cover image In a Badger Way

In a Badger Way

Shelly Laurenston. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (410p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1437-4

Laurenston delights in the second Honey Badger Chronicles paranormal (after Hot and Badgered), this one featuring Shen Li, a giant panda shifter and fan favorite. Stevie MacKilligan is the youngest of the three MacKilligan sisters—the one they protect. She’s a brilliant scientist and musician, but she’s also a hybrid shape-shifter with scant control and a panic disorder that includes a nearly irrational fear of bears. Enter Shen Li, one of the few members of the bear species Stevie can tolerate. Indeed, she finds rolypoly Shen cute and nonthreatening. Shen is dubious about Stevie’s affection, especially since they’re such different creatures. When Stevie concocts a plan to take down a scientist experimenting on hybrids, it falls to Shen to keep her safe, even as the MacKilligan girls deal with an invasion of their criminal family. Zany, sarcastic humor bolsters what is clearly a transition plot. Familiar, well-developed characters and full immersion into the universe make this a must-read for new and returning readers alike. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary. (Apr.)