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Turnskin Paperback – March 1, 2008
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The unique aspect of the shifter transformation as well as the solid world building deliver a great story that is appealing and fun to read. Three Dollar Bill Reviews
The story is inventive with plenty of twists and turns, the characters are colorful and complex, and the mythology is well developed and intricate. Matthew, Rainbow Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting is exotic and realistic, the fantasy elements blending easily with the mundane -- rickshaw drivers compete with cars for the roads, tourists gawk at shape-shifting prostitutes and gossip about which film stars are Shifters. It feels like a real place, and the characters that inhabit it are subtle, diverse and fun. (I loved Tom's cousins and their run down theater with velvet seats and falling plaster).
Of course Cloud, the sexy, dangerous boyfriend steals the show, still it was Tom, with his blend of vulnerability and determination, who made me feel for him so much that by the end I was quietly cheering as he faced down crooked cops and theater critics alike. Go Tom!
The writer has created a fascinating world occupied by Shifters (shapeshifters who are not animals but they do have different coloured fur or hair and some with muzzles) and Skins (humans since they are practically hairless by comparison). The Skins are the higher order specie, most treating the Shifters with comtempt. But that does not prevent the Skins from hiring the Shifters as impersonators, a very original concept in the story indeed.
Both main and side characters are lively, refreshing and well flushed out, each one distinct and fun. Tom is a very likable hero, as this small town half breed (born of a shifter mother and a human father) conquers obstacles and fights for his dream and lover in the big city. You just want this vulnerable, decent but brave character to succeed. Cloud Coldmoon, a Shifter from a "Mafia" Shifter family, is the dangerous but sexy boyfriend, providing twists and turns throughout the story.
Then there are all those charming side characters. Tom's three delightful cousins who take the naive Tom under their wings, Tom's protective female friend, Angela, in the early chapters, Cloud's tough brother, Seven, and the Skins from the threatre world, just to name a few.
The plot is very original, well paced, with exciting and romantic moments as we follow young Tom's adventures. The writer's prose is most engrossing and charming. And you just have to be captivated by all the impersonations and shiftings.
This is the second release from the same publisher of "Wicked Gentlemen". Turnskin is unique and a real charmer. Excellent!
The writing is tight, especially for the world building. Kimberling masterfully uses small details to create a familiar, but also very different world. Tom can't go to the city without transportation papers. He's denied the papers because he has no "urban skills." These two facts speak volumes about this world without using a lot of words, and subsequently made for a fast-paced story. There is just enough description to bring everything to life without an awkward info dump. However, the characterization is not as strong as the world-building. Tom is a bit cliché (naïve country boy lost in the big city), and Cloud is never fully developed beyond the master-class impersonator/gangster. This was an issue since their romance underlies the entire story: the sex scenes are the fade-to-black variety, and Tom didn't spend enough time with Cloud otherwise to build the true love they are supposed to have. That is not to say I didn't like them. I did. They just needed a little more fleshing out to make them real. The supporting cast was livelier. Tom's cousins are interesting, and provide a good balance to the romance.
Overall, though I don't think this novel has the depth of Astrid Amara's The Archer's Heart, it was well-written and engaging. I would be very happy to return to this world for a sequel, or just another story. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really loved this book! The fantasy world was really unique and the shifter vs. skin culture was so interesting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cassandra Lane
Clearly, urban fantasy, especially involving extra-normal characters, isn't for everybody. But if you are this way inclined, Nicole Kimberling is a treat indeed. Read morePublished on August 15, 2013 by Amazon Customer
It is the second time I've read this book and it is as entertaining as before.
I just love the characters. The whole book is totally involving. On my list of best books
I postponed writing a review, but the more I think about this book, the more I like it. It's a story that I know I'll want to re-read in its entirety very soon. Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Emanuela PlasticDuck
There had been no fanfare, no buzz, no slew of recs to prepare me for this novel . It's not on the Amazon rankings anywhere, not on any "best evah" lists, nor were there... Read morePublished on July 3, 2011 by vedi
I'm a fan of Blind Eye Books publisher and have slowly been making my way through the small backlist (6 books, not too long but I'm spreading them out). Read morePublished on June 15, 2010 by Kassa
I really can't say enough about this book. What a fantastic and intelligent novel. Of course, the story is wonderful but the underlying essence of what the author is trying to show... Read morePublished on March 26, 2010 by Paulina M.
Set in an alternate universe that has some similarities to our contemporary world, young Tom Fletcher is a Shifter, someone who can change their form entirely, who lives among... Read morePublished on September 11, 2009 by April