly enjoyable read and really enjoyed how we got several mysteries, not just one. Since I absolutely loved the characters, Lynn’s tentacles didn’t even really bother me. I’m so glad I gave this book a try and would totally recommend it for someone who is looking for a mostly fun read with action and romance and a paranormal twist.
You can buy Wriggle & Sparkle here: