Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Review of Always Gray in Winter by Mark J. Engels


A distant daughter. A peculiar device. A family lineage full of secrets. When werecat Pawlina Katczynski finally resurfaces, her location previously unknown to anyone close to her, the reunion is short of welcomed. Instead, she finds herself thrust tooth and nail—tooth and claw—into a feud between opposing werecat clans as her family and their enemies reignite a battle that has raged for years. Always Gray in Winter invites the reader to join the feud and see if blood is truly thicker than water... 



*We were given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Always Grey in Winter was a very unique read, at least for me. A departure from my usual genre, this novel follows some anthropomorphic werecats, their struggle to find their place, and their relationships.

This book is extremely well written, with vivid descriptions and great dialogue.   Mark Engels does a great job of making a family of humans that transform into cats seem relatable. You can definitely see the influences of Manga and Asian culture, which are mixed in well with American themes, including military service.

There is great pacing throughout the story and you get a good sense of who the characters are and what they are struggling with, whether it be siblings, secrets, romantic relationships, or other family drama. I had to re-read a couple of sections because it went into the past without much of a transition and I didn't know what was happening (so, heads up!), but overall it didn't affect my reading flow too much.

I definitely recommend this to anyone out there looking for something new and different, or is a fan of fantasy, in a realistic world. And if you enjoy this, I hear this is just the first book in a series!

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This review was done by MJ. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Boyhood interests in trains and electronics fostered Mark's career as an electrical engineer, designing and commissioning signal and communications systems for railroads and rail transit agencies across the United States. Along the way Mark indulged his writing desire by authoring articles for rail and transit industry trade magazines. Coupled with Mark's long-time membership in anime, manga and anthropomorphic fandoms, he took up writing genre fiction. Growing up in Michigan, never far from his beloved Great Lakes, Mark and his wife today make their home in Wisconsin with their son and a dog who naps beside him as he writes.


Mark is a member of Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state's oldest writing collectives. He also belongs to the Furry Writer’s Guild, dedicated to supporting, informing, elevating, and promoting quality anthropomorphic fiction and its creators.

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