Publisher's Note:  

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.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Angry Robot


by Kim Curran

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Overall Review:  

Shift is a unique, interesting story that should give the reader the opportunity to think seriously about choices and consequences. It falls a little short as a morality play, but it is truly engaging. I was interested in the characters and hoped for the best for them. I rooted for them to win, and celebrated their good choices. 


The story does succeed in making the reader think about the ability of children to lead and act for the greater good, despite life experience and maturity. At the end of this story I was leaning toward the belief that children should be in charge--the children in this story may have been impulsive and inexperienced, but they tended to be more humane and more interested in helping others than their adult counterparts, who simply wanted power. I like the idea that children are capable of making good choices because they are moral and good at heart. 


There are some pretty horrific themes and events in the story, but the author doesn't make them so awful that they're too hard to read about. Her main characters tend to avoid violence, which makes the difficult scenes a little easier to bear. If I had a story like this in my head, I hope it would come out as smoothly as this one did for Curran.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 6 religious exclamations; 22 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 10 derogatory names; 7 scatalogical words; 26 anatomical terms; 2 offensive hand gestures; 3 F-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore: Characters fight in training exercises; characters fight each other in brawl-type situatios; several characters report on murders, deaths, and accidents; several characters receive non-lethal injuries that are described in detail; two characters are kidnapped and tortured by a character in an extended scene (7 pages); several characters are subjected to laboratory testing, lobotomies, and brain transplant; three characters have explosives implanted in their brains and detonated in extended scenes (up to 6 pages); a character engages in cannibalism; a character controls and hurts others with mental powers.


Sex/Nudity: Several teen couples kiss and/or hug briefly; a character's cleavage is briefly mentioned; several teen characters joke about sex or intimacy; a teen character is known to have had sex; a teen character gropes another character's buttocks; a married character is described as being "knocked up."

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying, references to homosexuality, prostitution, marital problems, gambling.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character's mother gets drunk; several underage characters drink alcohol and smoke; several characters are given psychotropic drugs as sedatives.

Reviewed By Leslie
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