Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Released: September 6th 2012
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
When your average 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not quite so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands. (from Goodreads)
I was pleasantly surprised by Shift! I wasn’t sure what to expect when first starting it, and to be honest, I had my reservations. I loved the sound of the premise, but I wasn’t certain if the execution would be good enough to pull the whole thing off (because usually books which involve changing reality can get a little complex and confusing). I can say now that Kim Curran pulled it off.
Scott was our main character, and he was just an ordinary, likeable guy who had no idea about his Shifter powers until they got him into trouble. I liked Scott a lot, he was funny, cared about his sister and when presented with the opportunity to learn to control his powers, he took it. And who wouldn’t? If you found out you had these life-altering powers, would you just sit back and ignore them? I think not. Scott decided to train with ARES, the government facility in charge of Shifters, despite not knowing a great deal about them (apart from what he’d heard from Aubrey, the girl who told him about his ability – and she didn’t exactly paint a perfect picture of ARES). But in that situation, I think I would have done the same thing (though after finding out what the training actually entailed...perhaps not :P). And when he started training, he made friends with some of the other recruits and worried about them when everything went downhill. He made remarkable progress, and I was very interested in why he seemed to be more powerful than the others. He was much older than the average age when Shifters’ powers manifested, yet he was somehow a lot stronger. The reason for this wasn’t explained, but I think we’ll definitely find out more in the next book, especially after that ending.
Aubrey was an officer at ARES, though she had no great love for it, and was the type of person that was pretty blunt but also thoughtful and intelligent. She had a difficult past and blamed ARES for what had happened and so she didn’t really want Scott to join at first, but she seemed to get along better with him after he did. I liked the scenes the two shared (some were funny but the serious scenes were also very well done and developed the relationship and story nicely) and while I suspect Zac, the leader of a rogue Shifter group, may have had some kind of past with Aubrey, I’m rooting for Scott and Aubrey all the way! For me, while Aubrey started off as kind of mysterious, I think by the end we knew quite a bit more about her. Her life may have been different, but she was still a Shifter, just like Scott, trying to find out what exactly was going on and who was responsible for the terrible things that were happening.
Shift didn’t have the strongest start, for me (as in I wasn’t pulled into the story), but Scott’s first shift was when things started to really intrigue me and get me invested in the story. I kind of guessed who the villain was, but I was still surprised by what was really going on behind the scenes and how Shifters were being used. I really liked most of the characters, including the other ARES recruits, Jake and CP (who was very funny, despite being a minor character), and Cain, the one in charge of training, who was sort of sadistic, yet somehow made me like him anyway! Benjo, the bad guy we meet fairly early on, was...I don’t even have words. The most comical yet horrific sort of bad guy I’ve ever come across. I imagine if I ever met him in real life, I’d shake/tremble with nervous laughter...
Overall, Shift was a very enjoyable read and I’m happy it turned out to be better than I expected. Definitely recommended, especially if you like books about people with strange powers!