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Shift (Strange Chemistry) Paperback – September 4, 2012
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Nominee for the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer
"Realistic British teens and a couple of completely creepy villains make this sci-fi thriller a must for genre fans" - Kirkus Reviews
"I thought that Shift was a fast-paced and highly enjoyable read with a thoroughly creative plot line" -- City Book Review
"It’s slick and quick with just the right amount of squick… and the central premise unfolds satisfyingly.” – Tom Pollock, author of The City’s Son
"This is a great blend of super-hero comic with equal parts futuristic thriller and murder mystery tossed in for good measure. There were even a few pages that completely freaked me out and got my heart pounding in fear as Scott got himself into some horrific and scary situations." - Manga Maniac Cafe
"Shift is a wonderful debut novel from Strange Chemistry: the exciting new YA imprint from Angry Robot. It’s a perfect book for fans of YA looking for something different, and I think it will be enjoyed equally by male and female readers." - Speculating on SpecFic
About the Author
Kim Curran was born in Dublin and moved to London when she was seven. After studying Philosophy and Literature at Sussex University her plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts never quite paid off. So she became an advertising copywriter instead, specializing in writing for videogames. She lives in SW London with her husband - if they're not both off travelling. When she's not writing she fences and plays guitar. Both very badly.
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'Shift' has a story line that can leave you dazed, yet confused. It's a whirlwind of action packed, mysterious fun.
What I liked most about this book is that Scott had a proper family. He had a mom, dad and a little sister. Sure, they weren't the most adoring family ever, but there was an edge of reality that I did like. I really enjoyed the relationship between Scott and his sister, even if they were together in small scenes. It played an important part to the thread of the story. Another aspect I liked was the camaraderie between Scott and the group he falls in with, especially since they were such a young crew.
I adored Scott. He was the boy who stood on the fringes of popularity, but wasn't a part of it. He had the right kind of snark and daring. He wasn't afraid to help someone if they needed it. He could be an idiot, but he could be a hero, also. My kind of character.
There's a serious creep factor in 'Shift' that had me shrinking into myself in horror. But, I have to admit it did take 'Shift' to another level. It actually gave it the edge to make it past a standard, run-of-the-mill, Science Fiction book (at least, taken into account what went on in it, I'm pretty sure that's the genre). I guess it could also be Paranormal. I also enjoyed the writing style and the fact that it was told from a male P.O.V. I never realized how much I enjoyed the male voice until I started reading a lot of them. The pace and writing of 'Shift' flowed really well, as well.
One thing I didn't like was the confusion I felt when Scott started doing what he was gifted with. It wasn't written in a straight-forward way. I had to read on a bit before the pieces started coming together. I felt like I was missing something - that somehow the story had gone somewhere without me. It was a disjointed feeling and I didn't like it.
All in all, though, it was a great read and a real page-turner. I would recommend 'Shift' to anyone who likes sci-fi with a slight psychopathic edge to it.
In an effort to control these powers and help him understand the effects of each decision altered, he turns to ARES, the government organisation who regulates all Shifters, but doing so he is also pulled into a battle between the rebel group, the SLF (Shifting Liberation Front) and trying to hide from a rather grotesque villain who is out to kill him. Scott has to decide who to trust, especially when everyone around him can manipulate the world the way they want it to be.
I was hanging out for Shift's release ever since I heard about the opening of the print Strange Chemistry, and I was not disappointed. Scott is an average teenager in the nicest sense. He is not perfect and he knows it, his family is not perfect and even though he would like it if they were a little less dysfunctional, he would not give them up, and this is what makes his a well-rounded and likable character. Scott isn't the only interesting character in this book, it is full of interesting and unique characters from the mysterious Aubrey who gets Scott involved with ARES to the young members who are training at ARES, even all the adults have fleshed out characters and hidden agendas that adds to the twists and turns of the story.
Kim Curran has written an intriguing debut that captures the reader's attention from the premise and keeps a hold. Who wouldn't want the power to alter any mistake they have ever made? Or know what path each decision will lead them down? It's not just the premise that's interesting, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing what's going to happen next. There was only one part of the book that felt a bit muddled, and that was trying to figure out where all the story lines of ARES, SLF and the grotesque baddie all fit together because at parts it felt as if the stories were separate and had no connections to the main storyline, but everything all came together in one finale which felt like a roller coaster of emotions. I would recommend Shift for any lover of superheroes and mysteries, or anyone who has ever faced a decision that they wished they could undo. If this is what Strange Chemistry can deliver, I'm looking forward to reading the next releases.
Most recent customer reviews
This book had me hooked from the get go with its intriguing synopsis and downright brilliant prologue.Read more