Courtesy of Ivana Atanasova’s blog, Diary of Difference
Things can change in a moment. All it takes it that tiny second that can turn our lives upside down. This happened to Alex. See, one day, he is just this unpopular boy that goes to school, and works to earn a little something for himself. Then, in one little moment, he is about to be hit by a train. Only – a miracle happens and he remains alive. But something changed. No, EVERYTHING changed. A new girl comes to school the next morning and tells him he is an Eternal, just like her, a person that lives many lives and keeps getting reborn. He is also supposed to remember his past lives once he turns 18. And not only that, but he also needs to go on a mission to find another Eternal, that would lead them to Zeus.
Bonus: This book is filled with Greek Mythology characters, but they are not the Greek Gods as we know them – they are all Eternals and have a special new fictional story.
I know some of you guys messaged me that the synopsis of the book looked so complicated, and it put you off. The story is actually quite interesting and easy to understand, once you start reading it. So go on, and put this on your TBRs!
The story and the plot itself are so unique – I haven’t read anything like this before. Michael managed to recreate a whole new world, and new type of creatures – Eternals. I loved the idea of the Eternals – people that have many lives and remember their previous lives. They can even choose where they want to get born next, and how to look. I also loved the superpowers they have – communicating through thoughts and dreams, healing, reading the past of a person by touching their hand… However, in many places in the book this was described too fast and too wide – there would be 5 pages of an essay of only description. I would much prefer if we could explore the story and history through the characters more.
The characters were likable. All of them. I liked Alex – he was a typical American boy. Sometimes a bit oblivious to everything happening around him. I found it a bit upsetting how he couldn’t choose who he wanted to be with. But on the other side, I quite admired him for how he coped when his world just changed in an instant, and so many people he knew were not what he thought they were, and on top of that he had to choose who to trust and who not to, and he had to agree to go on a mission that risks his life, even though he still couldn’t remember if he was an Eternal, which meant that maybe he is not like them at all.
Circe was an interesting character too. Such an energetic person with a wild personality – she would be the one that brightens up a room as soon as she walks into it. She can also be very possessive of the people she loves. She quite reminds me of myself in my teenage years in everything she did – funny, reckless moments – all worth remembering. Even though I couldn’t find a favourite character, all the people we meet in the book were equally loved by me.
This is an amazing story – a fiction fantasy that gathered Greek Mythology characters and created something entirely new. I enjoyed it a lot and I can’t wait for the next book of the series to come out. This book opens up a great discussion about people that can be reborn and remember their past. My view on life is that once we die, our soul goes into another body that gets born in the exact same moment, and even though we don’t remember it, we always carry a piece of that inside our hearts. There are occasions though, where some people remember their past lives.
What are your thoughts about life after death? Would you maybe pick this book up?
A special thank you to the author, Michael Kott, who send me a copy of ‘’LifeShift’’ in exchange for an honest review. All my thoughts are my own, and completely unbiased.
Goodreads Review from Jenna in Scotland
'LifeShift' is a creative and entertaining novel revolving around a teenage boy named Alex whose life is literally shifted from normality to fantasy. I enjoyed Alex’s journey, discovering the history behind his identity at the same time as he did. He meets multiple characters called "Eternals", who are constantly reborn into different lifetimes (and regain their core memories in their late teenage years). They are even able to sacrifice themselves to die and be born again at will to keep the timelines of their missions in order. This was one of my favourite ideas in the novel since it helped shape the Eternals as solid and unique characters. They also have the power to read minds and heal quickly, amongst other beneficial qualities, which keeps the plot and characters interesting and unpredictable.
Alex is a fantastic protagonist. It must be nearly impossible to not root for him as he learns to stand up for himself and find solace. He develops a lot as a character from the beginning of the novel. He originally has no specific goal in life or passion but to stay at the railyard – which, let’s just say, does not ultimately work out for him. He gradually gains strength and independence and becomes increasingly motivated to succeed. Each of the Eternals have their own quirks and characteristics, too. My personal favourite of the lot was Circe, who is repeatedly (and accurately) described as "wild" by those who are closest to her. I was captivated by her individuality since her introduction and was curious to find out more about her. The Eternals can retain multiple names from their past lives but seem to favour one. There are constant reminders about who is who, so that it never becomes confusing.
The plot is intelligent and action-packed. I found myself wincing during the fight scenes, since I could almost feel Alex’s pain! There is always a very real sense of danger. I kept nervously anticipating another threatening character to appear. Alex is always on edge throughout his mission and he is often manipulated by shimmers and caught completely off-guard. Each character is well developed and I adored the interactions between them and Alex. Some of the exchanges resulted in hilarity because of how much the supporting characters clash with Alex. This novel is an absolute thrill to read.
What I would have liked to see more of:
- The novel can feel very dialogue-heavy, reading more like a play or even a video-game narrative at times. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this style is very comfortable to read. It would have perhaps been more exciting to explore the world more through Alex’s actions, instead of most of the important details being told through back and forth dialogue. These conversations do a good job of setting up the backstory and relevant information, however, pathing the way for a sequel!
- Although the first section of the novel firmly and accurately represents the 1950s, I personally would have liked to see more of what day to day life was like in that decade. This is completely subjective of course, and a minor nit-pick since ‘LifeShift’ focuses more on mythology and science-fiction than real lifetime events.
- Mark! He was my second favourite character to be introduced. I would have liked to have seen more of him and his humorous blunt opinions of Alex, “I forget you’re history deficient”, and each of the Eternals, “She finds out some obscure little thing and then gets you to admit stuff” (in regards to Circe’s mind reading ability).
I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a coming of age story unlike any before, with unforgettable characters and vivid descriptions which can transport you out of this world and directly on to the planet of Trivane!