Some mini reviews for your viewing pleasure…
Shift by Kim Curran
The easiest way for me to depict my enjoyment of this debut Young Adult novel is to say how frustrating it is that my younger self couldn’t enjoy it. Kim’s novel has everything you want in an adventure story and it will appeal to both genders. 16 year old Scott Tyler discovers one day that he can shift. Shifting is the ability to see variations on the future and allows the shifter to choose the best outcome. It’s one of those powers that every teenager wishes they could have, but when Scott finds out that somebody out there is eating the brains of shifters, he is up against dangers he never suspected.
Shift is one of those books that gives us a kid or teen protagonist and unveils some extraordinary powers. While this template is rather cliché nowadays, Kim gives us a reason to celebrate the idea. Her concept is genuinely intriguing and the plot points throughout the book flow around the premise, rather than feel placed. Once I finished the book, I felt that thrill of enjoying something that is pure, unadulterated fun.
Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
I read this as part of Kate’s Clarke challenge and as it was my first of the authors, I was expecting brilliance. Brilliance was delivered in spades. It was pretty obvious given Clarke’s reputation, that I would be reading something rooted in the traditions of Sc-Fi. I was blown away by the idea of the story. The topic of alien interaction has been dealt with countless times, but here, Clarke has done it to perfection… without the appearance of an alien. The concept of an extra-terrestrial object on a journey to Earth is already a hook for the readers, but the structure is so original and what it contains holds such mystery that the book becomes something truly amazing.
Despite the brevity of the novel, it packs a punch and contains so much imagination. It sparks with the flair of golden age Sci-Fi in that it feels as original now as it would have done in 1972. It’s a must read whether Sci-Fi is your main appetite or your first foray into the stars.
Both of these books were purchased and read in paperback.