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Brought to you by the same folks who gave you ANOMALY, SHIFTER is a roaring adventure tale. It looks and feels a lot like a video game, and that’s by design. The book is also interactive: a free app lets readers make 3D elements of the book come alive on their devices.

SHIFTER follows an everyman named Noah Freeman, who goes off for a peaceful hike the weekend before his wedding and ends up nearly being killed by government operatives. In his escape, he stumbles upon a cave containing a bubble-like machine that heals his injuries and then gives him the remarkable ability to shift into the existence of any of the various “surrogates” created for him…animals, insects, and even a human-like woman. It’s all a bit overwhelming, but Freeman takes to it rather quickly, which is good, because soon he’s caught up in a mystery (beginning with why people wanted to kill him).

The story is not all that original, but it’s also not the point. This is more of an all-around experience, of which the story is just one component. The artwork, composed by four illustrators, is computer-generated, which fits the tone for a book like SHIFTER. Even if it’s not as warm and inviting as tradition comic artwork, it’s still gorgeous and lush.

Despite seeming like a gimmick at first blush, SHIFTER is actually quite a bit of fun to read and explore. Where ANOMALY got off track a bit and felt cold and even a little offputting, SHIFTER is much more engaging. 

Reviewed by John Hogan on December 10, 2013

by Brian Haberlin, Skip Brittenham, Brian Holguin, Geirrod VanDyke, Kunrong Yap, and Chan Hyuk Lee

  • Publication Date: October 8, 2013
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Anomaly Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0985334215
  • ISBN-13: 9780985334215