Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Still Life with Shape-shifter

Still Life with Shape-shifter  by Sharon Shinn

Melanie has been keeping her half-sister Ann's secret since they were both young children:  Ann is a shape-shifter who periodically takes the shape of a white dog.  When investigative reporter Brody Westerbrook asks to interview them both, Melanie automatically refuses...but Ann does not.  Gradually, Brody's life becomes intertwined with the lives of the sisters, and gradually the secret is shared with a few more people.  But when Ann's poor health seems to be overwhelming her, they must reach out to the only stranger who might be able to help.

Gentle themes of love, loyalty, grief, and friendship draw readers deeply into the story. The first-person perspective changes narrators throughout the book, and at first the connection between characters is confusing, but the author carefully interweaves the tales so that by the final page, the story is completely cohesive and it all makes sense.

This book is written and marketed for adults, but teen readers fascinated by magic and non-traditional shapeshifters will enjoy the story. 

Minor cussing, minor violence (including some parental bullying) and off-page sexual situations.  This book is part two of a shape-shifter trilogy, but stands alone nicely.  Recommended for readers ages 14 to adult.

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