When four middle schoolers discover that they can transform into mythological animals, they become part of a powerful, hidden world—the world of Changers—in this wild new urban fantasy series.
Mack, Fiona, Darren, and Gabriella aren’t exactly friends at their middle school—in fact, they couldn’t have anything less in common. But when they start developing powers, including the ability to transform into mythological animals, they find out that they are Changers, a magical line of shapeshifters that history has forgotten. But there’s little time for questions. A powerful warlock is racing toward their town, destroying everything in his wake. Can Mack, Fiona, Darren, and Gabriella harness their newfound powers in time to save their home? Can they even stop arguing before the last bell?
H.K. Varian has always loved reading about ancient mythology, ruins, and magic. Though H.K. once dreamed of having awesome powers like in Changers, writing became kind of like magic in and of itself. Today H.K. lives, writes, and has adventures in Pittsburgh, though most of them don’t involve battling warlocks, storming castles, or retrieving enchanted objects.
“Mythology from Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Ireland differentiates this adventure . . . [a] narrative with energy.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Makoto "Mack" Kimura is suitably skeptical when his seventh-period independent study is revealed as training for Changers, or shape-shifters. But when the Changing Stone reveals his Changer form as a kitsune, a Japanese magical fox capable of flying, creating illusions, and controlling fire, he is intrigued. Now he and his three Changer friends must learn to master their powers. There is little time for the young heroes, however, as a warlock with the power to enslave all Changers and bend them to do his will is on his way.Mack's Japanese-immigrant grandfather tells of an ancient evil who wielded the same weapon but was ultimately defeated by four young Changers, who, because of their age, were immune to the enchantment. It falls to Mack and his friends—Latina Gabriella, African-American Darren, and white Fiona—to fight the evil warlock, destroy the iron horn, and save the world. Mythology from Japan,Mexico, South Africa, and Ireland differentiates this adventure from other,similar shape-shifter tales. An intriguing mix of characters, all coping with complicated home lives and the politics of middle school, further infuses the narrative with energy. The open ending sets up future volumes. A fresh look at a familiar concept, with a consciously diverse approach. (Fantasy. 8-11)
– Kirkus Reviews
Assigned to a mysterious independent-study gym class together, seventh-graders Mack, Fiona, Darren, and Gabriella are confused. Their bewilderment turns to incredulity and disbelief when their teacher, Mrs. Therian, reveals that they are all descendants of ancient shape-changing families, and their destiny is to fight a coming war against a dangerous warlock. Fitting in during middle school is hard enough—fitting into a small, elite group of supernatural individuals is even harder, especially knowing that the shifting will completely change their lives. From Fiona’s solitary quest for good grades to Mack’s desire to shed his Japanese American identity, each shifter’s individual story is unique and well-developed. Like the Animorphs and Spirit Animals stories before them, this tale of a diverse cast of middle-grade heroes will have wide appeal. It’s a fast read that promises to entice middle-grade readers across the board, keeping them on the hook for future installments of the series.