Reviewed by Cesca Martin
It’s a very Alternative Thursday today as I review a new YA debut from Kim Curran at Strange Chemistry. This book centres on the life and loves of Scott Taylor, an awkward, gawky teenager navigating his way through a rather unimpressive childhood. His biggest worries centre around the publication of his GCSE results and whether the gorgeous girl in the park – one Aubrey Jones - will talk to him. One night in the presence of Aubrey and a bunch of jeering teens Scott climbs a pylon in a desperate attempt to win a bet. Then he plummets 40ft to the floor and... survives without a scratch. In fact it was like it never happened. Because it didn’t. Because Scott had ‘Shifted’ and a Shifter can undo any decision he has ever made. And although Scott might think this is pretty cool there are PLENTY of people out there who are about to demonstrate it might just be very, very dangerous...
This was an entertaining, easy read from a new YA author. It was as if the ‘Northern Lights’ (Philip Pullman) had met ‘The Traveller’ (John Twelve Hawks) and I can imagine teenagers, and adults, will really enjoy this fast-paced book. The concept was simple, yet the science behind it was suitably complicated. Curran managed to explain it all with ease. Scott was a likeable central character and his teenage insights were realistic, and often bumbling although amusing. The world that opens up to Scott – in which some children have the power to change the decisions they made – is suitably creepy and dangerous. The consequences of some decisions are examined and I felt panicked reading along with Scott as his life spun out of control. I read this in a day and if you are a fan of this genre, I would highly recommend you to pick up this book.
Shift is out on 6th September.
KIM CURRAN'S WEBSITE