The book surprised me, I rarely read boy’s POV young adult books but this is really not that bad and its way better than a lot of contemporary YA novels that I’ve read these days.
Truthfully, when I saw the description, I was expecting a rip-off version of The Butterfly Effect and Jumper which I didn’t like at all despite one of them became a cult movie and another have Director Nick Fury in it. I was finishing this book before my usual Saturday afternoon’s Fringe and frankly I saw some subtle similarities, oh well.. science fiction all plagiarize from one another which we all happily obliged.
Shift started with a prologue by the main character, Scott, asking the reader about making the bad decisions in life and a chance to redo all of them. He then proceed to telling his story of how he come to have such powers and regretted it. Well, from the prologue, you’ll expect several things : archetypal character, superpowers, secret governmental agencies, brain eating psychopath and a girl. Which was the perfect recipes for a male-centric YA novels everywhere. I was very sceptical at this point but I’m pleasantly surprised that the storytelling was at a constant pace without redundancies of obvious fillers (my painful reading moment here) and after several chapters, I’m actually enjoying the book.
The book didn’t actually tell the audience where the setting was so, I was around a quarter of the book and realized that it was set in England which explained some of the words and the colloquialism that I don’t get at all.
So, after escaping his family for a night out with his friend, Hugo, Scott pulled a dare involving him climbing on a pylon (which I have to google to know what the heck that was) despite the urban legend of a boy getting one of his testicles ripped off (yes, I cringed too..) and when Scott did climb over, he slipped and fell………… until he opened his eyes and found himself lying on the ground unhurt but with his ‘friends’ disappointed that he failed his dare. Which of course, he was confused since he did climb on the tower but before he could say anything, he was ‘under-arrested’ by a female teenager who had saw what happened and claimed he shifted to show off to his friends. Scott remained in confusion when the girl, Aubrey, insisted that they need to get away before the Regulators come and catch him for shifting illegally.
Frankly some of the earlier chapters are simply info-dumping that even I had my eyes crossed (I had physics) but I would know that Dr Walter Bishop will squeal in glee.
“Peter, he’s like our Olivia!”
….and then the story goes along in full speed towards the climax and the ending.
Personally, I don’t expect much from the book except that I really thought the book is going to be like Percy Jackson-Darren Shan stories of doing the beginning of the book series in cliffhangers, just to make it worth to get the sequel.
… it started with a big scary man licking the face of Scott… the saliva.. the awful smell coming from the stranger’s mouth…
and then…. around 58%….
“The cat jumped off the body and proceeded to nibble at its owner’s brain.”
and then… a couple chapters later…
“…and I thought, ‘What if?’ There had always been tell of tribes possessing some of the strength of their enemies by consuming their bodies. So what if I could possess the power of a Shifter?”
“Fried it up with some sliced onion,” he said, “A bit chewy, if I’m honest.”
To be perfect honest, at that point, I was reading the book just because I had a bit horror-fascination whenever the cannibalistic psycho come to the pages again. I had the tendency to think of Benjo as a version of D.Gray.Man’s Millennium Earl.
Okay, I will leave you to make up your mind if you want to get this book… but overall…
The writing is linear with terrific descriptions, the action is good and does not drag the story. The dialogues was not lengthy and quite brief enough that allowed every chapter to connect through. Some of the minor character’s are memorable enough with some back-stories that you can feel empathy to them which made them believable. The conflicts are fascinating, fast pace. I wouldn’t be surprise if someone decided to make a movie out of this since frankly, its way better than a lot of YA-book-based movies in the the theatres. Although, the book can be marketed for children, but there are elements (see above) that I doubt kids would want to read about so I would say older teens till mid 20’s like me would be a better audience.
Beside’s Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Nick Gautier series. This is a good equivalent of a female author doing a great male-centric novels. I do read a lot of YA books by male authors but somehow I almost never see a male author doing a great female-centric novels.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sold. Be sure to get a copy of it since it does not disappoint the readers and I do hope the author made
The review copy by the courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley. The book will be out on 4th September 2012 by Angry Robot Books.
Goodreads Rating : 4 stars
*gif are from tumblr and the net. I don’t own them nor the tv shows it depicts*
BTW, today is the Fringe season 4 finale!! I’m psyched!! but I prioritize doing this review first so that I could watch Fringe in peace.
What is your favourite science fiction books? (I do want to read them eventually)