Middle Grade Reviews · Young Adult Reviews

Review: Movers by Meaghan McIssac



Hexall Hall? I know it from what I’ve seen on the news sometimes and hear when people talk. It’s a place hidden in the old part of the city – the part that the city dump has started encroaching on. The people who lived there abandoned it when the smell got too bad. But a lot of people who didn’t mind the smell started moving in.

People like criminal Movers.

Immigrant Shadows.

(Movers by Meaghan McIssac. P36.)

The year is 2083. Certain people can move people from other time periods into the present. Every mover has a shadow, a person in the future who they share a special connection with. Phase 1 movers can feel their shadow’s presence. Phase 3 movers can pull their shadows into the present.

The Government doesn’t want people coming from the future. There are just about enough resources for people in the present.

Action-packed dystopia which explores current issues such as immigration, the far right and the influence parents have on their child’s political views.


A short book which raises some big issues. Like all good dystopia novels, Movers takes present-day issues and uses them to show us what the future might look like if we don’t change the present. The depictions of anti-immigration groups and far-right splinters was a little too close for comfort. I love how these issues have been explored through time-travel. Showing attitudes to immigration via science fiction puts it at one remove from our own world, allowing the reader space to form their own views.

I also liked the exploration of family, and how we adopt or reject our guardians’ political views. The contrast between Gabby’s family and Pat’s brings this theme to life. (I can’t say any more because I don’t want huge spoilers.) Trust me – Pat got lucky. His mother’s stance on movement is in line with his own. If you were interested in Percy Weasley’s story (a discussion which came up at Northern YA Festival) you might find this theme interesting.

Family is central to the story. How much would you do to protect your family from corrupt laws? Pat is faced with the possibility that he might lose his mother to BMAC. All she has ever wanted is for her children to grow up safely. Should Pat try to save her?

The one difficulty I had with this novel was the high usage of world-specific terms. Movement, shadows, shelving, droidlets, pungits and FILES all have to be explained. I totally get that these things also contributed to the unique setting, and to the plot, but at times it felt like I had to build an understanding of those terms before I could focus on the plot.

The ending is explosive. I’m looking forward to sequel Shadows, which goes forward in time and explores how the events of Movers shape the future.


Thanks to Andersen Press for my copy of Movers. Opinions my own. 

Louise Nettleton. 

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