Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review: Shift - Jeff Povey

Get ready for one apocalyptic detention. These misfits are going to save the world!

Meet Rev, Billie, the Ape, Johnson, GG, Carrie, the Moth and Lucas, a motley crew of bickering teens who find themselves totally alone in the world after a strange power surge hits their classroom during detention. With no answers as to why or how the rest of the world has disappeared, the mismatched group is soon facing a bigger nightmare than they could ever imagine… Standing between them and the only way home are lethal duplicate versions of themselves, super powered teenagers who will kill anyone who gets in their way. Our unlikely heroes must somehow work together to save themselves… or they'll never see home again.

Shift is the first in a fast-paced, page turner of a series, filled with action, adventure and humour. Perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Charlie Higson and Antony Horowitz and for anyone who loves Misfits or Shaun of the Dead.

Visit the Shift Tumblr or Facebook pages for more information.

Shift is a fabulous fast paced debut that will grip you from the first page and keep you hooked until the end. The main characters Rev, Billie, the Ape, Johnson, GG, Carrie, the Moth and Lucas, are thrown together when something goes horribly wrong in the middle of their after school detention. They wouldn't normally choose to spend time together but when they leave school after seeing a mysterious flash of light they slowly start to realise that everyone else is missing. Their town looks exactly the same as it always has but there are no people anywhere and there is nothing to indicate where they've all gone.

You might thing it would be bad to be one of the last eight people on the planet but they soon discover something much, much worse. There are in fact sixteen people left and the other eight are strange duplicates of them, ones who aren't quite normal and who seem to have superhuman abilities. Oh and these mysterious doppelgängers are not only incredibly powerful but they also have an agenda, one that they don't need to keep their normal human versions alive to fulfil.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because this is the kind of story that you need to unravel for yourselves if you want to get the most out of it so I'm going to focus this review on the characters and how much I loved (or loved to hate!) them all. Jeff Povey has done a fantastic job of creating realistic teenage characters, I guarantee that you'll have met pretty much every one of these kids at some point in your lives, in fact you probably went to school with most of them. They all have well developed and individual personalities so I never had a problem keeping track of who was who. The only time things do get slightly confusing is when the characters are interacting with their duplicates because they both have all the same mannerisms. This made for some incredibly amusing situations though and I had a lot of fun seeing the characters effectively talking to (or about) themselves.

It's hard to pick a favourite character because they all have things I liked about them but I think the one who surprised me most was the Ape. When he's first introduced I saw him as a fairly typical bully boy, someone who isn't very bright but whose size made it easy for him to intimidate other pupils. In a lot of ways my immediate assessment was correct, he isn't the smartest of the bunch and he LOVES to destroy things, but he's definitely the kind of guy you'd want to have on your team if you were facing a bunch of homicidal superheroes. Time and time again Ape protects the others, he is completely loyal to the people he considers his friends and his love of hitting things comes in very handy when they're under attack. I loved the fact that there is more to him than meets the eye and I enjoyed seeing how the other characters changed their opinion of him as they got to know him better.

Shift is full of action and dark humour, it's a fast paced story that is being marketed to fans of shows like the Misfits and for once I'd agree with that back cover blurb. I'm excited that this is the first book in a series and I'll definitely be grabbing a copy of the next one as soon as it's available!

Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review

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