Control by Kim Curran

December 26, 2013 Reviews 0

Control by Kim CurranControl (Shift #2) by Kim Curran
Published: August 6th 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Format: eARC, 352 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
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Scott Tyler is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.

That's why he's so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.

They've sent him on a mission. To track down the enigmatic Frank Anderson. An ex-Shifter who runs a project for unusual kids - as if the ability to change your every decision wasn't unusual enough. But Anderson and the kids have a dark secret. One that Scott is determined to discover.

As his obsession with discovering the truth takes him further away from anyone he cares about, his grip on reality starts to weaken. Scott realises if he can't control his choices, they'll control him.

Control is an amazing adventure and a great followup to Curran’s début, Shift. I loved continuing Scott and Aubery’s journey and finding out more about their powers.

My favourite aspect of the book is the intricate plot. I never knew what was going to happen and l loved it. There’s something very satisfying about reading a story as involved and complex as this. The challenge in keeping track of all the realities and consequences explored in Control is a welcome addition to the series – the added complexity makes the story more enjoyable, and Curran does a great job in keeping things straight.

The premise is awesome: someone has Shifted into a completely new reality, which involved changing London’s sky line and England’s Prime Minister. No one remembers the other reality or realises the size of the Shift involved – no one, that is, except Scott. So while Scott and Aubery are working to round-up the victims and volunteers from Project Ganymede, Scott is struggling to understand what happened and why. To make things worse, the longer he holds on to the old reality, the looser his grip on the current one.

We should talk about Scott. Poor, naïve, self doubting Scott. He’s not my favourite character ever, but he’s certainly growing on me. His matured in the time I’ve known him, and I’ve come to admire his tenacity and unconventional style. Whereas the earlier book focussed on Scott finding out about Shifting and learning how to do everything, this book explores Scott’s ability to retain details of earlier realities and the consequences of the power. Control also progresses ARES from some back-alley program to a government backed agency, which changes how things are done within it. Scott’s challenge in this book has more to do with ethics and the consequences of his decisions, which makes for a deeper, more nuanced story.

I still love Aubery: I think have a crush! She’s so brave and smart – I really admire her. We also find out more about her, her past and they way she thinks. In particular, I think her dependance on her Shifting ability to undo any bad decisions is really telling: she’s really quite insecure! The other characters in the book didn’t really make an impression on me, but the villain was refreshing. I think the end of the book, in particular, puts emphasis on how some decisions can seem really wrong but we never know if the alternatives are a lot worse.

Control ended on a massive cliff-hanger, and I’m not sure what to do with myself now! Delete, the next book in the series, comes out next year, and it’s going to be an agonising wait!! This series is one of my favourites, and I highly recommend it to readers interested in science fiction.

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