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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reality Shift 2: Filtration System by Jo Ramsey

I was extremely fortunate to be asked to review Filtration System, the second book in Jo Ramsey’s Reality Shift series. I say fortunate because I loved the first book—Connection—and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next to Shanna and Jonah.

I have to say that Ms. Ramsey’s second book is just as enthralling, just as amazing a story as the first.

The events in Filtration System take place a few weeks or so after Connection. Shanna and Jonah’s lives continue on mostly as before. But where Shanna previously had no friends—or at least didn’t think she had friends—Jonah is now firmly entrenched in the position. While it may appear that Shanna is the sole beneficiary of the relationship, Jonah too has found that having a friend adds something special. Even while he is able to put behind him the reactions of his fellow students and still feel good about himself, for Shanna this is a totally new experience. Things at school are pretty much the same for her, except that now she has someone there with whom she can talk and spend time, but the rest of her life is still awful. Things at home are no better and we can see from her low self-esteem just what the toll has been on her. Shanna’s relationship with Jonah is a major plus in her life especially with her overbearing, controlling and abusive mother and negligent father. My heart goes out to her; thank heavens for Jonah and his friendship.

Shanna is learning to trust Jonah even more than herself… although there have been some small improvements there as well. She knows what she needs to do and is willing to put up with the resultant pain. It’s freeing for her.

As soon as I started reading Filtration System I was thrilled to find that the first person point-of-view this time is Jonah’s! I liked him so much when we saw him from Shanna’s POV, but to know how he’s feeling and what he’s thinking just increases my respect for him a hundred-fold. He’s an old soul in the body of a 16 year old and, correspondingly, has a maturity far beyond most of his peers. He’s spiritual and solidly anchored in reality, even if his reality is different from most of the rest of the world.

The change in POV not only expands our knowledge of both Shanna and Jonah, but it also allows us a greater understanding of what all is going on around them: I found it utterly fascinating. Ms. Ramsey’s voice for each is as individual and unique as are Jonah and Shanna and I am very impressed at how clearly she is able to differentiate between them. She did a fantastic job on delineating their personalities.

I can easily envision what Jonah means when he’s talking to Shanna about energies, channeling and spirit guides. Do I believe? To misquote Shakespeare—there truly is more in heaven and earth than ever dreamed of—this says it all. And when it comes to the discussion of autism, Jo Ramsey speaks with the voice of experience. What she has to say and how she describes it echoes what I’ve learned. Her knowledge that those with autism cover such a wide range of abilities comes through loud and clear.

Filtration System is not a lighthearted story by any means: this is not only due to the aspect of possession and evil, but what is going on in Shanna’s life as well. It is a story that will make you feel and certainly make you think, and it may quite possibly open your mind to possibilities of things beyond what you know or think you know. The Reality Shift series could very well shift your idea of reality, or at least begin the journey.

Filtration System, while labeled a YA novel, is a stellar book for adults as well: Jo Ramsey takes us into high school and our pasts. She’s nailed the characters, the setting and the atmosphere. Not an easy place or time to be… but in this series she gives us all hope. If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy, Young Adult or just a riveting story that you won’t soon forget then I have a recommendation for you: Filtration System: Reality Shift 2 by Jo Ramsey is a winner in any category in which it’s placed and it’s a story that should, by all rights, become a YA classic.

Kathy K.


Description: Jonah Leighton never expected to have a close friend, especially one he met at his school, where he’s usually either picked on or ignored. A few weeks after meeting Shanna Bailey, he’s realized that she’s a kindred spirit. Intelligent, funny, and interested in the things he can teach her, Shanna is the first person with whom Jonah’s ever been comfortable sharing his knowledge.

However, Shanna’s frequent injuries cast a pall over their friendship. Jonah suspects that Shanna’s mother abuses her, but without proof, he can’t do anything. And his concerns about Shanna take a back seat when he becomes aware of a threat to our universe: An entity from another reality wants to cross over into ours, and the resulting energetic backwash will vaporize our world.

Genre: Young Adult, Metaphysical / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Jupiter Gardens


* * Originally published on Reviews at Ebook Addict

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