Monday, August 5, 2013

Early Review: Control (Shift #2) by Kim Curran

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Scott Tyler is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.
That's why he's so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.
They've sent him on a mission. To track down the enigmatic Frank Anderson. An ex-Shifter who runs a project for unusual kids - as if the ability to change your every decision wasn't unusual enough. But Anderson and the kids have a dark secret. One that Scott is determined to discover.
As his obsession with discovering the truth takes him further away from anyone he cares about, his grip on reality starts to weaken. Scott realises if he can't control his choices, they'll control him.

Now I was totally lost when I first started reading this, because I unwittingly grabbed the second book in the series. 
Hmmm. The blurb sounds kinda confusing. And I've missed an entire book's worth of information. Lovely.
*bangs head on desk*
I'm sure that's never happened to any of you....
Whatever. Liars!
At any rate, my initial thought was that I should probably go get the first book and read it. Then I remembered that my to-read list is longer than....   
I don't know, let's just say there's a lot of freakin' books I need to read!

Anyway, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to plow ahead and make the best of it. And like I said, I was totally lost throughout the first chapter. But by the second chapter, I had caught on to the gist of the story, and by the third chapter I was bumping along nicely. Anytime you can plop yourself down into the middle of a series and enjoy it? Well, kids, that's how you can tell the difference between a decent author and an exceptional author.

It wasn't like there were mass info dumps or an entire rehash of the first Shifters story, but there were gradual reminders of what had happened previously. It's helpful not only to people who haven't read the other book, but also great for people (like me) who read several books a week and tend to forget the exact plot details of a book they read over a year ago. 
Ok. Fine. I forget the characters' names after about two days.

As for the story itself? Forget the blurb, 'cause it doesn't do it any justice.
Dear Blurb Writer,
In the event that you are big and scary, I just want you to know that I am in no way insulting your blurbing abilities. You are an excellent blurber.
Cat...or Jamie
(NOT Anne)

The plot revolves around these kids who have the ability to reverse any decision that they make. Imagine if you could think back to that time when you bought sushi from a roadside vendor and take back the horrible round of food poisoning that you suffered with for the rest of the weekend?
You've never..? Huh. Just me then. Ok.

So these kids have this power, and of course the government (or a shadow agency inside the government) has put them to work. Scott is one of the more powerful shifters, because not only can he reverse his decisions, but he can also remember all of the alternate versions of his life that would have happened. Even better, he can (if he concentrates) remember when other people make shifts that result in massive changes. It's a blessing and a curse. As an added bonus, he can act as a power damper to other shifters if he's close enough to them.

In the last book, he discovered his powers, fell in love, and stopped an evil scientist who was trying to give adults they're shifting powers back by removing parts of shifter kids' brains and implanting them in the adults.
Whew! That's a mouthful!

And now Scott and his girlfriend, Aubrey, are hunting down the remaining people involved in the project. It's all going pretty well until Scott stumbles onto something bigger than he can understand. Someone shifts, and things change dramatically. The Prime Minister is different, ARES is different, and politicians who should have dead children suddenly have their kids back alive.

Obviously, not all of the changes are bad, but Scott is the only one who can remember what things were like before, and he has a feeling that something is very wrong with what's happening. It seems the power to shift may not be the only power out there, but by the time he starts to figure out what's happening and who's behind it, there may be no one left that trusts him...

And the ending! Ahhhhhhh! You're kidding, right?! I'm almost upset that I read an ARC, because now I have to wait that much longer for the next book to come out. Hmmm. At least it will give me some time to go back and read Shift, 'cause now I'm really interested in seeing exactly what I missed out on!

There's an 'almost sex' scene in the book, but Aubrey and Scott decide to wait. I'd be fine with my boys (10 and 13) reading it, but every parent is different. I'd say this is geared toward the 14 plus crowd, but I don't think it has anything in it that a mature younger reader couldn't handle. 

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BookLady said...

Fascinating book! Thanks for sharing the great review. I have also started a series book without reading the first book and I agree that a great author can make a big difference in following the series.

erin said...

sounds very interesting :) Thanks for the review!

June G said...

That has TOTALLY happened to me! Lol...I was wondering what the heck was wrong with the book until I learned it was the second one in the series! I, too caught the gist of the story and now I wanna read the first one. Glad I'm not the only one! Ha ha ha...

Addicted2Heroines said...

This series sounds like fun and I love the cover! Looks like a poster for a kick ass action movie ;-)

PS I could totally handle a big scary blurb writer...not in real life. But behind the safety of my computer? No problem.

Anonymous said...



I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who ends up getting books out of order! I can't even count how many times I've done this.
It could definitely be a movie, and I'm pretty sure I picked it just for the cool cover. Sorry about throwing you under the bus, Cat. LOL

Mary Preston said...

I have to read books in order, so since this series sounds amazing I need to chase up book one.

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