This is the book I've been dreading writing the review for. In fact,
I've written three other reviews while putting off finishing this
book. And in the end? I couldn't do it. Ms. Galenorn's "Changeling"
joins Mr. Forbeck's devastatingly bad "Blood Bowl" in the dubious
honor of being reviewed without being entirely read.
What's this, you say? How could I make it through the entirety of
"Stealth Planet," a book so badly written that I had to give it the
finger to continue reading, yet be unable to finish this book? In
truth, "Changeling" is nowhere near as bad as "Stealth Planet." And
that, dear reader, is the heart of the problem.
"Stealth Planet," like a bloody car crash, was hard to tear one's eyes
away from. "Changeling," on the other hand, was more like being stuck
in a traffic jam for hours, unmoving, next to a billboard advertising
a strip club. Every once in a while, you lurch forward a few feet,
but then everything stops again and you're sitting there, wishing
desperately that you could be somewhere else. But there you are,
staring up at this hideous looming image of something that's supposed
to be sexy, but ends up just being tacky and a little bit queasy.
Ms. Galenorn's story was like that. Lots of things happen---in fact,
a whole herd of extruded standard-grade urban fantasy plot points come
galloping at you, yet they're so unimaginative that it's as though
nothing is happening at all.
As one reads it, the plot cliches just keep on coming, mixed
indiscriminately with bad romance novel prose and gender stereotypes:
somewhere out there is a "Degath Team" of horrible demons who are
looking for N seals that can bring about the end of the world, and the
normal guardians can't do anything about it so everything is up to our
plucky team of three misfits and the half-dozen or so gorgeous
boy-toys that are attached to them and their incredible half-Fae
sex-drives, and there's were-spiders who are horrible corruptions of
everything noble about beast-people, and they're menacing the noble
tribe of puma shape-shifters over by Mt. Ranier, whose representative
makes Our Heroine melt into a lustful puddle of cat lust over the
musky musk that his manliness emits, thereby causing her to angst
about how she wants to screw his brains out even though she's getting
a steady diet of awesome sex already from her hunky boyfriend,
Mr. Detective, whose skills are of course needed on the case so that
she ends up often sitting in the same room as both of them, watching
them growl territorially over her while angsting about the fact that
her incredible half-Fae sex drive means that she can barely keep from
tearing their clothes off, and besides that there's these other
super-powerful beings that can take on the form of gorgeous human men
that she and her sisters will have to have sex with if they want to
save the world. Oh, and don't forget about shopping!
It really is that bad. Like I said, I couldn't finish it. I got just
over halfway through and quit. I guess I'll never find out how many
sex scenes it takes to save the world. What a pity. Don't read this
book unless you've finished all your Laurell K. Hamilton and haven't
yet satisfied your need for were-critter porn.