Tough Traveling – Shapeshifting

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? SHAPESHIFTING SHAPESHIFTING is frequent among both WERES and MAGIC USERS. The usual form taken is that of a WOLF, but lions, eagles, serpents, owls, and cats are common too. In all cases the rule is that the shapeshifter cannon stay too long in animal form without actually becoming that animal.   Shapeshifters in The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones Original/Natural Form: Looks human (but is actually not quite human, longer lifespan, ability to shift, etc) Shifted Form: Still looks human, but can take the appearance of other people This shifting isn’t so much to animals, but changing physical appearance so they can essentially look like a copy…

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
3.5 Stars , Reviews / August 4, 2014

The String Diaries is a mysterious and intriguing tale. There’s no build up in this one, you are thrown straight into the action and are left trying to puzzle together everything through out the book. I tend to like that, and so I felt this started off very strong. The story features three different (alternating) timelines, each providing a piece of the puzzle this story is telling. Because of the way the reader is dumped right into the middle of things, the characters know much more of what’s going on than the reader. There’s just no reason for them to reveal much information in the middle of current events. And speaking of current events, the book starts of with Hannah driving in the middle of the night while her husband, who is just about bleeding out in the seat next to her, and her daughter is sleeping in the backseat.  No matter what kind of reader you are, you can not help but need to know what brought her here, what happened to her husband, and why on earth is she not headed to a hospital?! Mysteries yet to be revealed. She is obviously quite frightened, but determined so it didn’t take me long to…