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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shift, 24 April 2014
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
Shift is like the TV show Misfits, but better. It instantly hooked me and raced along at breakneck speed for all three-hundred pages. The dialogue is snappy and witty, the characters are all likeable and the action is relentless. It actually reminded me of Sophie McKenzie's Medusa Project series, which is also fast-paced and overflowing with energy. Shift is a much-needed change of pace in the world of YA fiction and has the added bonus of appealing to boys and girls. There's something here for everyone!

Rev, Carrie, The Ape, Lucas, Billie, Johnson, The Moth and GG are a group of teenagers thrown together in detention. They couldn't be more different if they tried, and obviously they'd never all be friends if they didn't need to be. A strange power surge hits their school and suddenly they find themselves alone - everyone else has disappeared and they're the only ones left. Well, they think they are, until deadly duplicate versions of themselves start appearing and try to kill them. Just your average, run-of-the-mill trip to detention!

The premise of Shift is so cool and yet terrifying at the same time. I mean, how weird would it be to see another version of yourself, all suped-up and enhanced? I don't know about anyone else but it'd freak me out, no questions asked. The gang all deal with their doppelgängers fairly well; no-one faints or attempts to leave the country, though it does take them a realistic amount of time to wrap their heads around it. I'm glad they didn't immediately accept their new situation and go on with life as normal, 'cos who would believe that?!

There are a lot of main characters in Shift, eight to be exact, and then *another* set of those characters, making a total of sixteen people to keep track of. I'll admit it did confuse me sometimes, especially with all the duplicates having the same names. As an example, they're differentiated by being called Ape (real) and Non-Ape (duplicate), which didn't really help with my confusion but is something I got used to eventually. This is my only criticism really, because it did make my head spin every now and then, especially during certain high-octane action scenes.

Each character has different qualities that they being to the table, from strength to intelligence to plain old cunning. If I had to choose a favourite I'd have to go with Johnson, though I'm still deciding between normal Johnson and doppelgänger Johnson. It's a touch decision! I'm also quite fond of GG and The Ape who, along with the other six teens, are about as different from each other as you can get. But together, well, these eight misfits make one formidable team!

Shift is a very welcome addition to today's shelves of YA fiction and is the start of what could prove to be an excellent, long-lasting series. Once you start it you won't want to stop until everything has been explained and revealed, leaving you wanting more straight away. I think the second book is due later in 2014 and I hope it's just as good as this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review by Alex - Year 9, 14 July 2014
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
Shift is about a group of students from the same school having an adventure were they Shift between worlds. Along the way they make friends and form strong bonds. They have to find a way of finding their way back home. However this is made difficult by the friends’ doppelgangers wanting to go home as well.

The main character of the book is a 15 year old girl called Rev. Throughout the story she forms a close relationship with a boy called Johnson but her best friend Billy gets in the way of this. The problem is exasperated when she meets Johnson double, she falls in love with him as well. A very important figure in the story is Revs Dad. Although he doesn’t actually appear he holds the key to escaping.

My favorite part of the story was when the friends had escaped from their home town and made their way to London because they thought it would be safe there. They all spend time reflecting on what has happened and it is very peaceful after all the drama of the story so far. They went to a very posh hotel and had a bit of fun there. It provided a nice transition within the narrative while developing the characters and their relationships further.

Shift is quite cleverly written, especially the way the author includes a character that doesn’t seem very important but in the end plays a vital part to the group. As well as answering questions regarding the group while making the characters realistic.

My favorite character was nicknamed The Ape. He was nicknamed The Ape because of his personality and appearance. Although he was very stupid and loved war; time and time again he saved and helped the group. At the start they all hated him but as the story progressed they developed respect for him. His character changes dramatically through the book and he is funny :)

The one thing that I disliked about the book was the ending, the plot was developed so well and it was a really interesting story-line, but the ending was a big anti-climax. As the whole book was so good you wanted to see a good ending but they didn’t finish the book. This should have been changed unless there was a second book. Sometimes there were small questions that popped up throughout the story but the author didn’t answer all of them.

NOTE: There is a second book.

I would definitely recommend this book, Shift was really different and imaginative. Jeff Povey makes the story really interesting by developing the characters well with good descriptions. The author obviously writes really well for teenagers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fave book EVER!, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
Best gang to hang out with ever! Love every character. Funny, addictive and fast paced!! Can't wait for Shift 2!!!
Beats The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry potter for best teen fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shift, 5 May 2014
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
Absolutely loved this book!

