February 17, 2016


by Meaghan McIsaac
Tundra Books
288 pp.
Ages 12+
February 2016
Reviewed from Advance Reader's Copy

Forget today's world.  Meaghan McIsaac will take you into the new world of 2083 when people live in tiny apartments, use droidlets as keepers of all information, where schools are 64 floors high, water is scarce, powerful winds called Eventualies bombard everyone and everything, and there are Movers, people with the special ability to move others called their Shadows from the future of war, famine and disease to their own time.  And, because there are Movers, there is the Bureau of Movement Activity Control (BMAC) and the anti-Mover group, We Are Now, and Movers' Prison and Shelving–whereby Movers convicted of moving their Shadows are Shelved i.e., put into "An endless sleep. A living kind of deadness" (pg. 2).  It's a totally different world and it's the world of fourteen-year-old Patrick Mermick whose father Michael was Shelved after Moving his Shadow, Oscar Joji, from the future, killing him in the process and causing considerable damage.  Problem is that Michael Mermick was a Phase 2 Mover and incapable of Moving his Shadow.

Now Pat and little sister Maggie, both Phase 1 Movers, and Mom Izzy, a Non-Mover, must live in a world of monthly Mover renewal forms and much discrimination.  Not surprising Mom is known as a Mover symathizer, protesting Shelving, and helping Movers falsity their FIILES–digital accounts of their lives–to keep them from being treated as criminals.

Then everything goes from bad to worse.  Mom gets called into Maggie’s school, because of Mags' new behaviours suggesting the need for a Phase upgrade, and they are both being taken to BMAC headquarters when Mom tells Maggie to make a run for it.  Maggie heads to Pat’s school where a Movement creates destruction and chaos while bringing over the Shadow of Gabby, a classmate of Pat’s and a favourite target of the bullies. Together, Pat and Gabby and Maggie become fugitives and must delve into the underworld of Mover society in order to survive and avoid Shelving.

Movers is an earth-shattering, action-packed futuristic adventure of the heightest proportions.  Set in a future that appears to be of our own making–depletion of most resources, scarcity of others, continued discrimination for those who are different–with new technology and supernatural elements of time-travel, Movers is incessant in its fast pacing and rife with villains of all natures–bureaucratic, school bullies and future warlords–keeping the action steady and plot unravelling.
Another blast sends tremors rippling through the building.  The cement begins to give way under my right foot and there’s nothing I can do.  My body is in freefall and I cry out.  My brain shuts down, and there’s only one thought–I’m so dead–but my hand still has a grip on the metal bar.
I dangle there, scream-crying with Gabby while the rough rusty bar cuts into my palm.  My vocal cords feel ready to snap while the rest of me is consumed by fear.  No Gabby, no Movement, just – falling.
My temples start buzzing, like the lightning has shot right through them, and I can feel him, my Shadow, suddenly aware of me.  He’s angry, overwhelmed by the emotion flooding out of my body and suddenly I’m furious too.
(pg. 50-51)
It’s like Die Hard meets The Time Traveler’s Wife for teen readers except the threat is from within and a romance doesn’t drive the story.  But the threat is real and the time travel is real and the horrors of discrimination are real.  And, to cause even more discomfort for readers, the story of Movers isn’t over because Meaghan McIsaac leaves readers on the edge of time and place, literally, with an ending that can’t even begin to be resolved until Book 2 of this new series is announced.  Hang on.

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