Scott’s last Shift, as he was falling to his death at the end of Control, rocketed him into an alternate reality where England is at brutal war, and he is forced to make decisions he’s never had to face before to save the nation and the girl he loves. To top it all off, he’s experiencing the most major of reality attacks, and the current reality Scott may not be able to be trusted…
I’m really happy to be able to complete this trilogy. I’ve followed the books since the first one: in fact, Shift was my very first ARC review on The Moonlight Library, so I feel like I’ve come full circle in reviewing Delete. Unfortunately, shortly before Delete was due to be published by Strange Chemistry, parent company Angry Robot shut the imprint down. At this moment in time I believe author Kim Curran is looking for a new home for Delete, and I really hope she finds it because this is by far the best book in the trilogy, and wraps everything up perfectly. And I’m trying to be honest here, it’s lucky I even picked Shift up in the first place because it has a male protagonist and I don’t usually read/enjoy male protags, but Curran writes the most believable male teen POV, and I believe this should be lauded among the best YA male POV books out there.
And while I’m at it, the titles for these books are just so perfect I can’t even GAH! *hugs books to chest, growls at anyone trying to take them away*
OK, let’s get on with the review! So that hopefully this baby can find a new home.
In Shift and Control, the Shifts made weren’t big enough to change the entire world. Scott’s power has grown, of course, because he’s special: not only is he a Fixer, which can stop someone from Shifting in the first place, but he’s also a Forcer, and can force his will onto to other people, even their Shifts. Scott’s last Shift at the end of Control did change the world: it plunged it into a war. Of course, to everyone but Scott, this has been the life they’ve been living the whole time. Scott has to tangle with the memories of this reality’s Scott, and his intentions, and his experiences, because the Scott we know and love is a kinder, gentler character than the Scott he replaced. He needs to step into a ruthless leadership position, and quickly, because the Shifters are being used in the war against an organisation known as the Red Hand, who think Shifting goes against God’s will and want to wipe out all Shifters.
I absolutely loved following around in Scott’s head. He’s not the brightest of boys, and he’s often distracted by Aubrey, who’s a different Aubrey in this reality but come on, she’ still Aubrey, but she doesn’t know Scott and doesn’t love him which fair breaks my heart! Scott had the opportunity to be more suspicious of some of the characters that were acting so suspiciously that I picked up on them pretty much from the get-go, but that’s foreshadowing for you. I also liked how much Shifting we got to see in this novel, both Scott’s Shifts and the Shifts of others, and how it affected the reality. It’s much less confusing being in Scott’s head, because he can remember the different realities, so when a Shift happens he can actually register it. Otherwise the narrative would move along as if no one ever Shifted, because no one else would notice. It’s a confusing concept, OK? But it’s totally awesome once you wrap you head around it.
I was really mad at Scott for a while until I realised there definitely was a reason he couldn’t just Shift out of this new reality, and there was also a reason he couldn’t explain to people why he suddenly didn’t know all this military procedure and locations and all that kind of stuff this reality’s Scott knew. Because of the high concept of the novel, it again took a while until I could wrap my head around everything, but once I did, I felt comfortable and knowledgeable enough to understand the world building, so bonus points for that!
And I just need to briefly talk about the ending. It’s just so perfect. You’d think with the ability to Shift, that would mean Curran would become a helicopter author and save her darlings rather than kill them. No, none of that nonsense. I’d gathered, ever since the war-Shift took place, that this would be the one decision Scott would decide to undo, to sacrifice everything, including himself, but what I didn’t expect were the consequences of that. So well done, Curran, you got me, and I loved it and it was perfect.
Read the first two books, Shift and Control, and then when this baby finds a new home, read this one, too. In a YA book world oversaturated with female protagonists, this novel gives us a wonderful male lead, a brilliant concept, tight storytelling, great characters, awesome conflict, and enough humour and heartache to satisfy even the most sceptical of sci-fi lovers. JUST READ THEM OK.
Thanks to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for providing a free advanced reader’s copy for an honest review.