Written by: Joe Haldeman
Released: February 4, 2004 by Ace
Summary: A million years before the emergence of humans, an alien spaceship splashes into the Pacific Ocean. After it comes to rest miles underwater, a creature emerges from the vessel and, after assessing its aqueous environment, drastically alters its appearance in order to survive.
After many millennia of existence in the form of various deep-sea creatures -- sharks, whales, porpoises, schools of fish -- the changeling eventually leaves the safety of the water and enters the world of man. Adopting various human persona's -- graduate student, soldier, surfer, circus dwarf, prostitute -- the ever-inquisitive changeling slowly masters the intricacies of human society.
When a strange artifact is discovered seven miles below the surface of the Pacific in the early 21st century, the changeling is inexplicably drawn to it. But so is something else: another, much older, shape-shifting alien. This chameleon's motives for wanting to unlock the secrets of the artifact, however, are far different from the changeling's.
So, while in university, I took a Science Fiction class which was both a stupid and wonderful idea. It was horrible in the way that it made me read some horrific books that I would never read had I of had a choice and wouldn't even use as a door-stopper.
BUT it also introduced me to some amazing books that I never would have even considered reading had they of not been on the syllabus. This was one of the amazing books that I was introduced to while in that class.
I went into reading this with an idea in my head that it would be rather boring or entirely too complex in its science mumbo jumbo, but I also had just read a different book for that class which has pleasantly surprised me, so I as hoping for another experience like the last. Happily I can say that I loved this book and I'm always recommending it to people who I know like read about aliens.
I liked how this book always kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next. You were never sure who the changeling was or who (or what) the chameleon is. My favourite part (one of them anyways) was when you read about the life that the changeling had when it spent time as a television set in a seedy motel.
In short, if you want to try something different from what you usually read, try this. If you like aliens, you'll probably love this, and if you just want to read something interesting and unusual, this is the book for you. I give it a 7/10 and I actually can't wait to re-read it at a much later date when I forget who was who.