Multiple dimensions exist, and they are flush with resources for the taking.
A USB drive containing an anonymous message and mysterious piece of code is delivered to the New York offices of Wired Magazine. Science reporter Dr. Pei Xiao, driven by the need to justify her decision to stay in the U.S. to her parents, has just gotten the opportunity she's been waiting for. Photographer Roy Bryant just needs to make this month's rent. What starts as a simple interview quickly develops into a complex tale of conspiracy, espionage, and otherworldly adventure.
Brian Q. Webb is a struggling science fiction wordsmith. He was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area but has made his home for the last two decades in Taipei, Taiwan. His stories are heavily influenced by his favorite author, H.P. Lovecraft, his favorite T.V. series, the Twilight Zone, and local Taiwanese culture.
There is definitely a homage to Lovecraft here (I won’t say more, no spoilers, but if you love Lovecraft like me you will love this book) but the style also reminded me of the Crichton of Congo – the mixture of adventure, breathtaking suspense, fiction and objective science (computer science too, and a bit of geekery, which I like as a geek myself), plus the tension of the diverse/opposite points of views. I loved this book and read it almost without interruption. As an actioner I think it would make a great movie – it has an almost cinematic quality, especially in the fast-paced action and the fantastic descriptions, with scenes in strong colors, sounds, and almost Imax in span: special effects in written form in front of the eye of my fantasy. The two main characters are easy to side with, unconventional and complex – real people (curious, stubborn, resourceful and fragile) cast in an impossible situation, who find the strength in themselves and each other. By the way, one thing I appreciated was the absence of stereotyped humanity. (Well, there were some minor cast types but really, all the important characters are complex and convincing.) I will wait for more.
This novel starts off with almost immediate action and mystery, which really helps to draw you into the story from the very first page. The story continues a mix of science fiction, drama, mystery, and action and this ensures that there is something for everyone, assuming you like science fiction as the main theme. The story has a consistent pace and I didn’t feel bored with the story at any point. Sometimes the science jargon was a little too much for me, but I did also feel like I learnt something, in addition to enjoying the story. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction, with a story which is well-rounded with other themes at the same time.
I thought it was a fascinating and exciting story. Hard to put down. I loved that I could understand most of the computer science, nerd/geek, and Taiwan references. I was slightly annoyed to have it end with a cliff hanger of sorts and not have the next book available yet. :)
It's always tough to write a review about a book that has been written by a friend, but in this case, this one wasn't too difficult because I already knew the author could write, and that is because we were both blogging together back in 2007. (He is also an excellent photographer, as well.)
_Shift: A thriller of multiple dimensions is a fantastic, fast-paced read that was tough to put down. The characters are extremely likable, and it's easy to fall into the storyline, which is a mix of science fiction, mystery, and suspense. I especially liked that it was set in Taiwan, and I got a little thrill from every reference Webb made about Taiwan.
I saw a tiny complaint in another review about this book in regards to the pop-culture references, but for me, this is what stood out because these references are about a place that I have called home for over a decade. It wouldn't be the same book without these inclusions, and it made it much more relatable to me because it was based in a culture that I understand and relate to.
The hero of this story is female, she's Asian, and she is badass. I loved her character and I hope I see more of her.
In _Shift: A thriller of multiple dimensions, the story starts in the real world, but we soon learn that other dimensions exist and they are being used for natural resources. Dr. Pei Xiao, a science reporter from Wired magazine, has been sent on a mission to uncover the mystery of a strange piece of code. Her boss enlists Roy Bryant's help in assisting Pei with her mission.
Their first interview quickly turns into an adventure in another dimension and from there on in, the book just sucks you into more action and entertainment with every turn of the page.
I had no idea that my friend could write science fiction so well, but I hope he is reading this review and smiling. I would not be giving it five-stars unless I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I did.
My only regret is that I didn't make it to the Taipei International Book Exhibit to get a signed copy from him, but that will happen the next time he is at a book show, I hope. At any rate, this is a steal on Kindle at $3.99.
For a first novel, I think Brian Q. Webb did a fantastic job and I am looking forward to his next book.
The plot of this novel is well-structured and pretty complex, but not so complex that you feel lost with what is going on in the story. I enjoyed the character driven elements of the story, and the pacing of the novel is really good, so it keeps you engaged with the story and enthusiastic about reading on. The story keeps you guessing as the plot isn’t standard or boring and I appreciated the effort the author has gone to in order to present a well-informed, complex and interesting plot line. I would read more from this author and enjoyed this novel.
This was a great book. Easy to read and gets you invested in the characters from virtually the first page. I even learned a little science and enjoyed the fun references to pop culture and other sci-fi works scattered throughout. You can tell this was truly a labor of love for the author, and his voice clearly shines through. I look forward to more from Brain Webb!
Shift is a fast-paced techno thriller that keeps you turning pages as a young, ambitious reporter for Wired Magazine and her photographer/bodyguard, Roy, follow a leaked story that takes them into a parallel dimension. Young and ambitious, Pei is more than eager to follow up on the lead supplied by her editor. When they stumble on to the top-secret project and must be “taken out” they run through the research facility and inadvertently find themselves trapped in alternative world. They must fight monsters and security guards to gain entrance back into the research facility to set things straight before the “window” of opportunity closes. I liked the book. It was well conceived, executed, and entertaining.
I was attracted to the outline of this story as I love anything related to science, and a story which combines this aspect with general sci-fi themes sounded really interesting to me. I enjoyed the technological/scientific references and didn’t find them to be overwhelming at all – rather, it really gave depth to the story and read as if the author had made a lot of effort to fill the story with relevant information to enhance the overall plot. I found this novel to be different from the standard sci-fi novels out there and I finished the novel and felt satisfied with the story. I would be interested in reading more from this author, and recommend this novel to anyone who wants an in-depth sci-fi novel.
This is a fast paced novel full of action, drama, interesting sci-fi elements and a well-structured plot. There is good character development to the story, and the plot was interesting overall. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the technical references, but not so much that it turned me off reading to the end, so if you are not scientifically/technologically inclined do not be turned away by the inclusion of such elements. The story has lots of action and complexity and the characters were written well. I enjoyed this story, so if you like sci-fi stories which have good depth I recommend this novel.
If you were to ask me Star Wars or Star Trek, I would have to respond with a puzzled look. A fan of science fiction I am not. I prefer books that delve into the subtleties of human emotion.
That said, Shift is a very good read. The author happens to be a friend of mine, which makes it an even better read. This fast-paced adventure takes place in the present, starting off with a Taiwan born female scientist protagonist who heads off to a mysterious interview for Wired magazine, accompanied by her photographer/bodyguard. Mr. Webb paves the way forward with scientific and statistical nuggets of information which are enjoyably interesting and render the story believable, even as the two protagonists head out first to a rogue government research lab in Nevada, and then on into a parallel dimension.
The author is quirky, and there is an endless stream of inside jokes and bickering between the characters that I assume must be hilarious to sci fi readers, but went completely over my head. Is Mr. Webb poking fun at himself when his two characters have a vulnerable moment and confess their shared devotion to Star Trek? Was the reader expected to feel breathlessly moved, or to giggle as I did?
The end of the book makes it pretty clear that there is going to be a sequel. Although there are some awkward plot details, the book is absolutely fun to read. I particularly liked the descriptions of the inhabitants of the Shift dimension and the dramatic ending. I am looking forward to more geeky adventures!