Julie E. Czerneda is a biologist and writer whose science fiction has received international acclaim, awards, and best-selling status. She is the author of the popular "Species Imperative" trilogy, the "Web Shifters" series, the "Trade Pact Universe" trilogy and her new "Stratification" novels. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her stand-alone novel, In the Company of Others, won Canada's Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished SF. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do. You can find her at www.czerneda.com.
Hidden in Sight (The Webshifters # 3)by Julie E. Czerneda
Julie E. Czerneda's acclaimed Web Shifters series continues with the story of Esen-the last survivor of a unique alien race. Able to take on the form of any creature she observes, Esen has long since broken the cardinal rule of her species: noninterference. See more details below
Julie E. Czerneda's acclaimed Web Shifters series continues with the story of Esen-the last survivor of a unique alien race. Able to take on the form of any creature she observes, Esen has long since broken the cardinal rule of her species: noninterference.
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Hidden In Sight, by Julie E. Czerneda, is the third book in her Web Shifters¿ series. As with any book that is third in a series there is a certain amount of back-story and retrospective information that you need in order to understand what is going on. In Hidden that information is skillfully woven into the story throughout the beginning of the book. As she gives her characters depth and defines their interlocking relationships, Julie E. Czerneda slowly and gently leads the unsuspecting reader toward a plot cliff, then ruthlessly throws them off as they go on an intense journey through plot and counter plot, danger and complex intrigue. Like food items, the characters in the book are drawn from the safety of the pantry, thrown into the pan, and then dumped on the fire as they are hit with one misfortune after another. In the beginning of the book, shape shifter Esen-alit-Quar and her Human ¿Web¿ are ruthlessly attacked. As an unknown enemy drives Esen and her main companion, Human Paul Ragem, into hiding, their situation forces them to become isolated from their organization. One of the costs of assuming another species¿ shape is that Esen is also bound by its limitations. Her reactions to those limits are sometimes amusing and educational, and sometimes problematic since, as the youngest of the former ¿Web of Ersh,¿ her relative lack of age is also reflected in any species she assumes. Although third in the series, Hidden In Sight has the capacity to stand alone. Between the covers of this book is a complete story that will not leave you wondering who the characters are, nor what they are doing. This book is also one of the few I¿ve read lately that encourages the imagination and puts the sense of wonder back into the genre of Science Fiction. On one of the planets they visit, mass transportation is a ¿Busfish,¿ a huge fish that has been trained to ferry people from one place to another on seats temporarily installed in its mouth. But, lest you get too complacent, it remains possible for the passengers to become semi-permanent residents of the Busfish¿s alimentary system! You¿ll want to hold on to your seats and pay close attention as the Busfish heads for the deeps! Like a series of cascading waterfalls, the end of the book provided successive emotional shocks that left me with a deep sense of the rightness of the ending. I found Hidden In Sight to be a satisfying read. You¿ll also find good advice to live by in this book. My favorite line was, ¿Less fudge and more time running.¿ Even if the rest of the book were not as good as it is, this advice alone would be worth the purchase price.
Humanity has colonized the stars and co-exists with many special humanoids as well as other sentient races but no species will tolerate the existence of a Web-being. They are near immortal shape-shifters that can eat intelligent life and turn living matter into more of their own essence. A mindless Web-being called Death destroyed a whole world and many of the inhabitants on it. Essen, the only Web-being in the vicinity of Minos XII, is a gentle, caring soul whose web was destroyed by Death. She and her human, Paul Cameron have made a life for themselves on Minos XII, working in exports until a friend finds out Essen¿s true nature and tries to kill them. They escape to a waterworld planet where they learn Skalen, the only surviving member of Essen¿s former web, has out-maneuvered them. She makes her presence known because she needs them to go with her to Picco¿s Moon, the place where they were born to avert an interstellar war and so that the two-web beings can settle their differences once and for all. Essen is one of the most unique and refreshing sentient beings ever created by an author and it is easy to see why readers will cherish her. After six centuries of life, she is still an innocent who reveres life and regrets that people can¿t see past the surface of what she is. Pail is the one person who cares for her, as she is, a man who understands her nature and still cares deeply for her. They have a relationship that can only be severed by death. Their adventures together make for a strong outer space science fiction tale. Harriet Klausner