Having listened to the Hamilton soundtrack multiple times since it was released on NPR in 2015, I was curious about the musical. I happened to be one of those people who read Ron Chernow’s behemoth biography of Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury and one of three authors of The Federalist Papers, way before a musical was ever conceived. The biography was one of many to chose from for a AP Government project back in high school, though at over 800 pages it was quite daunting. Luckily for me I read quickly, and was immediately swept up into Chernow’s gripping biography of a Founding Father I knew very little about. Continue reading
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ll begin my review with a disclaimer: I’ve known the author’s work for a while. Years, in fact. Now that my bias is out there, I’ll move on to the review, which you should totally read despite my bias. Or, perhaps you should read my review because of it.
When I picked up Shift to read over a weekend I wasn’t certain what to expect. I knew the plot synopsis, as Ms. Thompson shared it online while it was being queried for traditional publishing, but I missed being part of the original beta reader group. In hindsight, I’m glad I got to read the final product first, as I was unhindered by bias and early drafts.
Shift will appeal to fans of YA books such as Hunger Games and Twilight (sans the romance).With nods to particular fandoms sure to give certain readers grins, the story follows aspiring animator Alyson Gale, who is swept into a conspiracy involving shapeshifters. Although Shift is short compared to other modern YA books, Ms. Thompson serves the reader a dense narrative. The heavy, emotional scenes are laden with genuine sorrow, which balance the rush of adrenaline as the heroes dash through the narrative. In pursuit or being hunted is for you to discover on your own.
Shift contains minor LGBTQ themes, which enhances the narrative and the world the characters inhabit. It’s tightly edited, with alternating chapters from two POV characters whose storylines eventually intertwine. In short: great story, interesting worldbuilding, and action scenes that will carry you through time and leave you wondering where your afternoon went.
It’s been such a pleasure watching Rikkaine Thompson’s work grow over the years, and the culmination of all her hard work was such a joy to read.
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