Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: The Pain Merchants, Janice Hardy

Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens UK
Author: Janice Hardy
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy

(This book was called The Shifter when it was first released in the United States)

" Fifteen-year-old Nya is one of Geveg’s many orphans; she survives on odd jobs and optimism in a city crippled by a failed war for independence. Nya has a deadly secret. She is a Taker, someone who can extract pain and injury from others, but with unusual differences. Her sister Tali and other normal Takers become Healer’s League apprentices and put their extracted pain into enchanted metal, pynvium. But Nya can’t dump pain in this way. All she can do is shift it from person to person.When Nya’s secret is revealed to the pain merchants and the Healer’s League she is flung into danger. Then a ferry accident floods the city with injured, Takers start disappearing from the Healer’s League and Nya’s strange abilities are suddenly in demand. Her principles and endurance are tested to the limit when Nya’s deadly powers become the only thing that can save her sister's life."

An original adventure

Nya lives in a dystopian world. There is war and many people are struggling to make ends meet. Nya and Tali, two sisters, are orphans. Tali is attending the Healer's League, where she is learning to become a healer. Nya takes whatever jobs she can find in order to earn some money to buy food and shelter for the nights.

In this world, pain has become a merchandise. Healer's are able to cure people for pain, and then there are the Takers - people who not only have the ability to remove pain from another person's body but also transport this pain into other people or objects. Nya is a Taker, and her abilities are sought after.

I had not heard about this book before it showed up unexpectedly in my mail before Christmas. I liked the cover and once I started reading I could not put the book down.

There is action from page one - I became instantly curious about Nya and the world she is living in. Nya is a great heroine; feisty, takes charge and stands up for herself and her sister. She is a just person - a person who stands up for others and wants to make a difference.

The plot in this book is not like anything I have ever read before. It is highly original and there are some unexpected turns and twists as the story progresses. This is also one of the first books I have read in a long time where the love interest is not a big part of the story, Nya have so much more to care about in this book than to fall in love - is seems, and that makes the story even more believable.

The Pain Merchants is a story about friendship and family, about what a person would be willing to do to save those that are close to him/her. It is a story about the dangerous aspects of having too much power and about being true to yourself and your principles. Nya is also portrayed as a human being - she makes mistakes, like all of us, so the reader are able to identify with her.

I am eager to read the next book in this series, and will recommend The Pain Merchants to anyone who wants a book with a original and absorbing plot.

Visit the author's webpage here!

Other reviews for this book:
The Sharp Angle

1 comment:

MoonStar said...

Lookes like a good book. Never heard of it before :) Love the cover.
Lucky you just having books dropping in ;) hehe
Great review :) Guess maybe I will check this one out if I get the time :D Thanks for sharing

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