Friday, January 27, 2012
Shifting by Bethany Wiggins
Author: Bethany Wiggins (her website)
Release Date: September 27, 2011
After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.
Shifting was a very well written book with a moving plot line and captivating characters. For one, the plot line incorporated a Navajo myth about the Skinwalkers. They are basically people who gave up there souls for the ability to change into an animal by wearing it's skin. I've only read one book with the same myth incorporated into it so, to me, it's a relatively original idea to use in a book. Anyway, not only is the myth integrated in the book, but other Navajo aspects are too. It's really interesting to read a book with different cultures accurately (i think) included. It gives the book a sense of realism and background, not to mention flavor. Plus, the variety of cultural aspects can really pull in a reader a give them some perspective on a lot the book has to offer. Another good thing about the book was the speed. It was not necessarily quick, more like steadily and constantly moving. The speed of the book had a lot to do with the fact that the main character had a general realization of what she was in the beginning. So the plot doesn't revolve around her trying to find of what the heck is happening to her...mostly, at least. The book had a lot of conflict, high school drama being part of that, but supernatural problems were also, obviously, a major part in the book. There really wasn't much of a slow or dragging part in this book, something was almost always happening which made the book very easy to stay interested in.
Speaking of interest peaking aspects in this book: foreshadowing. It wasn't used a lot, but when it was. Oh. My. Gosh. You're jaw will hit the freaking floor.
And on that note, we more forth to characters :)
Maggie Mae has easily become on of my new favorite main characters... along with about fifty thousand others :P Despite having an awesome name, she is one of those characters who has learned a while ago that the world isn't what it seems to be...both in people's behavior and in supernatural stuff. Like I mentioned before, she goes into the book knowing what she is, more of less. The sad and ironic part of her history/childhood, is the reasons for her arrest and how they (the arrests) have her being moved from home to home in foster care.
Which brings me to Mrs. Carpenter. Despite her old age, she still can run things with an iron fist. She has a no nonsense attitude which is good considering that she's the most recent guardian of our aforementioned heroine. She is also a very nice person and she cares for Maggie like a daughter.
Since I'm on the topic of caring people, I could say Mr. Petersen, but I'll go with Bridger since he's in the book a bit more. *insert enamored giggle here* Anywho, he's a track running, gun shooting, sweet guy. Most of the time, on the sweet part, I mean. He's always a complete bad A with a few extra letters. There are parts in the book where he acts like a jerk, but he has reasons that I am not going to say because it be a spoiler. There was one thing that I remember from the book and it was Bridger's whole, it's not a car it's an SUV, thing. Seriously funny. Bridger is Navajo, so he tends to follow his traditional Navajo etiquette (if that's the correct word). He's a big (semi-confusing in a sense) part of the book and, there's a seriously heart-stopping part in the end that will make you want to cry.
Yana is Maggie's first friend when she starts school and she's a very trusting person to have around. She's sort of an outcast but she has Maggie's back when things start to happen. She also helped Maggie get a job. Which would lead us to Naalyehe and Jose, but I'll let you meet them. Okay, I know I'm being vague, and Yana and the other two are in the book for a fair amount of time, I'll let you meet them officially by reading it. Plus, you can make your own inferences about their characters.
The ending was perfect...for now. Somethings are resolved, but doors are left open providing room for a sequel. And I hope there is one. So, to end this review, I will say that Shifting deserves the rating of an A because it had me from the first paragraph all the way to the ending and, well, basically because of everything I said in the review. It was just, in one word, a truly breathtaking book. Recommended for anyone who love paranormal, supernatural and just plain awesome books.