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The Shifter (The Healing Wars: Book 1) Paperback – August 31, 2010
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In the tradition of strong-willed adventure heroines, Nya rallies, unleashing her powers as she faces complex moral dilemmas. Her first-person narration is suffused with the agony of deciding who will live or die. Timely ethical exploration in the guise of high-action fantasy. (Kirkus Reviews)
Nya’s distinctive first-person voice, strongly personable with a wry sense of humor, draws readers in…[the] hard-charging plot makes the pages fly by...Would you save someone’s life at the cost of unbearable pain to someone else?[Readers] will eagerly await the next volume of the Healing Wars. (The Horn Book)
The headstrong Nya and the innovative premise...keep readers turning the pages. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
Fantasy fans and those who just love a good story will enjoy this fast-paced novel and eagerly await book two. (School Library Journal)
About the Author
Janice Hardy is also the author of The Shifter and Blue Fire, the first two books in the Healing Wars trilogy. She lives in Georgia with her husband, four cats, and one nervous freshwater eel.
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This was a bit of an out-of-the-norm read for me because middle grade is not my preferred genre, and high fantasy is not my preferred genre, so middle grade high fantasy is really not my preferred genre. But I had my reasons for wanting to try this series, and I ended up really enjoying it! I found myself laughing, being drawn to the characters, and reading each book in just a day or two because I had to know what was going to happen.
The first great thing I noticed when I started reading was how funny the book was—and it was a really great all-ages humor. The main character was a young teen, but I’m in my 20s and was still cracking up.
The characters though were the main reason I enjoyed the series and decided to read the whole thing. I debated whether to include my thoughts on the characters in this review or the review for the final book, but I want anyone deciding whether to start or not to know about the wonderful characters they’ll find in the book. So even though these are my opinions based on the entire trilogy, I’ll keep them as spoiler-free as possible.
Danello – He was such a sweetheart! I adored him from the very first book. Heck, the very first scene. He may have had “the street smarts of a hen,” but he was so caring and kind and loyal that it’s impossible to not love him.
Jeatar – *MILD SPOILER ALERT* Jeatar was amazing! He intrigued me in Book 1, but, by Book 3, he was tied for first place as my favorite character in the series. He was so badass, but not just in a fighting/killing kind of way, rather in a ridiculously intelligent, stealthy, cool, calm, collected, take charge, make things happen, leadership kind of way. And he also really cared about people. *END SPOILER ALERT*
Vyand – She may have been greedy, but, if there’s one thing you can say about her, it’s that, when she was getting paid, she took her job seriously and put in the work to earn that money.
Halima – She was only the cutest eight-year-old ever.
Aylin – She really needed to get off her high horse, but I can’t hold that against her too much since she was a great friend to Nya.
Quenji – He just cracked me up. And he was a good guy—minus the thievery, of course.
Nya – Though she wasn’t my favorite in the series, she was still a good protagonist who always did her best, even when it was hard for her, and cared about her sister more than anything.
The pacing was also great, and the world building seemed good, but, again, I’m not as familiar with this genre as others, I just know lovable characters when I see ’em! If you *are* a middle grade and/or high fantasy person though, you’ll probably like the book and series even more than I did.
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)
The world is fascinating, different and engaging. If anything I wanted to know MORE about the world and setting. I liked the characters and I'm looking forward to how they'll develop in book 2. As for the political intrigue, it was there but didn't bludgeon you over the head, which I think is great for the YA audience to which this book is targetted.
The colloquialisms in the dialogue were great - really anchored you in the world and made their situations more tangible.
I found it hard to put down and read it in about three sittings when life finally gave me a minute to pick up my Kindle. If you're looking for something dark and terrible, complex and twisted then keep looking. This story is for anyone who enjoys a romping fantasy with younger characters and sensibilities that leaves you feeling better for reading it
Most recent customer reviews
This book reads really well it pulls you in and doesn't let go.Read more