The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift by Jayme Beddingfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift(Emerald City Nights)Volume 1 by Jayme Beddingfield
I came really close to putting this book down after the first dozen or so pages. I have to admit that I'm glad I forged past that rough patch to watch the rest of the story unfold.
This story is told in first person present tense and I don't have to be reminded how difficult this can be sometimes. Add to that some other writing style decisions and it really was a struggle reading through those first dozen pages to get the pace of things.
The first most difficult thing about first person is trying to avoid sounding like a shopping list with starting every sentence with I. But this is told from the protagonist's point of view and Ruby has already told us how bored she is with her life of crime so it becomes difficult to determine if some of that style was intentional in order to reinforce the mundane quality of her life.
I should warn anyone who is inclined to bleed from the eyes with all the grammar and punctuation anomalies that this has some suspect word choices, some missing words, and probably a bit of excess in punctuation. Combined with the-as many as ten to twelve sentences beginning with-I plus a verb-in a lot of paragraphs it can get distracting. But once you get to the important stuff and get into the story the distraction seems to go away. (Maybe depending on your level of exactitude; I suppose.)
What this story has going for it is a very strong character in Ruby. Ruby has super human abilities but she is fraught with a lot of flaws that get in the way. It's Ruby's struggle with the flaws and her awakening to the destructive path she on that creates a somewhat complex character. She's the kind of person who makes you want to slap her up the side of the head, if you weren't afraid she'd kill you.
Left to her own devices when she was thirteen Ruby was taken in by a family of a sort who also have special powers. They befriended her and taught her how to deal with and use those powers. The problem is that they taught her to become a criminal. Not just a thief but also a murderer. This is part of what has gotten her stuck in her situation with no easy way out. And she's beginning to want out.
The person who saved her (Tristan) and introduced her to this family of criminals is someone she fell in love with. But now Tristan has become an addict to the drug (rift) and has changed. Ruby knows she will never get the old Tristan back but she keeps hanging in there, that's just one of her flaws. In the same way she stays with the gang even as she begins to detest what she has to do. She's never really known any other life and it's difficult for her to cut the cords and start anew.
When she's ordered by Madison, her boss, to kill the street waif, Darcy, Ruby rebels and spares the young girl who reminds her of herself when she was alone and on the street. This and all of her other soul searching lead her to wonder what would have happened if she'd not fallen in with this gang and wondering how she can get out of these destructive relationships. It also compels her to want to protect Darcy from entering into a life like Ruby's.
Because of the more than a handful of grammar and punctuation problems I would downgrade this to a 4.5 but there was so much depth in Ruby's character that I'm going with the 5. As for the style choices made in the way the story was told, I'm leaning toward some of it being a deliberate though dangerous experiment with creating a bit of the atmosphere. I think in order to make their own judgement someone has to read this all the way through.
This is a good SFF and maybe I could list it potentially as Young Adult(mature).
It's not often lately that I find interesting quotes to take from my reading. I, for some reason, found this one compelling.
" Trying not to smoke is like attempting to avoid staring at a person without legs. "
Beddingfield, Jayme (2013-11-08). The Adventures of Miss Mind Shift (Emerald City Nights) (Kindle Location 1151). Sky Portal Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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