Synopsis from Goodreads: When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not 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 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.
AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – A-
“Shifters have the power to change reality. And by doing that shape reality around them. We can change decisions we make, take paths we didn’t take, and change our present.”
Scott Tyler thought he led a dull existence. He’s in his last year of high school. He lives with his parents and younger sister Katie. Scott’s parents are disconnected with Scott: his mother pretends that the family likes each other and the father is completely detached from the family. In fact, Scott’s parents wouldn’t even be married if not for Scott, an “oops” baby. Scott’s father is rather condescending and not terribly nice to Scott.
Scott joins his quirky high-IQ pal Hugo for a night on the town. What follows changes Scott’s life. Scott is challenged to climb a large pylon and in a typical dumb teenage moment, he does, and falls to his death. Or did he? When he falls, he gets up and the kids are laughing at him for falling off a fence. Scott is confused and finds himself under arrest for Shifting in Public. Scott has no idea of what just happened.
This is a cool book. In many ways, it reminded me of several movies and TV series. Certain sequences reminded me of video games. The shifter’s reality is very different from us dull normal. They can change an outcome with just a thought. Shifting comes with great responsibility and some strict regulations:
- A shifter cannot change the reality of a stronger shifter.
- Shifters can only change their reality
- Some events cut through all realities such as large disasters.
The last rule was a little convenient for my taste, but it worked for the book. Interestingly enough, a Shifter’s powers wane at the onset of adulthood.
There are a few different kinds of Shifters: Spotters, Mappers, Fixers, and Regulators. The girl who found Scott, Aubrey was a Spotter. Her job was to find Shifters and bring them to the regulators at the Agency for the Regulation and Evaluation of Shifters (ARES).
Scott enters ARES and is relieved to find out that he is not alone. The training sessions are grueling. Scott’s shifting exercises reminded me of a video game. The fighting sequences reminded me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but in fast motion.
“Finding out I was a Shifter had given me a sense of confidence. I thought I was unbeatable. Unstoppable. “
Of course, all is not on the up and up in this world and soon a conspiracy is unearthed. Some shifters appear on a list and they go missing. Then there’s the scary Fat Man who reminded me of Syler in Heroes, with the same m.o., too. There’s also opposition to ARES in the form of the Shifters Liberation Front, too.
Shift is a fun read, full of action and suspense. You’re never quite sure which reality is real. I enjoyed Shift and I can’t wait to read other books by this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
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