Book Review: Camouflage – by Joe Haldeman

I have enjoyed reading many of Joe Haldeman’s books, but I couldn’t make it through Camouflage. After about a third of the way in I gave up.

The premise is that millions of years ago the seed of an intelligent race landed on earth, submerged in the Pacific and rested there. In the 20th century, a part of the entity made out into the ocean and started emulating terrestrial organisms, first sharks and orcas, and later humans.

The alien is called the “changeling.” After some adaptation, it learns to emulate a human so well that it passes as a human in all respects. The problem I found with that is that while it is still an alien, and it can change into different people or animals, for the practical purposes of the story, it’s still a human – and not a very interesting one at that.

There is a parallel plot that plays late in the 20th century related to divers raising the alien “ship” and dealing with it. The ship – or whatever it will turn out to be in the sections that I didn’t read – is also not very interesting and the whole thing is too far-fetched without any action.

The book just meandered along without getting me to care for the concepts, the ideas or the people.

One thought on “Book Review: Camouflage – by Joe Haldeman

  1. Eric Petrie

    Yes, what could be more boring than an intelligent alien, capable of changing form, that turns out to be an uninteresting human being. Sounds more like a comedy sketch. “Give the Changeling another beer, he wants to watch more football.”

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