Monday, February 22, 2010

A Review of The Shifter


With a society that deals in a currency of pain, ruled by a despotic Duke, and a people that are verging on revolution, Janice Hardy must have written her book, “The Shifter” just for me. I found the first page of this book on agent Kristin Nelson’s Blog and I was hooked immediately.

Fifteen year old Nya is having trouble getting by in her conquered and occupied island homeland of Geveg. She is also a taker, by touching someone she can heal their injuries and take their pain, at the cost of making that pain her own. This skill is highly sought after since most healers, including Nya’s parents, died during the war. But Nya lacks a key skill, she can’t dump the taken pain into the pynvium, an enchanted metal that can hold pain. Instead Nya can shift pain, transferring it from one person to another. This skill is rare, and if the occupying government was to find out about it she would surely be used as a weapon against her own people.

Nya’s sister, Tali, is also a taker but since she can dump into the pynvium, she is enjoying life as a League healer apprentice which leaves Nya alone in the city to fend for herself in a dangerous city. When league healers, including Tali, start to disappear, Nya must make some choices that go against everything she believes in if she wants to find her sister alive.

Hardy’s world will pull you in and her engaging characters won’t let you put the book down. She does a great job of avoiding too much backstory, and instead plunges the reader right into Geveg. You will fear the Duke, hate the League, and agonize with Nya over her decisions. The book sets you up beautifully for a sequel and I already can’t wait to get it.

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