Monday 7 September 2015

REVIEW: Peter Giglio - Shadowshift

Genre: Horror
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 2nd June 2015
Pages: 171


I received an advance copy of Shadowshift from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse. Need I say anymore?

I have only ever read one other thing by Peter Giglio, Sunfall Manor. Now that I think of it, I don’t know why I haven’t read more. I loved it. So when Shadowshift came up on NetGalley I couldn’t refuse.

I’m glad I didn’t refuse.

Chet is a shape shifter. He can change into nearly any bug or small rodent. His weapon of choice when he is breaking into other people’s homes is a cockroach. Easy access, steal what you want, leave. This is fine until one of his victim’s figures out it was him and sets him up. Things go drastically wrong for Chet from here and his life is going to get a bit boring for a while.

Hannah is Chet’s daughter. She also has a gift. She can manipulate things with her mind. She is only twelve so still developing her skills.

Tina is Chet’s wife. She wishes she never had been. He was never good to her.

When he disappears after the setup, Tina has only one goal in life, protect Hannah. She has no idea her daughter has a gift.

What comes next is a story following two different timelines, Chet’s life in the past and Tina and Hannah’s life in the future. No one knows yet but both timelines are going to clash very soon, with disastrous results.

I absolutely bloody loved this book. This is without doubt one of the easiest reads I have had this year. By “easy” I mean to read. From the very first page this story just flows and flows and flows. There are twists and turns galore. Some you see coming and some you don’t. Perfect.

The end.

Nah, I’ll give you some more.

Characters – there are a few but the main people to look out for in this are obviously Chet, Tina and Hannah. Chet is, how can I put it, vile? Yes vile. This is a man who has been using his gift for years and couldn’t care less who it affects or what damage he does. He’s just out for himself. He is horrible to Tina but sweet to Hannah. The only reason for that is because he thinks she has a gift too. Tina I could take or leave. She had a real bad time with Chet and she does grow as the story progresses but was prone to moments that would have driven me mad being around her. Hannah was my favourite. Twelve years old with a maturity of a thirty year old. Aware of her gift but still experimenting with it and to some degree scared of it.

The story sort of divides itself into two parts. It flips between the old life when Chet and Tina were still together and Hannah was just a young child. This section basically shows you what an ahole Chet was when he was practising to see what he could do and treating his wife like something he stepped on. To be fair his childhood wasn’t great but no excuse. At the same time Tina is struggling to keep things together, blissfully unaware of what Chet is doing and also unaware of what Hannah can do. The new life features on Tina building a new life with her new man, Kevin, and Hannah, This is about 6 years after Chet has disappeared. As time goes on with both parts, you can see exactly where they are going, you just can’t tell how they are going to get there.

Now on what you have read so far you wouldn’t think this was a horror would you? Well it bloody well is. It’s a different kind of horror though. The type I hate writing reviews about because I can never put it into words how it affected me. I’ll have a go though.

You have shape shifters. That’s scary like scary monsters. You have a girl that can manipulate things with her mind. That’s scary like paranormal scary. You have bizarre worlds were these shifters can go. That’s scary like fantasy scary. You have a secret government organisation who know they exist and are trying to wipe them from the face of the planet. That’s scary like Men in Black scary. Well, maybe not but do you get what I mean? Horror is wonderful like that at times because there are more varieties of it than Heinz have. The thing is that you don’t often get a load of them in one story. That’s what makes Shadowshift so interesting and so damn entertaining.

Peter Giglio has moved himself up my list of authors to look out for and try and grab a lot more of his back catalogue. If all his stuff is like this then I want to read it all. His writing just flows perfectly. Perfectly paced. Perfectly articulate. Perfect at getting you totally absorbed in the story.

To summarise: a scary story with shape shifters and people who do weird stuff with their minds with two converging stories that are going to end in disaster. Secrets being kept from people. Maybe if they knew the secrets things wouldn’t go so badly wrong.

Before I go I just remembered another thing. I got to a point in the story where it read like it was ending. I was reading the last paragraph thinking “please don’t be over!”….turned the page to another chapter! This happened about three times. Talk about keeping you in suspense? Naughty Mr Giglio!

General rating:

★★★★★ Excellent. Highly recommended.

Horror rating:

★★★ I would have liked it even more scary.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy Shadowshift or any other books from Peter or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.

Book Synopsis:

Chet is a shape-shifter who uses his abilities to burglarize homes…

Hannah is a young girl with strange influences over inanimate objects…

Father and daughter, these supernatural misfits are bound by blood, their unfolding stories separated by time. While Chet follows a grim path, Hannah stands on the fragile precipice of hope: her mother’s faltering happiness with a kind man…the chance at a new family and a stable household…and the promise of freedom from the shadows cast by her father’s misdeeds.

But past and present are ready to collide, ushering hell home.

An active member of the International Thriller Writers and the Horror Writers Association, Peter Giglio is the author of five novels, four novellas, and his works of short fiction can be found in a number of notable volumes, including two comprehensive genre anthologies edited by New York Times Bestselling author John Skipp. Peter resides on the Georgia coast with his wife and frequent collaborator, Shannon Giglio.

And for more about Peter, visit his site or find him on social media:

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