THE SHAPE STEALER by Lee Carroll

THE SHAPE STEALER

KIRKUS REVIEW

Third entry in Carroll's urban fantasy series, following the somnambulistic The Watchtower (2011).

This time, the pace picks up to a frantic pitch, with so much going on it’s hard to follow, let alone become involved. First-person narrator and Watchtower Garet James, heir to a sort of anti-evil witch coven, succeeded in bringing her love, poet Will Hughes, from 17th-century London to 21st-century Paris. Unfortunately, he’s the wrong version—she really wanted the charismatic vampire that young Will, 400 years later, will become. However, we soon learn, through numerous omniscient narrative threads, that elder Will is also around, having become de-vampired, and now is a well-known and highly proficient currency trader. But with both Wills in the world at the same time, elder Will’s losing his immunity to the sun, while young Will’s in danger of becoming destabilized in time. Throw in some fairies, Johannes Kepler (don’t ask), the Institut Chronologique—whose Knights Temporal can travel through time and whose mission is to preserve the current timeline—and bad guys ranging from evil sorcerer John Dee and his boss, the monstrous vampire and Babylonian ex-god Marduk, to the Malefactors, time travelers intent on changing things around to suit themselves. You can imagine the size and shape of the plot necessary to accommodate all this, let alone the effort needed to determine if it adds up. Swaggering, pill-popping Marduk, twanging his fangs and twirling his mustachio (well, figuratively, anyway), would have been a star on the vaudeville stage. Instead of poetry, we’re served limp doggerel.

More and more scattershot, as memories of the firmly grounded, tightly knit, charming series opener recede into the murk.

Pub Date: March 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2599-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2013




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