- Book Title: Duck
- Book Series: Avian Shifters, book One
- Author: Kim Dare
- Publisher: Kim Dare; 2 edition (August 12, 2015)
- Book Length: 233 pages
- Genre: Gay, Romance, D/s
- Reviewed by: Scott
- Rating: 3.5 Star
- Posting Date: August 31, 2015
The world of the Avian shifter is a cruel place, at least in this story it is. I thoroughly enjoyed this story even though I did find some things I didn’t like about it. Even though the story was a take on the “Ugly Duckling” it was given a new twist as an MM D/s twist to it. I enjoyed the world building aspect of the story how the outside world seemed “normal”, how the hierarchy of the Avian species worked and how it worked and survived alongside a contemporary human society.
This may come across as unorthodox, but I didn’t meet any nice people in this story other than Ori. During an Avian’s teen years if their Avian species is unknown they are able to perform a partial shift in front of the council to identify themselves to the others in the nest. An Avian cannot perform a full shift until 21 years of age. During Ori’s partial shift he was identified as a Duck, a species that is on the lower rungs of the Avian hierarchy. It’s this whole hierarchy thing that leads to bullying and beratement that I didn’t like. Raynard sees something other than a duck he sees a beautiful man that he takes as his submissive. The dynamic between Raynard and Ori was worth reading this book for, Ori being a natural sub worked well with Raynards, dominance. Like I said earlier, there aren’t really any nice people in this book, even Raynard is sort of a dick. His actions towards Ori do show a softer side to him and I really would have liked to have seen that expanded upon.
I was really engrossed in the story up until Ori had his first full shift and it revealed his true species. He not only gets an upgrade in the hierarchy but vaults to the very top as a royal. The story loosened up a little bit after that, I’m not saying it fell apart, it just sort of lost it’s momentum. In a single moment everything changed for Ori and Raynard, Ori was Royalty and Raynard was not able to keep Ori as his submissive, again due to that damn hierarchy. Ori fell apart and Raynard remained his stoic dick self, ignoring Ori. I get why the author wrote it like this and she did a really good job of it, she wanted to show how Ori relied on Raynard for everything, just as any true D/s relationship would work. Kim wrote this so well it really pulled on the heartstrings. It’s my belief that if I had a true understanding of a D/s relationship the latter part of the book would have had more resonance with me.
Kim is a professional when it comes to writing this type of storyline and it really comes through in her storytelling. As a voyeur of D/s through the books I read, it helps me understand the relationship a bit more but I still need the author to draw me in and I didn’t get that feeling. I also want to read more of the physical characteristics of the characters, I was given good descriptions above the neck but the body descriptions below the neck were minimal. This story is good and pretty rock solid I just wished I had connected with it more.
Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
Regardless of the gender of her characters or the different genres they inhabit, from short stories to full-length novels, there are three things Kim always wants to give her characters–kink, love, and a happy ending.
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