Beholder’s Eye (Web Shifters, #1)

By Julie E. Czerneda

Rating: 3 stars

Esen-alit-Quar is the youngest member of the Web of Ersh, a shapeshifter who will live for eons, and whose goal is to remember the civilisations and species that will intersect her path in that time. She’s sent on her first solo mission which goes wrong, and she finds herself on the run, yet also drawn into another Web, one of friendship.

I did enjoy this book, but I’m afraid it didn’t grip me enough to make me want to seek out the sequels. I can’t quite pin down what made me go ‘meh’ about it, though. Esen is a likeable protagonist, and Paul also a decent person and fleshed out well enough to be a good character. They get into a number of scrapes and Esen’s shapeshifting abilities are well-defined, as is the mystery behind the Web. Perhaps it’s the antagonist, which, because of its very nature, could never really be much of a character, but I’d have liked to have seen more about it, and perhaps from its point of view. On the other hand, maybe I should just chalk this one down to not being in the right mood when I read it.

The universe is definitely wide in scope and is worthy of exploring further. The human Confederation, the Fringe, not to mention Paul’s old crew are all interesting in their own right. Hmm, maybe I’ve just talked myself into looking out for the sequels after all?

Book details

ISBN: 9780886778187
Publisher: DAW Books
Year of publication: 1998

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