Toronto author Meaghan McIsaac sets her novel in a near-future dystopia in which the world is dying as a result of pollution and overpopulation. The story centres around a boy named Pat. A “Mover,” Pat is psychically connected to another human – his “Shadow” – who lives in a future that is even more dire than Pat’s reality.
Movers have the ability to bring their Shadows to their own place and time, a practice that has been outlawed due to the growing scarcity of resources. The resulting tension between Movers and “Nowbies” (non-Movers), results in the creation of the Bureau of Movement Activity Control, which prevents Movers from importing their Shadows through a complex monitoring system.
When Pat was young, BMAC arrested his father for moving his Shadow to the present, leaving Pat and his little sister, Maggie – also a Mover – living alone with their Nowbie mother. Their lives are disrupted again when Pat gets mixed up with another Mover who is on the run from BMAC, and Pat is pulled into a dangerous adventure that threatens the lives of everyone he cares about.
In Movers, McIsaac creates a stunningly original cosmography, and she skilfully manages the complications that come with time travel, cleaning up loose ends and juggling the butterfly effect with a deft hand. As a protagonist, Pat is vivid and realistic. His internal struggles and growing connection with his Shadow lend believability to the story’s setting and central conceit. Though the secondary characters aren’t quite as well developed, their unique features will give McIsaac plenty to work with in the expected sequel.