The Shifter

 
4.3
 
4.3 (1)
1481 1
The Shifter
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 06, 2009
ISBN
0061747041
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Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people. Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Compelling Fantasy
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Nya is desperate to survive in a war-torn city. An orphan with a skill she can't let anyone see, she arrives early at the docks each day hoping for work. Nya is a Taker, but unlike her sister and the other Takers apprenticed to the Healer's League, she can't unload the pain she takes from the injured and put it into the pynvium metal like everyone else. She can only transfer it to another person. It's a dangerous skill, one that would get her either killed or kidnapped for a pain merchant's use.

But when Nya realizes something scary and strange is going on at the Healer's League, she has to intervene. Especially when her own sister disappears. Nya's skill is more complex than she knows, and she (along with an unlikely band of accomplices) is the only one who can save her sister and the city.

I was very engrossed in this story the entire time I was reading. The concept is unique, and the culture Nya lives in is fascinating. Add to that a few quirky characters, a love interest and a heaping dose of danger, and you have me hooked. There were a few times where I lost track of where I was visually in the story or couldn't quite understand how a scene had played out, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and want to read the sequel.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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A book about life and being different
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Wow is one of the words that come to mind when I think about this book. The Shifter is told from Nya's Perspective and she lives in a country where almost no one wants to live in. The idea for this story is an amazing one because it focuses on survival for Nya and her sister, Tali and how she found ways to feed herself without getting into too much trouble. The characters were good but I felt like they could have been better in a way. I also liked how there wasn't too much romance in this.
Good Points
There was so much that I liked about this story but I think my favourite part had to be near the end when she had to make a choice between risking her life or saving the ones she cared about. The scene with the Duke was so intense I couldn't put the book down. I also liked how Janice Hardy didn't make Nya this annoying character who thought they were great or put in anything that made me roll my eyes. There were so many twists and surprises that I was never bored with this book.
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