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A Thousand Faces

(A Thousand Faces #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In the world of high-stakes espionage, it pays to be able to change your face. And that’s just what sixteen-year-old Jory and her family of shape-shifting spies can do—alter their faces and bodies to look like anyone. Jory is in training to be a full member of the family business—when she can convince her parents to let her help with their elaborate cons.

But when Jory’s p
Paperback, 291 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Garden Ninja Books (first published August 20th 2015)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  317 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, ya
"When it came to impressions, trying to hard was the easiest way to fail".

Sixteen-year-old Jory is still perfecting her powers and about to pull through her first solo spie job as a shape shifter when we get to know her.
Shortly after her first job, her parents don't return from a supposedly easy job, and now it is up to Jory to make her way in a world full of lies and intrigues and rescue her family.

"To some extent, all relationships are about proximity. You don't fall for someone you've never
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
So I definitely liked it and would like to see more books with this sort of thought and interesting ideas.

The good:
The concept was pretty interesting and I liked how the author fleshed it out practically: certain individuals who have the ability to not just mimic voices, but mimic bodies. It plays to our natural love of acting.
Then the author recognized that there would be a need to determine who was real, so the handshake thing was cool.
The author also realized that an ability like this would
Sep 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, reviewed
I bought this book for my Kindle after Brandon Sanderson recommended it on his Facebook page, so I was expecting something totally epic. I was rather disappointed.

Jory is a shifter, someone born with the ability to change her body and face to look like almost anyone--male, female, old, young, short, tall, fat, thin--you get the idea. Her parents are shifters too, and so are her best friend Kalif and his parents. They make a living using their abilities to conduct corporate espionage, stealing te
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out my Booklikes Blog, Dan Grover: Cover to Cover

The Value of a Star: Ratings Explained

This was a nice, quick read from an indie who's getting a shot a success because Brandon Sanderson gave her a pretty nice recommendation on his blog.

This is YA spy stuff. Jory and her parents are "Shifters"--they can change their body at will to look like anyone they want. They are spies for hire. Despite the moving around, the secrecy, the lack of friendships, and the constant worry about being discover
Kimberly VanderHorst
This was far better than I expected. I've started so many poorly written shapeshifter stories I haven't been able to finish, but this one carried me through to the end with brilliant worldbuilding and a concrete magic system that beautifully grounded the supernatural elements in the story. The pacing was excellent, and while this book isn't quite at mind-blowing five-star status for me, I give it a very high four-star ranking and recommend it as an engaging, thought-provoking read. I look forwar ...more
I slogged my way through about a third of the book and found myself dreading going back to it.

The shape-shifting structure and rules are somewhat compelling, but are forced down your throat rather than explored through exciting use of them.

The plot is predictable, slow and flat, but the sappy, unimaginative and unrealistic teenage romance is what killed it for me.

Perhaps this would be a good read for a teen just getting into sci-fi.

Enjoyable: 5/10
Honest: 5/10
Intelligent: 5/10
Uplifting: 5/10
Dave West
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after a FB recommendation from Brandon Sanderson. Boy am I glad I did.

This is a great new world with new magic and story in the YA Fantasy world. It's the best YA that I've read this year not written by Sanderson. Very well done.
Katie O'Sullivan
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Unique and totally absorbing, this YA paranormal deserves a whole lot more recognition than it's received so far. Author Janci Patterson creates a new kind of human shape shifter - one that doesn't turn into an animal, but rather can change their bodies, faces, and even voices into other people. There have been aliens and robot terminators in books and movies who've had this ability - but a shape shifting race of humans? The concept and the world building the author invests is fascinating and ut ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Sixteen-year-old Jory and her family have a dangerous secret: they’re shape-shifters, paid to take on the identities and likenesses of anyone, to satisfy the highest bidders. Her family has recently begun a cautious truce with another shape-shifting family, working together in a series of assignments.

But when Jory’s parents go missing after a job, Jory enlists the aid of Kalif, her shapeshifting neighbors’ son, to help her find her parents. What they find, instead, is a mystery much closer to ho
Gloria DeGeare
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parents Missing, Exceptionally Intelligent kids to the Rescue

Wonderful build up to fast paced exciting climax. Shapeshifters as never before read about, makes it seem so plausible, and more scary the further along we go. Fascinating concepts of humans shapshifting into others, to test security or protocol issues of high tech firms, when a set of parents go missing. Jory enlists the help of her tech savvy friend Kalif to investigate and find papertrails, motives, and double crossing to find her p
I'm not sure if it is, but this is one of those books that practically screams, "Good first effort." The author's instincts seem good-the writing is fluid, the fight scenes are clear, and the emotions are written pretty well. The concept is well-fleshed out as well. The big problem here is making sure that it isn't so self-contained. The MC keeps talking about people whose lives they've ruined, so it might have been nice to see that a little more. The villain, as others have said, was a little o ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow to get going (I almost put it down immediately because the author described the main character's breasts twice on the first two pages--maybe that's just a personal pet peeve of mine) but I'm glad I kept reading because there were some fun twists. I'd recommend it for fans of YA romance/sci-fi. I don't know if I liked it enough to continue in the series, but the author did leave some unanswered questions at the end for a sequel hook.
Scott Wozniak
Strong romance but weaker action

