Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review: Shift (Firstborn Trilogy, #2) by Raine Thomas

Shift (Firstborn Trilogy, #2)

Author: Raine Thomas

Purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Synopsis: Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.

The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Review: After reading Defy, the first book in the Firstborn Trilogy, and thoroughly enjoying Zachariah and Tate’s characters, I was pretty excited to be able to continue the story with these characters along with the new ones that been introduced in the first book. I was looking forward to seeing what kind of mischief Zachariah may end up starting and what would happen between Sophia and Quincy’s characters since Defy explored the dynamic of their relationship a little.

Sophia is driven more by logic and reasoning than emotions. She would rather hide out all day in the laboratory exploring new experiments or plant life or shifting to hang out with the panthers than talk about how she feels with anyone. I could relate to Sophia on a certain level since she’s a nerd and I would prefer reading than anything else *wink* I enjoyed Sophia’s intelligence and kindness. But Sophia did spend a great deal of the novel very angst driven which contradicted the way the author wanted to showcase the character’s personality. I didn’t hate her but I did want to slap her a few times to get it together.

Quincy I really liked from Defy and was happy to get to know more of him in Shift. He is patient and undeniably kind. He never raises his voice and carries himself with a quiet confidence and wisdom. But Quincy spends so much of the book whinnying about his feelings for Sophia but how he couldn’t bring himself to tell her. His thoughts and feelings became redundant after a short time and I just wanted him to finally pull himself up by the bootstraps and confront his fears! He took so long to do it.

Zachariah, Tate, and Tiege also play their roles and I was really happy to see them again. Zachariah as usual is gruff, painfully honest, and couldn’t crack a smile if his life depended on it but that’s what makes his character so hilarious and entertaining. Tate is as care free and bubbly as her mother, Skye, and drives Zachariah crazy which is fun *hehe* I think Zachariah and Tate’s relationship is the best out of the Firstborn Trilogy! Tiege is so cute and sweet and strong. He has such a good heart and is unyielding loyal.

The world building as always is strong and detailed. A reader is swept away into the Estrolian world in lush and vivid landscapes. The action gradually builds up along with the suspense and tension. The romance, which specifically focuses more on Quincy and Sophie but there are some scenes with Zachariah and Tate as well as Tiege developing a budding romance, were pretty good. More the scenes with Zachariah and Tate as well as Teige’s new found relationship.

Even though there were many aspects of the books I did like, not everything worked. I realized as I got halfway done with the book that the plot for Shift (and essentially for Defy) sounded familiar. I didn’t pinpoint it until a major kidnapping scene took place then I realized the plot never changes. The plot for the entire Firstborn Trilogy (thus far) is the same exact plot from the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy, the only major differences are the characters participating within that plot and the type of scenes placed to execute that plot. Two characters are the center of the book and are in love with each other but are too scared to admit to their feelings. Someone gets kidnapped and needs to be rescued by the entire family. The mothers are still having babies (seriously, how many more kids are these characters going to have?! It’s already bordering on unbelief). Two characters avow themselves to each other. The villain uses someone from the inside to get to the family and betray them. There are background romances going on that will most likely be resolved in the following book. The problem with the Firstborn Trilogy is that there isn’t enough distinction between it and the trilogy it span off, the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy. The plot is repeated over and over again which makes everything pretty predictable.

I still had some good laugh out loud moments with the characters. I still enjoyed reading my favorite characters, Zachariah, Tate, and Teige. I liked Quincy’s character and being able to know him more in depth. I also really like Clara-Kate’s character and hope there will be more of her in the final book to the trilogy.

Defy was saved by Zachariah and Tate’s relationship because it was such a crazy opposites attract relationship, it worked. Shift survives because Quincy is a pretty great character and Tiege comes out to play more of a role. Perhaps if Sophia would have been portrayed as much as a strong character as Tate the book wouldn’t have been so lack luster.

I will, of course, read the final novel. I am curious to know how the entire trilogy ends and how the various relationships get resolved. I just hope the final book adds a bit more spark to the plot and more depth.

About the Author: Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a bestselling series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane. She became truly passionate about writing when one of her stories took an Honorable Mention in a fourth-grade writing competition (who would have thought a story about a dancing spider would garner so much attention?). Carrying that passion with her, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Georgia State University, then her master’s degree in Humanities from Central Michigan University.

Residing in Orlando, Florida, Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create young protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. She’s a proud member of Romance Writers of America and a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Where to Find the Author

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