Chris Beckett

Charles is an immigration officer with a difference: the migrants he deals with don’t come from other countries but from other universes. Known as shifters, they materialize from parallel timelines, bringing with them a mysterious drug called slip which breaks down the boundary between what is and what might have been, and offers the desperate and the dispossessed the tantalizing possibility of escape.

When a shifter-led gang commits murder in the name of the old Norse pantheon and then uses slip to escape justice, Charles and his girlfriend Jaz decide to cross to another universe themselves in a bid to confront the problem at source and prevent their own society from degenerating into tyranny.

But is that Charles’ real motive? Or does he have other reasons which even he can’t clearly see?

Marcher book cover

“When people were happy time didn’t matter. You could almost define happiness that way. It was when things were hard that people needed the faith that tied one minute to the next, like one of those human chains that rescuers make to get people out of floods or burning buildings. And shifters broke that faith.”

I really got into this. The atmosphere was greatly British, the concept novel, the whole mirror thing very neat and meaningful and the congruity of disenfranchised youth versus a welfare state corrupted beyond measure was totally gripping. Also, the quote above on faith; I suppose time is the one constant even the most ardent curmudgeonly atheist, or indeed even an equally scientifically-minded apatheist, would not deny.

Sadly, the end of the story totally let the work down, I think; unless there are further happenings to read about there wasn’t really a satisfactory denouement to get ones teeth into and the ending fell a little flat as a consequence. Still, I totally enjoyed the majority of the book.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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