Due to its unique perspective, the story sometimes feels limited, especially in terms of access to Kade’s actual thoughts and emotions. That being said, hearing exclusively from Anaya’s viewpoint invites readers to feel just as frustrated as she does with Kade’s inability to hear or heed her messages. Vetovich seizes the opportunity for amusing reflections and asides, such as when Anaya brags about helping Joan of Arc live out her purpose. Anaya’s big picture mindset also opens the story to moral questions at a higher scale than Kade is capable of comprehending, questions explored in Anaya’s relationship with Jordin, her former best friend and soulmate, who has shifted to the enemy side of this war.
The world of Beta-Siberia is not rendered in vivid color or expansive detail, but fittingly so, as Kade only has access to his lived experience in his development, and the Association (the governing authority) doesn’t teach much history or geography. Even with otherworldly discussing philosophy and religion, Shifted is a fast-paced and absorbing fantasy adventure that’s sure to capture the interest of teens who enjoy fantasy with moral intrigue.
Takeaway: A fast-paced and unique take on the hero’s quest that grapples with political and moral questions.
Great for fans of: Gareth Hanrahan’s The Gutter Prayer, Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A