By Cynthia Ayala
Tanner and Ryland barely managed to defeat the Shifter invasion, saving Earth in the process losing something precious. But now they have a way to get off the planet, a way to bring the battle to the Shifters with unusual allies and powerful gifts. They just have to survive the journey across space.
Published on October 24, 2014, by Pershing Books, Ordinaries by Douglas Pershing and Angelia Pershing, the second novel in the Shifters series takes invasion lit in another direction when the tables are turned in this action packed sequel.
Picking up where the previous novel, Shifters, left off, the Ordinaries follows a rag tag team of aliens with amazing abilities as they figure out a way to turn the tables on the Shifters and bring unity across the galaxy. It’s a fast pace novel that dives right into the action of the story. There are very little breaks here, but something fresh is seeing the story from a villains perspective. The story itself already breaches a sort of barrier, entering the meta-fiction world when two of the protagonist address the reader regarding the story and the way they are telling it. So there is a frame narrative, but the first person perspective which was brilliantly done in the previous novel, shifts somewhat. That’s not to say that it was done poorly compared to the previous novel, the perspective still holds true, but the authors bring in their own voice not just with those respective perspective, but when they take on an omniscient perspective. The villain does not get a point of view, they are there to help move the plot along. Thankfully, though this does not detract from the overall story telling. It’s a voice to move the story along and it works, it doesn’t come off as ill-placed and remains rather cohesive. As far as perspective goes, these writers know what they are doing and how to write.
As for the story, it’s not bad but there are some elements that make the story rather predictable. As the audience reads it’s easy to pick up on some of the events, especially some that don’t get to flourish. The story is just moving along very quickly and some of the character dynamics, with everything moving so fast, the aren’t able to establish themselves strongly for the reader. So when a death occurs—because this is a novel about war so yes, there is death—it’s somewhat hard to feel the right amount of sympathy when it happens because some of those characters, again, are just plot devices, they don’t get to develop, they are just there. It’s unfortunate because Douglas and Angelia Pershing are talented writers, they know how to give their characters the right amount voice to make them believable within the frame narrative that borders on meta-fiction. It’s very interesting to read but also very obvious that if the writers don’t think the characters are essential, they sort of plop them in and don’t evolve them.
At the end of the day though, it’s a good fast paced read. (★★★☆☆ | B+)