The six shape-changing members of the nearly immortal web-being Ersh's Web gather and assimilate data as a living repository of memory. Feared and hunted by almost all sentient beings across the galaxies, Ersh's Web is fractured and destroyed except for Skalet and Esen.

As Youngest from Ersh's Web, Esen is immature and impatient; however, she creates a new Esen's Web with her human friend Paul and continues to assimilate data. Together they build a shipping dynasty on the Fringe, hiding her nature while seeking others of her kind.

Skalet's non-web-being ambition to found a human Kraal House begins with theft and murder. The victim's family waits over 300 years for revenge. To escape from her fate, Skalet needs Ersh's secret of web-form travel through space—the secret only given to Esen—and Skalet kidnaps Paul to force Esen to share.

HIDDEN IN SIGHT is richly textured, frequently funny and much more complex than it first appears. Julie E. Czerneda takes her world-building seriously yet imbues her characters with a piquant otherness that is endearing. (Apr., 496 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper