This is a futuristic dystopian setting. The protagonist is a changeling shifter race that has only a couple siblings and one elder for the race. In the story they are referred to as female. The elder woke up one day long ago and doesn't remember anything before. The one unique thing about these changelings is that they consume energy around them to change shapes.

Time passed and the matriarch elder had kids. The first kid was born or raised incorrectly and went craven with hunger wanting to consume as much energy around. The protagonist finds out about this sibling turning up snuffing out planets and goes to the elder to find out what this is. She is told by the elder the history but does not know how to stop the craven one. The protagonist goes off to find answers and when she is away the craven one finds and consumes the elder with one sibling surviving. They meet up after and try to come up with a plan but the sibling only wants revenge and goes after the craven one and dies.

The protagonist finds a MacGuffin that helps her alter her changing form so she can go to the craven one and starve it out or over fill it. I can't remember that part but the protagonist wins and settles down with a human.

  • It's been 20 years since I read it, but some of this (especially youngest of a nearly extinct race of shifters who feed on energy) really reminds me of Beholder's Eye by Julie Czerneda.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 16:33
  • thats the book. Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


The protagonist being the youngest of a nearly extinct race of energy-feeding shape-shifters strongly reminds me of Beholder's Eye (1998) by Julie E. Czerneda.

Cover of Beholder's Eye

Esen-alit-Quar is the shape-shifter who leaves the Web of her elder/parent Ersh, and befriends a human who helps her when she needs to flee and then confront the Enemy, an insatiable being like her who is a danger to the Web and all living beings. Her elders try to defeat/destroy the Enemy - Ersh by trying to subvert it, Skalet by trying to fight it - but it ends up destroying all the other members of her Web.

In the end Esen does destroy the Enemy (or "Death" as it thinks of itself) by overfeeding it. Having learned of it though the deaths of her sisters, she understands that the Enemy will not be able to cope, leaving it vulnerable:

DEATH closed its jaws over the last morsel, satiated, content. This had been the best feeding.


What was happening? Too much!

Pain. Fear. What is happening?

The body demands a choice; the mind must loosen its hold and permit the escape of mass, or accept the true death that beckons. Divide, or become solid, thoughtless, a rock.

I must live! Death screamed to itself. It felt selection beginning on a microscopic scale, flesh battling against flesh. No! It is all mine!

Preoccupied with self, Death ignored the two approaching starships.

Overwhelmed with biological imperatives, Death missed the powering of weapons, the unfolding of delicate petals almost close enough to touch, the glow of deadly energies building to release.

Obsessed with its own life, Death failed to notice the moment it ended.

At the end Esen does indeed settle on a mountain to form her own Web, with her friend Paul Ragem arriving to join her.

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