In Changeling, Yasmine Galenorn avoids the thing that annoyed me most in Witchling; namely, the infodumping. Having set the scene in Witchling, Galenorn is free to spend most of Changeling on plot and character development. There is some exposition, but it didn’t strike me as excessive. It was just the right amount to get me caught up after two years’ absence from Galenorn’s universe.
Changeling is written from the point of view of Delilah D’Artigo, a sister of Witchling’s heroine. When sexy werepuma Zachary Lyonnesse walks into Delilah’s life, he brings two problems with him: a murder mystery, and second thoughts about her relationship with her boyfriend Chase. (Also, Chase’s bizarre change of heart in Witchling is explained in Changeling.)
Galenorn, as I already knew from her other writings, has a strong love of nature and knows the Pacific Northwest like the back of her hand. I give her a lot of credit for populating her universe with werecreatures who are plausible for the Seattle area. Other urban fantasies often have weres that seem unrealistic for the habitat in which the books are set. I also love some of the language that flows from Galenorn’s pen when she describes nature and the seasons:
As he spoke, his words seemed to weave a tapestry of music around us. I could hear the thundering of dark clouds as they raced across fields and forests. The swirl of snow grew thick, coiling around us like a whirlwind of white dancers desperate for one last kiss before they melted into oblivion.
Other aspects I enjoyed were a hilarious slapstick scene involving Delilah and some shiny objects, and tantalizing glimpses of Menolly’s character. I don’t think it’ll be two years before I get around to reading Darkling.
That said, Changeling is not perfect. Galenorn still gives her baddies horribly cheesy names. The romance plot fell a little flat for me; I guess I didn’t like either of Delilah’s guys as much as she did. Two major “power-ups” for Delilah in one book seemed excessive. And I don’t know that this is a book that’ll stick in my memory permanently. It’s good fun, though, if you like urban fantasy with a prominent romance plot.
Sisters of the Moon (Otherworld) — (2006- ) Publisher: Meet the D’Artigo sisters: half-human, half-faerie, they’re savvy — and sexy — operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But their mixed-blood heritage short-circuits their talents at all the wrong times. Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still trying to get the hang of being undead. And Camille is a wicked-good witch, except her magic’s as unpredictable as the weather, as her enemies are about to find out — the hard way.