Alpha Unit One, New York (Jia’s review)

Title: Alpha Unit One, New York
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Genre(s): Shifters/Paranormal
Page Count: 161 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


The cat’s out of the bag…

In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.

Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.

Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.

This was a difficult book for me to review due to the issues I had but also the fact that despite those issues the book was just that cute, sweet, fun and thrilling read and I read it very fast not putting it down until I had finished it. Still it took me a long time to get this review out.

It’s written in dual first person perspective between Niko and Sam, alternating every chapter. I had trouble at times to discern when they were thinking to themselves, when they were talking telepathically between each other and who was the actual speaker. The world-building here is not so developed and I would have liked more background information, but the baby-shifters are cute and the author does an amazing job in describing their baby behaviour, which I adore. The ending could have been more developed, and with a little more information of what happened to the other team.

I liked all the characters and they had their quirks and interesting roles to play. I also enjoyed the group dynamics and the chemistry between them all.
However, I felt like the characters didn’t really act like cops and we never get to read them do actual police work except for in the second part. Mostly they feel more concerned about their mates, there’s a lot of PDA even in public as cops which too me feels unprofessional. But of course it’s cute and amusing.

Unless you decide not to think deeper, then it will be all lovely and thrills but I have an issue with this baby-shifter thing. The human form is an adult but the animal is a baby, why wouldn’t the animal grow with the person? I guess the animal will always be a baby? The human form is still adult so why would he need a legal guardian though? And if they decide to treat the shifter as a child wouldn’t it be disturbing to have the ‘baby’ be a stay at home parent and take care of their own babies? Would you trust babies to take care of babies? Or shouldn’t they shift when with their children alone? Then there’s the thing of mating, having sex and giving birth… a baby certainly isn’t ready biologically for that and to me the thought of it is a bit troubling. Or is it the same, that they should avoid shifting during the pregnancy? Merely wondering…

Then the issue with a baby-shifter being a cop. The unit needs to be able to trust and depend on their colleagues in a life and death situation and not paying attention can get you/your partners killed which baby-shifters have a hard time with apparently. So I fully understand them not wanting small shifters or baby-shifters in their team also pay attention to Nick’s reactions toward big shifters when they meet the first time… The team has also had prior bad experiences with small shifters. Hence I think the ending is a little to fairytale-ish to be plausible.

But at the same time I can’t be disappointed because the book was just that cute, and lovable, and fun… and suspenseful… I liked the characters and the atmosphere. The book feels a little fairytale-ish but I still (with caution) recommend reading it as long as you are aware of these things when you decide if you want to read it. I believe many will like this book and I think many will also think I’m overthinking, but this was my reaction.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Alpha Unit One, New York provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Reading, to me, is as close to an addiction as one can come without crossing the line... completely. I read a lot, and many different genres. I'd love to hear if my reviews helped you, so feel free to comment :)