4 out of 5 stars
This is the second installment of the Phase Trilogy by E.C. Newman, and if you haven't read Phase, you will definitely want to pick up a copy of that first. Both books were easy, quick reads for me, but packed with such entertaining storytelling! One of the biggest critiques I saw for this book was that the author took 4 years between books one and two. But GUYS! Don't you want an author to take his/her time giving you the very best version of the story? In our time of binge-consuming media (looking at you Netflix), I think we forget just how much time and effort goes into writing a freaking novel. Okay, soap box over. Here are my thoughts on Shift.
E.C. Newman is first and foremost, a wonderful storyteller. Each scene had a clear purpose and nothing dragged or felt boring at any point. Told from Naomi's perspective, it's fast-paced and edgy, which is a huge change from Sophie (the narrator of the first book). The fact that the author can pull off both voices equally well is impressive. I always love looking inside a "villain" and this book does just that. I was surprised how much I connected with Naomi, but the reader has no choice! The writing is fantastic, the characters are realistic and relatable, and it's just a good story.
E.C. Newman doesn't over complicate the shifter folklore, but instead uses a fantastical element we're all familiar with as her base. From there, she builds a story of family drama, jealousy, and the scary realization we all had as teenager that not every family is like yours. If I was a teenager myself, I might have given this 5 stars. As an adult, it did feel more simple, but was still a fully realized story. Can't wait for Book III :)