It is difficult for me to be objective about Elizabeth Hunter's books. I am not a huge fan of her primary genre - sci-fi fantasy. But the genre is t..Show More »he last thing I am thinking about when I am buried in the midst of one of her books. I can become so engrossed and wrapped up in them, it is difficult for me to point to the one thing that sets her books apart. Her characters are always well developed and sympathetic (even the bad guys), her plot is logically laid out, but not overly predictable, her prose flows smoothly and her books are always well-edited.
Shifting Dreams was no exception. I read this in ebook format several months ago, before it became available on Audible. I was so impressed with her Elemental World series I wanted to read everything she had ever written. I liked it so much the first time I was eager to listen to it as soon as the audiobook was available. The plot revolves around a quirky little southwestern town with a "magical" spring - drinking from it gives some people and their offspring the ability to shape-shift. Rather than focusing on the mechanics of how that actually works, she focuses on the inter-relationships in a town that is full of eccentric and unique characters, with the least of their eccentricities being the ability to shift into another creature. And by allowing her characters to shift into several different species, many of which don't co-exist well in the wild, she adds another layer of complexity to the inter-relationship difficulties. She doesn't capitalize on this aspect too much in the first book, but seems to be laying a foundation.
The characters at the center of the story are sympathetic, each coming to the relationship slightly damaged with considerable baggage. The kids weren't too cute or too annoying, but seemed pretty realistic - at least as realistic as the plot would allow.
The narrator did a good job. My only criticism is that she wasn't Dina Pearlman. Just like the voice of Molly Harper will always be Amanda Ronconi to my ears, Elizabeth Hunter now speaks to me in Dina Pearlman's voice.
There are a couple of ebook novellas that provide some background to the series that I recommend reading. If they become audiobooks, I will reread them. The sequel to Shifting Dreams is now out in ebook format. I am going to try to wait until it is in audio format to listen to it.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, as well as the novellas. I believe Ms. Hunter is an extremely talented author. Desert Bound was not a bad b..Show More »ook and was eminently readable. If written by someone else I might have rated it higher. However, I felt that she wasn't terribly committed to this plot. After the years of tension, hurt feelings, anger, frustration and regret between the two main characters, their differences seemed fairly insurmountable. Then they reunited so abruptly it seemed almost anti-climactic. And while her books are usually chock full of characters, that works because she either proves their value to the story by the end of the book or makes it clear she is setting a character up in this book that will reoccur in future story lines with a purpose. I felt like there were superfluous characters in this book, involved in fairly heavy scenes and then disappearing without any idea of why they were included.
Again, enjoyable book and definitely worth reading if you liked the first book in the series. I recommend you read the first book in the series and the novellas before reading this book. Just not up to her best efforts