Monday, August 23, 2010
Other by Karen Kincy
# of Pages: 336
Age Range: 14+
Gwen Williams is like any other modern teenager with one exception: she's a shapeshifter. Never having known her Pooka-spirit father, Gwen must struggle with the wild, wonderful magic inside of her alone—and in secret. While society may tolerate vampires, centaurs, and "Others" like Gwen, there are plenty of folks in Klikamuks, Washington, who don't care for her kind.
Now there's a new werewolf pack in town, and Others are getting killed, including Gwen's dryad friend. The police are doing zilch. In the midst of terrible loss and danger, Gwen meets a cute Japanese fox spirit who's refreshingly comfortable with his Otherness. Can Gwen find the courage to embrace her true self and find the killer-before she becomes the next victim?
I was really looking forward to Other ever since it came out, and when I had the oppertunity, I ordered it from Boarders. I was surprised at first when I started Other because I had this picture in my mind of this intesnse, somewhat isolated character. Instead, Gwen was a slightly snarky but bubbly opinionated teenager. The voice of the novel was lighter than I expected, and after adjusting to this, I continud easily on with the book.
Other is unique in the fact that it takes a new spin on the typical YA paranormal novel. Instead of having paranormal creatures (aka "Others") being hidden from the human world, Others live among them - they even fight for equal rights and acceptance. Gwen, a half-Pooka, tries to deny her otherness, especially when she is with her uber-christian boyfriend, Zack. Even though the main focus of the story is on the murders and mystery Other killer, Karen Kincy manages to weave in strong teen emotions and real life problems through Gwen and her friends.
The only reason I did not give Other a higher rating was because, in my opinion, at times Gwen could be slightly immature for being in such mature situations and relationships. Also, depsite the fact that the ending was exciting and I quite enjoyed it, I have to say it was a little predictable.
Do not let this discourage you, though. Other is still a fun and fresh YA paranormal debut, and for a first novel Karen Kincy delivers a surprisingly cool and intriguing story. I will definitely pick up the sequel, Bloodborn; which comes out Fall 2011.
If you liked Other be sure to check out:
The Iron King
Forgive My Fins
Oh. My. Gods.
Raised by Wolves
Hex Hall (Book 1)
Visit Karen Kincy here