Article first published as Book Review: ExChange by Dale R. Cozort on Blogcritics.
There are those that look forward to the exchange, planning on breaking the law and staying in the pristine wilderness known as Bear Country. In one of the first Exchanges, a group of convicts was included; they escaped and have become a part of Bear Country. On top of the wild animals and strange new species, this group of convicts also adds to the danger of being in the Bear Country side of the Exchange. There is also a group of extremists, a communal group, known as Sister West after it founder. It too plans to stay in after the exchange and is well prepared going in. As Sharon continues her work, she unintentionally catches the eye of a gang known only as the AK’s, short for Aryan Kings.
As she enters her home, she is attacked by her ex-husband, tied up and left for dead, as he kidnaps her daughter, Bethany. As she escapes she realizes that she must find her ex-husband and her daughter, she has a short window of opportunity, the two weeks of the exchange. If she cannot find her and get her back, she could lose her forever with the reversal.
It is during this mission that she first meets Leo West. He is part of the Sister West group, and ready to change his life by staying in Bear Country. The meeting and connection are electric. They are separated by a flash flood, not knowing if the other lives, but hoping to reconnect if possible.
Will she find her daughter before the exchange reversal? Will she be able to save herself? The government is now using her, and when she finds Leo again, she finds that even he has secrets, things he does not share about his past. How will the pieces come together?
Exchange is a very interesting and comprehensive look at an alternate universe. It is intense and exciting with action and adventure at every turn of the page. This is a great book and I found it to be fast paced and easy to follow.
The characters, which include several of the animal species, are well developed and interesting. The human characters are alternately strong and fierce, or stubborn and mean. The interaction is well written and believable, with snappy and sharp dialogue. The interaction with the animals is both amusing but at time fierce and deadly. Each group whether it is animal or human tries to find a niche in the changes occurring in Bear Country. Even with the actionable characteristics, there is also romance and tenderness, a longing that is as old as the earth.
The rival gangs keep the pace going, and yet there too you find pockets of good. Just when you think you have everything figured out; the story twists again, with new information and tactics.
I would recommend this book, it is full of interesting and charismatic people, and it is action packed, full of adventure and surprises. This is a book packed with fantasy and science fiction, with a bit of history thrown in. It would be a great book for anyone interested in the Science Fiction Fantasy genre, but it is also full of suspense, so should also attract the thriller or mystery buff. It would be a great addition to any book club or reading group with a rich array of conversational activity.
This book was received as a free copy from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the information.