Entries in YA fantasy (1)

Tuesday
Oct132009

Janice Hardy's THE SHIFTER

Ok, so I haven't been sleeping much due to no longer taking heavy duty pain meds, and last night I finally read the book that I pre-ordered two weeks ago and then didn't really feel well enough to read in the hospital (or after).

Oh, my, god.  First off, I loved it.  I found out about it through Kristin Nelson's blog (her agent, as it were), and was really interested by the promise of a fairly unique fantasy and I fell helplessly in love with the story.  Nya is my kind of narrator, with a gentle introspection and lightly self-deprecating humor while still being powerful, loving, and a little flawed.

Taken from Janice Hardy's site:

Fifteen-year-old 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 and storing it inside her own body. But unlike her sister Tali and the other Takers who become Healer’s League apprentices, Nya’s skill is flawed: she can’t push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store person to 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 purpose. At first, Nya refuses, but 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?


Seriously, this book just rocked.  The world was believable and real, and Hardy struck this great cord between "fantasy speak" and contemporary speak that always kept me a little off kilter and totally engaged.

And OMG, the romantic interest is hootttt.  Loved him. But don't believe me; read an excerpt here.


I can't wait for the sequel.  Congratulations on a stunning, terrific debut, Janice!