Beholder's Eye

Beholder's Eye

by Julie E. Czerneda


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United in their natural form they are one, sharing all their memories, experiences, and lives. Apart they are six, the only existing members of their ancient race, a species with the ability to assume any form once they understand its essence.

Their continued survival in a universe filled with races ready to destroy anyone perceived as different is based on the Rules. And first among those Rules is: Never reveal your true nature to another being. But when the youngest among them, Esen-alit-Quar, receives her first independent assignment to a world considered safe to explore, she stumbles into a trap no one could have anticipated.

Her only means of escape lies in violating the First Rule. She reveals herself to a fellow captive―a human being/ While this mistake might not ordinarily prove fatal, the timing of the event could not be worse. For something new has finally made its way into the Universe, the Enemy of the Web, bringer of death to all forms of life. And the hunt it about to begin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756413514
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Series: Web Shifters Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

Out There

Excerpted from "Beholder's Eye"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Julie E. Czerneda.
Excerpted by permission of DAW.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

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Beholder's Eye (Web Shifters Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Czerneda took great pains to build believable, likable, engaging characters. Once you are involved with Esen and Paul it is hard to put the book down. Every page engages your imagination and love of a good story. As the first in a series it is also a strong stand alone story. Looking forward to the next installment. I hope you enjoy it to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
slothman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Czerneda does an excellent job of crafting numerous alien species and a secretive group of scholarly shapeshifters who can turn into any being they've studied. Esen-alit-Quar is a young shapeshifter on its first solo expedition who reveals her nature to a small group of humans-- just when a distant cousin that is all appetite awakens from dormancy on the fringe of settled space.
SimonW11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A trilogy by the dependable Ms Czerneda our youthful (500 yer old heroine finds that when you are a near -immortal shape shifting alien. Capable of devouring just about everything up to and including starships it pays to keep a low profile if you don't want people to get excited about you. Amusingly different aliens populate this book. And via the shapeshifter's perspective we get an insiders view of how they think.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Superb fun. One of the few takes on an alien being that really works in making them feel alien. With a particular bonus in the differentiation between traits innate to the species and more learned cultural behaviors, and a decent nod to correct physics and the laws of conservation. I do prefer book when the author has made a reasonable effort to get the things they invent, believably right.Our hero is a web/energy being, part of a direct family of four siblings spawned from one still existent 'mother'. Who has raised them over millenia to study the galaxy around them, and revere the life around them. They do this by 'cycling' from web form to any other life-form shape that they know. Part of each one's mission is to thoroughly know new forms and introduce them to the web of family members. Es is the youngest at only a few centuries old, and out on 'her' first mission to a newly discovered planet whose species doesn't yet have star travel. Es takes the form of a dog-like intelligent being, unknown on the planet, and behaves sufficiently dog-like that the natives don't notice. However when a Human survey party lands (there is a large Human commonwealth within the Galaxy, plus many other humanoid aliens) she is quickly recognised - but not as the web-based shapechanger who's existence is unknown to the wider Galaxy. The natives decide they don't want any aliens on their world, Es and Paul only just manage to escape, with Es being forced to reveal her alieness to Paul, who vows to keep it a secret. Meanwhile a darker danger is encroaching from 'Out There' and many wrecked and lifeless spaceships are being found. As the danger appears to be heading towards on of her sisters Es attempts to get a warning out, not without further raising the suspicions of the Humans.The first half of the book is probably the best with Es trying out various forms in different situations. None are fully described as Es knows them like her own skin, the reader being left to imagine the morphology from terse hints. This works very well indeed. Later on Es is trying not reveal her capabilities and is stuck more or less sin one form - a Ket. Still humanoid but biased much more towards a tactile approach than humanity, while this does have it's own amusements it is less fun than the initial shifting between forms. The dedication the author requires of the character to ensure they have sufficient mass for the new form, and the problem of excesses when cycling through the energy based form is noteworthy. All authors should follow this excellent example. At no point does it interrupt the narrative, but yet it is clearly something to be considered and not just hand-waved away - the only exception being the translight travel.I'm definitely going to look out for the sequels, although this did read perfectly well as a standalone novel. It is the author's 2nd published book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Czerneda's books. Makes one woner why so many humans feel we are the only intelligent life in this magnificent universe
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