The romance portion of the book is very well written. It was full of emotion and believable. The action/spy portion of the book was less believable. There were some good plot twists, but I had a harder tome getting emotionally engaged. In retrospect, they were mostly summarized and not fully fleshed out. The ending was an exception to this and redeemed a book I was fading on.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars

This book was actually quite good. Took me a little while to get into, but the story was different and thrilling. I didn’t think this would be a series, not sure if it is, but it ended in such a way that makes me want to find out what happens next in their next chapter of life. Jory’s dad seemed cool, not her mom though.
Bernadette Hutton
Shifting through the book in no time

What a book. Two shifting families. A mix of good and bad in both. One family who changed their ways and the other had more problems than they thought. A psychiatrist would have a field day! The main characters are both teenagers. Hormones, family rules and bad guys trying to kill them. Not knowing who to trust even the parents.
Mary Rowe
Solid YA Tale

A look at what it is to be different and to hide in plain sight. The young protagonists have depth and maturity beyond their chronological years. The emotional fallout from the events in this book are yet to be made manifest in their young lives.
kim caldwell
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting take on shifters

These aren't were-shifters. Instead they can make themselves look like anyone they choose. Company espionage is how they survive, until they turn on each other!
McCartha Sheron
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on shape-shifters and the question of discerning what is real, all wrapped in a spy thriller format. Juvenile protagonists made this more for teenage reading, but I still enjoyed it.
Sonia Santos
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This has a great storyline and it is unique in the way that it deals with the shape shifters and how they can tell who they are even after shifting their appearance. Great story.
Dana Wood
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story line. Jory was a strong female MC. The characters had good back stories and grew with the story. Lots of twists and turns. Very enjoyable read
Tammy Nesmith
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It had nicely contained YA language and situations. This story was a coming of age/teenage angst mixed with cool spy and fantasy imagination.
Herman Fassett
Felt kind of like Secondborn or... um, I can't remember because I've read so many with some paranormal twist and someone she's known for a bit she tries a relationship with... and it's so boring.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Interesting premise and well written, especially compared to a lot of the YA paranormal books out there. Enough so that I read the rest of the series.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-speculative
I think this is the first in a series, at least it is set up to be, but there is plenty of plot for it to stand alone. There are unique people who can change and shift their bodies to look like anyone.
but they keep themselves secret from the world. A family works together to spy and steal. The daughter thinks it is wrong and longs for a different life. The parents go missing and the Daughter and her new boyfriend try to find them. Some violence, no language, no sex.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I would have stumbled upon this book if it weren't for Brandon Sanderson mentioning (and praising) it in one of his blog posts. I'm so glad I did, but at the same time it's a bit of a shame. Janci Patterson is clearly a fantastic writer who does YA so well that I feel like I should have stumbled upon her on my own. She absolutely needs a bigger audience and I sincerely hope that this book takes off big time.
Everything about this book is so well done, so down to earth, that I think
Makayla  M. 6
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel, A Thousand Faces by Janci Patterson is a very adventurous, edgy, romantic book that I would recommend to any teenager. This book is about and narrated by a 15 year old girl named Jory, who is a shape shifter spy that can be any person she would like. She works along side of her mother and father, and three other "shifter" spies, Kalif and his parents. Sometimes she runs missions for her parents while they are either on another job or watching what they need to do next in her training. ...more
This is a candy-read. It is written, I feel, for the younger side of young adult. It involves shape-shifting people who live among us. When the main character's parents suddenly disappear, she has to figure out where they went and who she can trust to help her. I seem to remember the explanations that set up the world are a little convoluted. I'm never a big fan of books that rely on the teenager/near adult being kept in the dark about things that they really should have been told. But it was fa ...more
Not what I was expecting, the story dragged and continuously grounded itself with awkward romance scenes. I know that this was YA, but we have been spoiled in the last few years with rather epic YA stories that tried to reach beyond the genre, this book is not in that category.

In short, I truly did not care about the characters in the slightest. We did not learn enough about them before they were thrown into the action to care what happened to them. The shifting was not well explained in my opin
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort of a... thriller, I guess? Jory the shapeshifter breaks into a series of increasingly dangerous corporations, trying to find her missing parents. I subtracted a star for the ending: (view spoiler)
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Janci Patterson writes fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary young adult novels. Janci lives in Orem, Utah, with her husband, Drew Olds, and their children. Janci's first science fiction novel, A Thousand Faces, is available for free from all e-book vendors. Visit Janci at her website,, to join her reader's group for access to another free novel, her middle grade Search ...more

Other books in the series

A Thousand Faces (2 books)
  • A Million Shadows (A Thousand Faces #2)