Dying to Live, Liam Kingsley

Dying to Live: The Shifter City Complete Series by [Kingsley, Liam]

4.5 stars! Feels for days. I actually had tears at one point and if you've read start to finish even if you've read Burning Transgressions before, you'll know exactly where because you probably did too.

I began with loving Killian and Pan. These two men have completely opposite personalities and experiences. The way they see life is very different and it causes issues later in the book with their relationship and how they interact together with the world around them. In some ways those differences are essential to bringing out the best in each of them, an in others it becomes a wall that seems too high to breach. Together I really like what they could become.

Killian is a teacher, a patient, kind, caring, committed teacher. His past makes him keep his ambitions centered on teaching. In the privacy of his mind and at night, however, his dreams revolve around the cute, color-changing, energetic Pan. He yearns for a life with Pan in a way he thinks he can never have so he limits his desires to those nighttime fantasies. When a struggling boy loses control his whole world is thrown into chaos. It also just might lead to what he's always secretly wanted.

Pan longed for Killian the way Killian longed for him. His difficulties, however, lay more with the present than with his past. Understanding that everyone has issues with the past, his focus is on the way everyone lives as if they were continual refugees instead of building lives in safety. No one changes beyond the initial move to Regis Thyme. He does his best to allow his fabulousness to move others to embrace their own, but so far it hasn't caught on. What is catching is something far more painful and transformative.

With all the drama of the outside world and who to trust versus who would betray the story doesn't lack any intensity or intrigue. The whole thing was really intense and a bit shocking too. Everything in their world is changing in ways that they couldn't predict due to their isolation and lack of information. That ignorance causes suffering on both sides of the wall. What Pan discovers when he's outside is a small group they've chosen to consider family and together with what Pan knows and has experienced, they've decided to head home to RT. Finding a hidden compound on the way is beyond anything we've seen so far in this series. It's a good thing that Killian finds himself there as well. By following Pan he's able to help them all and when they return to RT they provide the information necessary to pull together the teams built at the end of Burning Transgressions. Getting to see Hail, Logan, and Mariella was really nice. Especially hearing Hail's enthusiasm and seeing Logan in his state and his love for Hail too. Then what followed was super intense and led to my moment of tears. From Pan's role carried out under duress to Killian's role in support and focus and then to the rest of the team and the devastating discoveries and events...I was propelled from moment to moment and then compelled to cry for the loss.

Everything that happened when they returned to RT was more intense but it was more from everyone's reactions than anything else. Under stress we all do and say things that might not be wise and there were many people who found themselves in that exact situation. I was pleased with how those actions were addressed because it showed maturity, control, and determination to always be accountable and strive for what's right. Pan's outburst, Killian's realizations, RT's evolution...all of it shows progress and something far more hopeful for their future. I'm so very excited to see what happens next.

I rounded down from 4.5 because while I really enjoyed these men, I felt that their coming together lacked the deep love that could be had through honest communication and acceptance. It was coming around before things really blew up and then after that fallout things jumped to an even better place but it wasn't really solidified by the end of the book for me. I wasn't a fan of their immaturity and both men showed that in different ways.

Overall, this was a really great continuation but the bar was set so high with book one that book two had too much to live up to. As a combined set as this one is I'm uncomfortable with it being called a Complete Series because there is so much left unsaid and unresolved. I hope this isn't the end, if it is, I'm disappointed, if it isn't, then I'm hopeful and more than excited for what this series has to offer.

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