Julie E. Czerneda,
Hidden in Sight
(DAW, 2003)

Julie E. Czerneda launches web being Esen and her Human companion Paul on the adventure of their lives in Hidden in Sight.

Esen, known as Esolesy-ki in her form as a Lishcyn, and Paul, going by the name of Paul Cameron, have had a generally quiet and productive 50 years running their business Cameron & Ki. Then Esen gets some disturbing news: someone is mining her home world of Picco's moon, specifically the mountain in which Esen's web kin Ersh entombed herself. Esen and Paul are about to start for Picco's Moon when events transpire to change their plans -- and their lives.

Harried by an unknown adversary who destroys both their home and their business, Esen and Paul are on the run again. Their friends are now their enemies, they find allies in unlikely places and the whole mess seems to stem from a mysterious event over 300 years in Esen's past.

From an underwater resort in the depths of the sea to the orange sun of Picco's Monn, Czerneda keeps the pace rocketing along. The writing crackles with energy and verve. Czerneda is one of the liveliest writers I have ever encountered, and the quality of her writing is consistently high. Her characters are splendid, from Esen to the Ganthor Matriarch. Esen is -- thus far -- my favorite of all of Czerneda's heroines, possessing many qualities I admire: feistiness, a good sense of humor and a whole lot of curiosity. Her interplay with Paul is priceless, no matter her current shape. The other characters are also well drawn and credible, especially Kearns, the researcher bound and determined to catch and destroy the "Esen Monster" and who undergoes an interesting transformation.

It appears the Hidden in Sight wraps up Esen's story, and as much as I adore the character, I think it takes a rare and courageous writer to know when to say "enough." Hidden in Sight is a grand read, packed with action, adventure and a marvelous range of alien species. If you haven't already, be sure to read the first two books, Beholder's Eye and Changing Vision; while the third book can stand alone, the reading experience is greatly enhanced if you have read the earlier titles.

And now I eagerly await whatever Czerneda comes up with next!

- Rambles
written by Donna Scanlon
published 14 June 2003

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