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04 August 2010

Book Review: Other

Other (Other, #1)Other by Karen Kincy
I bought this book.

Description: Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive.

My Review: Other is a very different kind of story that tells of a world where paranormal creatures are known to humans. Because of this some Others feel the need to hide who they are in order to blend in with human society. Gwen is one of those Others who hides in order to escape persecution and prejudice.

The thing that struck a chord with me the most was how Gwen struggled with being Other. Not just with feeling out of place among humans, but the actual physical struggle between her human side and her pooka side. She often feels as if she has to suppress her "pookaness" in order to prevent herself from shapeshifting. This cause a physical reaction of pain that generally ends with her giving in and shifting. This inner battle made me empathize with Gwen and gave her character depth.

I liked how the author didn't make the story completely "us against them" (humans against Others). By incorporating Gwen's prejudice against bloodborn Others, Kincy showed how sometimes prejudice comes from within a group. This prejudice causes Gwen to get stuck on one person as a suspect and blinded her to who the real killer was.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Other and I really liked the incorporation of lesser known "others" like water sprites and dryads. It's a unique view of the paranormal world and a fresh take on this young adult genre. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a change of pace.

My Rating: 4 stars

Click here to check out my teaser of Other.

Description and picture courtesy of Goodreads.


Jan von Harz said...

This is definitely a book I am hoping to read. Your lovely review only helps cement those feelings. Thanks

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