Jaguar at the Portal: A Mythological Shifter Fantasy “You will not apply my precept,” he said, shaking his head. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” – Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890)

“Okay, yes, Tez admitted that he was lowering his own standards by accepting a prayer that wasn’t couched in more flattering terms and that didn’t come served up on a bed of human sacrifice. But Whatcha gonna do? A god’s gotta do what a god’s gotta do, times were apparently changing, yada, yada, yada. – Tezcatlipoc, “I am the Smoking Mirror, the Black Tezcatlipoca, the Enemy of Both Sides!” Yeah, total Jerkface is more like it . . .

Ixchel thought growing up with five older brothers was hard enough, but when they started sneaking out and coming home with bruises, blood, and items they certainly didn’t earn themselves, her heart broke and she begged them not to continue what they were doing. However, all her begging was for naught, and Ixchel was left to mourn and fret – until her wonderful, hard working parents were gunned down in their own home by enemies of her brothers gang. Turning states evidence was hard – knowing her brothers would kill her when they got out of prison if she didn’t flee was even harder. And lonelier.

Now, Ixchel is far away and, having put herself through school, she is now a vet in tiny southern town, still looking over her shoulder after fifteen years, waiting for her brothers to track her down. But life as a veterinarian makes her happy, and life is peaceful.

Well, until the jaguar in the tree. Then things get very interesting, very fast.

Finn, the jaguar in question, has been on a quest for many years. Ever since he suddenly turned into a human and his mother and twin sister drove him away. Now, he is looking for an ancient idol, one he hopes will lead him to other jaguars like himself. Ah . . . but have a care, young jaguar, for you know not what your efforts will lead you to. Such as a lovely young woman who turns out to be a jaguar priestess – she just doesn’t know it yet. And an immature, self-indulgent, spoiled-rotten Aztec god on a mission to release himself from his prison in the idol and go on a human sacrifice rampage. Sigh. Now Ixchel and Finn are playing “god worshippers” to an adolescent god on a mission and a hunter is on their tail. Oh, and Ixchel’s brothers? Yep. They found her . . .

This book was a great deal of fun. Tez is indeed a jerk – but a funny one at times, and watching the interactions of this unusual threesome is at times irritating, at times painful, and at others truly funny. This was my first Amiee Easterling, but won’t be my last. But I really hope she doesn’t continue the habit using her character’s titles as personal pronoun. Totally irritating. But that’s just me.