Changeling
by Yasmine Galenorn
(Berkley, 6.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-425-21629-3
****
Book two of Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld series starts off just as vividly as the first, Witchling, ended.  Despite the misnomer - the three D’Artigo sisters are from the Otherworld, but living and operating in the human world now - the series is action-packed, emotional, colorful, and Galenorn has proven with this book that they are fluid.  The seamless transition from Witchling to Changeling does mean that the books are best read in order, but they are well worth the time.

Camille, Delilah, and Menolly D’Artigo are half-Faerie, half-human, and each of the three has a different supernatural makeup.  Camille is a witch with somewhat unpredictable powers.  Delilah is a shape shifter who changes into a tabby cat - more often than not when she’s stressed instead of by design.  The youngest, Menolly, was turned into a vampire.  The sisters did work for an inter-world agency aided by Delilah’s new boyfriend, Chase.  However, due to civil war in their homeland, the agency has been dissolved and those who had worked for it branded traitors.  Despite the fact that their own father’s life is in danger from their queen, the three women remain on the human side in the hopes of protecting the portals that allow evil things into this world.

In the previous book, Witchling, the sisters, who had just begun their jobs, battled a demon they call Bad-Ass Luke. In this installment, a werepuma named Zachary Lyonnesse approaches Delilah - whose day job is as a private investigator - about looking into several deaths in the pride he leads.  Delilah, who has not only been looked down on by larger cats but also by other weres because she is neither, hesitates to accept the job.

 When she brings her sisters in on it, and they’re treated even worse by the pumas than she has been, Delilah begins to regret her decision. However, a little investigating brings the girls to realize the pumas and the D’Artigos are battling the same enemy - the one who sent Bad-Ass Luke, and one they’re not sure they can defeat, even together.

Galenorn has a talent for building characters.  Just from Witchling to Changeling, one can see the growth in not only Delilah, Camille, and Menolly, but in their cohorts: boyfriends, lovers, friends, groupies.  Witchling was more entertaining, but Changeling brings a little more of the women’s pasts into play to give the reader a better understanding of their present situation.  This book, obviously, focuses on Delilah as the first did on Camille. Delilah is the sweetest of the three sisters, and it is fun to watch her conflicting reactions when her first response is laid-back under normal circumstances.  In this book, it seems like all three are much less concerned with how they are appearing to the humans, and doing more to embrace their supernatural sides.  There are some rather unexpected and fascinating romantic twists as well; for one, Camille bargains for help by offering herself for one night with a dragon.  Delilah, who is truly attached to her boyfriend, Chase, is strongly tempted by the werepuma leader, Zachary.

And Menolly finds herself dating a woman’s worst nightmare: a very nice man with a very short umbilical cord attached to a battleaxe.

If the story had moved along a little more quickly or perhaps gone a little more in-depth with its villains, this would have been a five-star book; although I did not review Witchling, I know it would have been for me.  And if that isn't enough of a reason to read them, Darkling, a book about Menolly, is debuting soon, and one should read Witchling and Changeling first.

--Sarrah Knight


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