blo Teens Read and Write: The Shifter (Giveaway Points Post)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Shifter (Giveaway Points Post)

By Janice Hardy
Pub: October 6, 2009
384 pages

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

When Healers lay hands on injured people they can absorb the injury and pain into their own bodies, and later move it from themselves into a stone called pynvium. At least they can in the medieval fantasy world created by Janice Hardy in her middle grade novel, The Shifter, due out in October.

The story centers around 15 year old Nya who is a Healer...but with a defect. She can only shift the pain and injury into other people, not pynvium. This little 'quirk' is something she and her younger sister, Talia, a normal healer, keep secret because they're not sure if the Duke would have Nya killed or use her as a weapon in his wars.

Talia lives at the League doing her regular healing stuff while Nya is left struggling on the streets, working when she can to keep from starving. Formally wealthy, the girls were orphaned and left penniless and alone when their parents were killed fighting during the last war. Talia helps her sister when she can but, for both their sakes, can't jeopardize her place in the league. The opening of the book finds Nya getting caught stealing eggs and I liked how the opening chase gets the story rolling with exciting action.

Soon Nya's secret is uncovered by a nefarious fellow and Talia is in eminent danger. Nya must use her gift in ways she dislikes in order to not only save her sister but other Healers in the league, and foil a political plot that could put the whole town in danger. In the process she also discovers abilities she never knew she had.

The Shifter starts out with a bang and, other than a few slow steps, keeps rolling quickly. Hardy covers a lot of ground. She touches on prejudice, moral choices, what should be given up for the greater good, family/friend loyalty, accepting yourself and others, personal sacrifice, and even throws in a pinch of romance between Nya and the young guard who chases her down in the first couple of pages. Every now and then the messages go to the brink of being too heavy handed but not too often and Hardy backs off just before becoming preachy.

Nya is likeable and believeable for the most part. She seemed to dither back and forth a lot. She'd have an epiphany but later rethink her position. That got mildly annoying about 3/4's into the book, but Nya and her little band of friends and family are characters you definitely care for and you're rooting for them to win in the end. Even the 'bad' guys had some depth and weren't simply two dimensional.

Hardy utilizes good description and some great lines. My favorite was when a ferry accident occurs during a storm and Nya can't get out into the water to help all the survivors. She says, "My heart reached farther than my hands ever could." How beautiful!

Good suspense, nasty political intrigue, a few surprises and a great twist on Nya's abilities. Overall The Shifter is a very enjoyable middle grade novel that is worth the read.

We have a copy of The Shifter available to giveaway. Go to our MegaBook Giveaway post to enter. We will have 11 winners so far! Go put your name in the hat and Good Luck!


Brodie said...

I've been wanting to read this book since I first saw it on Janice's blog. This is the first review I've read for it though - it sounds like a great read! Plus the cover is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Interesting premise! I'll have to check it out.

pepsivanilla said...

Never heard of this book before! Sounds really good though, and awesome cover :)

Emily said...

Another book to add to my reading list! It sounds promising (:

cait045 said...

This sounds like a pretty cool book.

mariska said...

great book again? *speechless* ;D

Llehn said...

I haven't heard of this book before. Thanks for the heads up!

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds like a cute little book, and I do like political intrigue

Sandra Stiles said...

This sounds like a great book and has me wondering what Nya's other gifts are.

RayRay said...

Ooo this sounds pretty good. I'll have to give it a shot.

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

This one sounds very good! I love the cover too, it's gorgeous!

Jax said...

This is on my tbr pile... I am even more excited now.

Ellz said...

This sounds good, it sounds like the are a bunch of good themes. Thanks.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

This book sounds right up my alley. I love this level of reading. And I have signed up for your giant giveaway too!

Thanks for sharing this one!

Jamie said...

Enter me please this sounds great!!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I adore this cover. I'm partial to blue covers.

Krista said...

This sounds like a good one :) I'll have to look for it!

Anonymous said...

This books sounds good! And the cover is amazing!


Sheere said...

The book seems really good! It has a very original plot and the cover is great!

prerna said...

Wow.. This does sound interesting..
P.S. I love your blog.. You've really helped me add to my reading list.. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard about this book before, but it seems like good read. And the quote you shared from the book was truly beautiful!

Jessica said...

Hmm... That does sound like a lot of ground to cover in one book, but it does sound interesting nonetheless.
Nice review! I'm glad this book is included in the giveaway. :)

Anonymous said...

I've read a few good reviews for this book,it sounds great.

Stormi said...

Sounds interesting and I think it would be something my Niece my like. She is going to be my young blogger companion as she likes to

Mandy said...

I've heard about this one a while ago, it sounds good and is so pretty.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this cover!

donnas said...

Awesome cover and sounds like a interesting book. Not a common topic.

throuthehaze said...

Sounds very interesting. Love the cover!

babygirlG said...

What an interesting premise! Sounds like something I would love!

brizmus said...

Wow! This book sounds super interesting. I'd never heard of it before, though.

Bunny B said...

Sounds interesting. The 'Healers' reminded me of Leo in Charmed :P

Alessandra said...

This sounds like an interesting fantasy read. Worth checking it out.

Unknown said...

I have never heard of this book but it sounds fantastic! Thanks for the heads up about it!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I love the cover for this book and it sounds interesting. I was looking at it the other day, but didn't pick it up. I might have to rethink getting it.

:D Nikki

booklover said...

Ooooh. The cover of this book is so pretty! And it sounds interesting too.

Brittany said...

This over is quite whimsical, I love it.

Katy said...

This book sounds like a neat read. :) I love YA fantasy.

CeeCee said...

I've heard of this one only recently. I think the cover is really pretty.


Jessy said...

Sounds great! I love the cover.

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