The Pace by Shelena Shorts


The Pace by Shelena Shorts: Read in October, 2009, copy purchased for the library.  Full disclosure: Shelena Shorts and I work together.

Description from Good Reads:

Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time.

Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.

Immortality has become a popular topic in YA lit (is it big beyond it right now? not sure) and Shelena Shorts approaches it from a new direction in The Pace.  Many of the current trends are solidly fantasy (fallen angels, vampires) but The Pace goes more sci-fi with the reason Weston is immortal.  It is an interesting and original twist (I won’t reveal it here) and I look forward to seeing if the details are delved into more in the sequel.

The book has a small cast of characters, which allows the reader to focus on the two main ones.  I liked Sophie a lot; she independent.  She attends school on-line – I love the use of an alternative method of education without there needing to be something bad that pushed her there like juvenile delinquency or something shameful.  Her reasoning for going is that she is tired of starting over in different schools since she and her mom move a lot, and it is logical and tells the reader something about the character.  I did wish she had a little more interaction with other teens, though.  She makes one friend but it is a minor character.  I would have liked to see other characters to provide other sides of Sophie or even Wes, and possibly some comic relief.

I didn’t like Wes as much as I liked Sophie.  It’s not that I didn’t like him, he was just a little more bland.  He’s had time and money to develop interests, such as race cars, but I never felt a true passion for any of it.  He’s a nice guy, and gorgeous, but there isn’t anything much that has stuck with me that makes him unique.  I’m hoping we see a little more of him in the sequel.

The story moves at different speeds throughout the book.  There were a few times it did get a little slow, but then it would pick up speed, particularly when dealing with the mystery behind Wes.  I really liked reading the parts that were flashbacks and diary entries.  The ending is unpredictable, and I haven’t made up my mind yet whether it’s a good thing because it comes out of no where, or if that is what weakens it.

Overall, The Pace is a fun read.  I would recommend it specifically to fans of Twilight, although I think it has broad appeal with the sci-fi twist.  I know Shelena Shorts is herself a big Twilight fan, and there are quiet echos of it in The Pace that other Twilight fans will appreciate.  She is currently finishing the follow-up, called The Broken Lake, and I look forward to seeing where she takes the story!


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Filed under review, young adult lit

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