Turnskin by N. Kimberling

I received Turnskin from a friend of mine and was looking forward to an interesting diversion.

Raised in a remote farming community, Tom Fletcher knows little of his Shifter heritage and less about the dangerous lives that other Shifters lead in the city of Riverside. For Tom the big city is a daydream of opening nights and bright theatre lights. But when Tom meets Cloud Coldmoon-the infamous and handsome heir to a criminal syndicate-everything changes. Suddenly suspected of murder, Tom must flee to the only city where his kind are common. Filled with shapeshifters, con men and mobsters and ruled by the vengeful Coldmoon Family, Riverside is as perilous as it is alluring. Tom seeks refuge in the Turnskin Theatre, where his shape-changing skills can be put to good use on, and off, the stage. Here he has a chance to fulfill his dreams of stardom and romance, but only if he can stay one step ahead of the police and criminals alike- otherwise the next shape he takes could be his last.

The pitch for Turnskin made this book sound like it would be an interesting read. I enjoy reading good science fiction and romance novels, and I was intrigued with the idea of shape shifters intermingling with human society. However, after laboriously attempting to get through the story, I found myself disappointed.

Most stories pull you in within the first ten pages, unfortunately this one failed to capture my interest. I found myself continually putting the book down. The dialog was bland, and the characters never held my interest. The hero, Tom, was the only character that really developed any semblance of growth as the story progressed.

There were moments where the narrative started to take off and develop, only to be brought to a crashing halt by over-used, poorly-placed sexual situations. On several occasions, it seemed like I was reading a cheap romance novel, where lack of an interesting story is hidden behind over-emphasized eroticism. The fact that the Shifters were basically oversized Care Bears only served to provoke a laughable scenario every time the story switched into “romance mode,” which was much too often.

The ending was disappointing in its own right. The total lack of character development of the protagonist Seven, and the hurried resolution of the main problems with which Tom was faced, left the novel lacking and the reader unsatisfied.

Overall, I would not recommend this book, as it is just not my style.  However, if you’re willing to try something a little different, then you might want to check it out at the library, but I wouldn’t rush out to do that.

1 Comment

  1. I usually go for books with a difference, intriguing plot line & realistic characters. Here, the synopsis seems deceiving. Thanks for the review, I’ll keep this in mind if I ever come across this author.

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