Thursday, 18 October 2012

Review: Shift by M.R. Merrick

Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.










*This review contains spoilers, do not read if you haven't read Shift*

Shift is a fantastic follow-up to Exiled! A lot of books I've read have fallen into second-book syndrome, but this definitely wasn't the case with Shift. It has the perfect amount of action, as much as (if not more) Exiled does. We get to know more about the characters in Shift, and they go through a lot of changes in this novel.

Chase is in even more danger from his father, Riley, and the Dark Brothers. They begin to invade his dreams, causing him actual physical pain. Rayna is struggling to control her beast, which tries to escape from inside her, causing her a lot of pain too. Willy is bitten by a werewolf, and he turns into one of them. He agrees to stay with the Shadowpack to find out how to survive as a werewolf.
As you can see, all three of them are going through a lot in this book. It's amazing to see how these three teenagers overcome their obstacles and fight alongside each other for what they believe in. All three of them are so different - a hunter, a part-witch, hunter and shifter, and a half-demon-turned-werewolf. And yet they are so loyal to each other. M.R. Merrick portrays a beautiful story of loyalty and friendship in Shift.

This is one of those books that is impossible to put down. It draws you in right from the beginning, and compels you to keep your eyes glued to it up until the final page. Every single one of the characters is developed further, and we get a deeper insight into their lives.

Chase, as always, is under a lot of pressure, and this increases with his development of the ability to control two more elements - earth and air. Chase can now control all four elements, and this makes me think that he's going to be able to control lightning in the next book, Release! Chase accompanies Rayna to the Hollowlights, where she is taught to control her beast. This shows his unfailing loyalty towards his friends, and also that he wants to protect her. This stems from his fear of losing someone else close to him, and his role as the Protector is made clearer to us. The ring causes even more trouble for Chase in this book, and he ends up losing it to Drake, one of the Dark Brothers, in exchange for the safety of his friends.

Rayna is as badass as ever, though we get to see a lot more of her vulnerable side in Shift. She suffers a lot during her initial changes, where she tries to push her beast back down inside her. Moreover, there is an emotional struggle within her when she meets her father, Jonathan, for the first time. She is furious with him, and doesn't want anything to do with him. Later on, when she completes her change into a majestic black cat, she feels a connection to Jonathan, and that confuses her. Rayna grows a lot in this book, and she has had to make a lot of difficult decisions. In my opinion, they were the right ones! I liked that there was some romance between her and Chase towards the end of the book. I'm really looking forward to their relationship developing further in Release.

Willy was awesome in this book! I didn't like him much in Exiled, since he was a bit too timid for my taste. Plus, his stutter annoyed me. He stutters considerably less in Shift, and finally makes a stand. He defies the leader of the Shadowpack in order to fight alongside Chase and Rayna. That was a surprise, and really commendable. I hope we get to see more of this new Willy in future books.

Tiki has always fascinated me, especially because of his enigmatic nature. No one knows much about him, and the fact that he's from a different dimension makes him exotic. I love how hilarious he is. Tiki certainly adds a touch of humour to the otherwise action-filled novel. We see a violent side of Tiki in this book, and I liked that. He'd always seemed a bit mellow to me before.
Marcus is also a lot more present in this book, and I finally understood why he does what he does. He was in love with Chase's mom, and I felt so much sympathy for him. At least he still has Rayna! Now I know why he's so protective of her, and now of Chase too.
Vincent is exactly the same - still untrustworthy, still infuriating, still incredibly awesome. I hope Vincent finally chooses to be on Chases's side, so they can finally put their trust in him. Vincent cares for Rayna, and that's one part of him that really surprises me. I didn't think someone like him would care for another that much, especially someone of a different kind. Vincent's incessant banter with Chase and Rayna adds more humour into the book, and there's this one line Rayna says to him that I found incredibly funny - 

"For someone who's five hundred years old, you're an immature dick."

The plot intensifies in Shift, and I read most of the book with my heart in my mouth. Everything in this book intrigued and excited me, and I loved every second of it. I'd kill to see this series made into movies! The scenes are so visual inside my head, and they whiz past with the fast pace of the plot. Shift is yet another roller-coaster of events.
M.R. Merrick has made me love the characters he's created, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for them in Release!
Thank you to M.R. Merrick for providing me with an e-book copy of the book :)

Rating: 5/5

2 comments:

  1. What a great idea! This series as movies would ROCK! I loved Shift too. Great action. Great characters. Great world. Thanks for sharing.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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  2. This book (and the previous one) sound very intriguing; definitely ones I want to look into. But a big round of applause for the cover art designer. It's been a long time since I've stared at a cover so much. It is beautiful and inviting and mysterious and just a little fightening, all rolled into one. When you can do all that, you've got a winner!
    Jennifer
    Author, The Scent of a Soul

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