What’s so clever about this novel is not just the breakneck pace and the sheer inventiveness of the plotting – no sooner are you drawing breath, but the author’s taking us off again - it’s also the choice of antagonists. Because this ragbag collection of kids are actually fighting themselves! Genius! Because how the hell do you run from that?

But what makes this novel extra-special for me is that it’s not just a rollercoaster all-action ride. It’s surprisingly poignant in places too and you really come to care about the characters – none so more than the Ape. And this is where this author has really excelled so far as I’m concerned – because it takes a really special kind of talent to take the biggest slob in the world and turn him into a character you really care about at the end. It takes exactly the same kind of special talent to take one of the most appealing and fun characters in the whole story – GG – and, courtesy of the conceit at the heart of the story, turning him into possibly the most frightening creation in the whole thing too (even more frightening, in a sense, than the Ape’s alter-ego - and that’s a character who singlehandedly destroys a five star London hotel!).

This is, first and foremost, great fun. But it’s so much more than that as well – a terrific character study of a group of kids thrown into an extreme situation as well as a thought-provoking exploration of what might – just – lie over the horizon. This, apparently, is the first in a series of novels featuring these characters and this first book certainly ends on a great cliffhanger. Personally, I can’t wait for the next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shift, 30 April 2014
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
Shift is a fabulous fast paced debut that will grip you from the first page and keep you hooked until the end. The main characters Rev, Billie, the Ape, Johnson, GG, Carrie, the Moth and Lucas, are thrown together when something goes horribly wrong in the middle of their after school detention. They wouldn't normally choose to spend time together but when they leave school after seeing a mysterious flash of light they slowly start to realise that everyone else is missing. Their town looks exactly the same as it always has but there are no people anywhere and there is nothing to indicate where they've all gone.

You might thing it would be bad to be one of the last eight people on the planet but they soon discover something much, much worse. There are in fact sixteen people left and the other eight are strange duplicates of them, ones who aren't quite normal and who seem to have superhuman abilities. Oh and these mysterious doppelgängers are not only incredibly powerful but they also have an agenda, one that they don't need to keep their normal human versions alive to fulfil.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because this is the kind of story that you need to unravel for yourselves if you want to get the most out of it so I'm going to focus this review on the characters and how much I loved (or loved to hate!) them all. Jeff Povey has done a fantastic job of creating realistic teenage characters, I guarantee that you'll have met pretty much every one of these kids at some point in your lives, in fact you probably went to school with most of them. They all have well developed and individual personalities so I never had a problem keeping track of who was who. The only time things do get slightly confusing is when the characters are interacting with their duplicates because they both have all the same mannerisms. This made for some incredibly amusing situations though and I had a lot of fun seeing the characters effectively talking to (or about) themselves.

It's hard to pick a favourite character because they all have things I liked about them but I think the one who surprised me most was the Ape. When he's first introduced I saw him as a fairly typical bully boy, someone who isn't very bright but whose size made it easy for him to intimidate other pupils. In a lot of ways my immediate assessment was correct, he isn't the smartest of the bunch and he LOVES to destroy things, but he's definitely the kind of guy you'd want to have on your team if you were facing a bunch of homicidal superheroes. Time and time again Ape protects the others, he is completely loyal to the people he considers his friends and his love of hitting things comes in very handy when they're under attack. I loved the fact that there is more to him than meets the eye and I enjoyed seeing how the other characters changed their opinion of him as they got to know him better.

Shift is full of action and dark humour, it's a fast paced story that is being marketed to fans of shows like the Misfits and for once I'd agree with that back cover blurb. I'm excited that this is the first book in a series and I'll definitely be grabbing a copy of the next one as soon as it's available!
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5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!, 25 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
I love this book! SHIFT is a fast paced adventure about seven teens who find themselves in a world that has everything… but other people that is. The shops are full, there’s pies and cakes in the baker’s, everything is free (sort of) and you can go shopping without your credit card. Sounds perfect right?

Wrong.

