cover image Still Life with Shape-Shifter

Still Life with Shape-Shifter

Sharon Shinn. Ace, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-25681-7

Shinn returns to the alternate present-day setting of The Shape of Desire with a triumphant tale of love and loss. Melanie Landon has been protecting her half-sister, Ann, since they were children. When reporter Brody Westerbrook shows up at Melanie’s door asking whether Ann is a shape-shifter, Melanie is terrified of what might happen if Ann’s secret comes out. Carefree Ann can’t be bothered to worry about either the reporter or her deteriorating health, leaving Melanie with enough concerns for both of them. The everyday relationships—the love shared by siblings, friends, and romantic partners—shine with even more wonder than the magic. While Melanie and Brody’s romance is a touch unconvincing, Melanie’s relationship with Ann is utterly compelling, and the secondary story of a lonely young woman who pursues a cure for shape-shifting to save the man she loves becomes a delightful counterpoint to the primary story. This series is not to be missed. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Nov.)