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.
Everything about Scott Tyler screams average, until the day he met Audrey Jones and everything changed. Turns up he has the ability to go back and fix any mistake he ever made. Those with this power are called Shifters, but shifting comes with consequences, and every changed choice can cause unforeseen ripples. Suddenly his old boring life is looking more and more attractive as he finds himself a target for those who would see to use and control him for their own horrible gains.
The concept of Shift was really intriguing, but unfortunately the actual execution left a whole lot to be desired. I just felt like a whole lot more could have been done with the shifting as it was never fully explained. Granted there was a brief explanation on quantum physics, but all that really did was make my eyes cross. There just wasn't enough explanation to be satisfactory and combine that with the overall progress only just meandered along for most of the book, and I was more than frustrated. Considering how insanely fast the pace was for the last third or so, I wish some of that had of been spread out a little to even the pace. Also, I had a large problem with the villain, as it seemed like he was only in there to add an element of horror and disgust. Considering the overall nefarious plot there was more than enough conflict that his inclusion was completely unnecessary, and really turned me off.
I could have overlooked the unrealized potential in the Shifting concept, and my pacing issues if the characters had of been more approachable. I honestly couldn't bring myself to care about them at all until more than halfway through, and even then it was only a faint fondness, the kind you may have for a distant cousin. Perhaps a lot of that had to with the fact that Scott himself didn't really care about much. He was just too sullen and honestly whiny for my tastes. So everything and everything else was tainted by his outlook since it was told by his perspective. It just made it really hard for me to care about what was happening to the characters, and when you don't care the enjoyment factor of a book is extremely lessened.
In all honesty, I'm surprised I finished Shift as I was never able to get attached to it. I just kept waiting for the moment where I would start to feel, well anything for the characters, but it never came. That being said, I do think Kim Curran is talented as the overall concept and writing style were impressive, enough so that I would be interested in checking out her future works as her imagination definitely isn't lacking. Perhaps this book will be more enjoyable to those who can form an emotional attachment to the narrator, but sullen teenage boys are a pass for me.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)