Because this world isn't quite as empty as Rev and her friends first thought. There’s a terrifying danger lurking in the shape of identical but super powered versions of the teenagers - which is a clever play on the superhero genre. Because the ‘superheroes’ are really the bad guys, they are faster, stronger and a lot more vicious. Standing between them and the answer to what has really happened are not so confident Rev, hilarious GG, the mind bogglingly thuggish Ape (my personal favourite character!), the gorgeous Johnson, best friend Billie, the brainy Moth and uberbitch Carrie. They need to fight to stay alive but they’re only 16/17 year olds who were at school one minute and now running for their lives the next. So their chances of survival are pretty slim! What happens next is a white knuckle ride laced through with some great humour.
Povey is a new writer to YA but has a long background in writing television .The dialogue fizzes and the characters come alive very quickly, and I promise you that you’ve met a version of each of them in real life. Shift is the first in a new series and I really can’t wait for Book Two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Shift' absolutely a great read, hilarious, sad, gripping and horrifying all at the same time, 2 Sept. 2014
By 
T. Queely (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shift (Kindle Edition)
Bought this for my daughter in a well known supermarket, she read it in 2 days, I borrowed it and could not put it down, my daughter has since read it 3 more times. The book is interesting and fast paced and hooks you from the first sentence, the characters are believable Absolutely fab. We wait with anticipation for the next installment, It really would be a fantastic movie. Jeff Povey please hurry up and write the next one!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning, intense, funny!, 24 May 2014
This review is from: Shift (Shift 1) (Paperback)
I bought this book for my granddaughter who is thirteen. She read it within two days and couldn’t stop talking about it. Naturally I thought I’d dip in and once I read the first page I was hooked. A gripping and very characterful novel, Shift is funny, exciting and action packed. It is about 7 teenagers who walk out of a school detention to find that they are the only people left in the world. They’re not a group who are friends or people who have a lot in common and this is where the beauty of this book lies. These teenagers are so real and behave in such a believable way that you are drawn into the story as if you’re right there with them. You really care for all of them, even if you don’t like some of them to begin with. Obviously I can’t tell the story of what happens to them as to do that would ruin many surprises and some twists that you will definitely not see coming. Suffice it to say I have a granddaughter who now thinks I’m ‘cool’ because we can chat about the book and debate what will happen in the sequel. The book’s an absolute joy and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, fast paced, exciting, twists and turns every which way!, 30 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shift (Kindle Edition)
On the surface this a book about a group of teenagers that are in detention then something happens that changes their lives and transports them elsewhere.
This is a book that keeps you reading and turning the pages almost as quickly as the plot changes the characters from real to other them or what you may believe to be them. You need to read this if you like to be surprised and enthralled by what happens next with no predictability. I will say no more, you have to read the book for yourself and this I would recommend without reservation. This author is one to be noted and I look forward to his next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant; expect the unexpected of the unexpected!, 26 April 2014
This review is from: Shift (Kindle Edition)
Fast-pace and captivating, you have to expect the unexpected of the unexpected! The last line of the synopsis was the cherry on top of the cake when I was deciding whether to request it: "For anyone who loves… Shaun of the Dead", I don't think I have ever clicked a request button so rapidly! The cover: to be honest, when I saw the cover I presumed a story of espionage; its dark and quite plain meaning I am not a great fan of the cover. BUT THE CONTENT! WOW!

Eight teenagers all in detention, never thought their day could get any worse. Until everyone disappears in a flash… literally. This group of teens, all incredibly different from one another, must try to work together to solve one of the most frightening events of their lives. And to top it off, they will fighting off their super-skilled, super-strong and super-alien twins, to be crowned victorious in this dangerous and life-threatening nightmare.

The characters:
Rev: strong, persistent and cautious she always does whats best for those around her. What I did particularly like about her was she wasn't afraid to say she was scared and she tried her hardest to help resolve problems amongst the group.
Billie: she annoyed me, she was rather selfish whom didn't seem to care at all about her best friend or any others (except someone in particular) and just wanted to get home, with or without everyone else.
Ape: incredibly infuriating and annoying… but it worked! He added some light humour and an arrogant personality to the group; what I liked most about him was his progression throughout the novel, he began to realise things and think about others more. Furthermore, he was always there to protect them all (even though it was only because he wanted to destroy things.)
Johnson: Our mysterious and careful male, he was carefree and always just went for it; you could never tell what he was really thinking.
GG: He was humorous and would just babble on about random things. He added fun to the novel and you will be surprised how strong he actually it as the novel progresses.
Carrie: Extremely argumentative and lazy, always acting like the weakest so she gets the easy way out.

The plot was incredibly unique, you are twisted from one thought to another, never enabling you to settle on one, I can certainly say I never expected the outcomes. The plot was intricately planned and fast-paced; thrillingly exciting, there was never a dull moment. Alongside the danger, there is comical moments with fun banter that will have you shaking your head with a smile plastered on your face.

This novel is fast-paced, dangerous, action-packed and explosive. Destruction will occur at all moments blocking your path and daring you to take another. It was truly mind-blowing, and that ending! I need to know what happens!

*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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Shift by Jeff Povey
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