Author: Karen Kincy
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Other (Book 1)
Publication Date: July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0738719196 (Flux)
ISBN-13: 978-0738719191 (Flux)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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.
Quick & Dirty: This was a really fast, fun YA paranormal book. The plot was pretty predicable and I felt that the characters could have been more unique, but I still enjoyed it.
Opening Sentence: I can’t last much longer.
Gwen is a 17 year girl and she happens to also be an Other. Others are paranormal creatures and there are many different varieties of them. Gwen is half human and half pooka and she has the ability to shape shift into any creature. Because normal people tend to alienate Others, Gwen has made sure to keep her identity a secret from everyone except her family and a few close friends. Gwen has been dating Zach for almost a year now but she hasn’t told him the truth about herself yet. She really cares about Zach but she is afraid that if he finds out the truth about her he will break up with her. She knows that eventually she will have to tell him the truth if she expects their relationship to go any farther. There are times when Gwen wishes that she could be normal, but she needs to learn to accept herself for whom and what she is.
Gwen lives in a small town in Washington and it looks like a new pack of werewolves have come to town. Shortly after their arrival someone starts murdering Others. The police are turning a blind eye and aren’t really trying to figure out who is committing the killings. When someone close to Gwen becomes a victim, Gwen takes it upon herself to try and find the killer. With the help of some new friends, Gwen hopes to find the killer before they come for her next.
The story is told from Gwen’s point of view. She is a sweet girl that is really insecure. Gwen has times when she really resents that she is different, but she also loves being able to shapeshift. She has been so afraid to be discovered that she has never really explored what it’s like to be Other. Throughout the book you get to see her eventually accept who she is and be happy about it. As a character, I felt that Gwen was a little boring at times. She is really naïve at times and makes some really poor decisions that lead to a lot of heartache that could have been avoided. I wouldn’t say that I disliked her, but I didn’t particularly like her either.
Zach is probably my favorite character in the book. He is a gorgeous boy with long blonde hair and an adorable personality. He is really into medieval stuff and he totally treats Gwen like a lady. He is so sweet and patient with Gwen. Yes, he does have some prejudices against Others, but that is because he doesn’t really know any. At least he is honest and I respected him for that. I really like Zach, his faults made him more human and I think that he really cares about Gwen even if she is an Other. I thought that Gwen and Zach had really good chemistry and I really liked them together.
Tavian is the other competitor for Gwen’s heart. He is a smoking hot Japanese boy that also happens to be a Other. He is half human and half fox-spirit and he has the ability to shapeshift as well. Gwen finds herself instantly drawn to Tavian when she meets him. She doesn’t know many Others, and he is so comfortable with who and what he is and Gwen envies that. Tavian agrees to help Gwen find the killer and the more she gets to know Tavian, the more she likes him. I liked Tavian well enough, but I just felt that he and Gwen were awkward together. I thought that their relationship was a little rushed and it had a hint of instalove to it.
This was a fun book and a really fast easy read. The plot was pretty predictable, but the story was still interesting. I thought that the book flowed really well and I enjoyed the writing. The biggest flaw would have to be the characters; I just had a hard time connecting with them, and I felt that they were forgettable. The ending was well done and everything was wrapped up pretty nicely. There are more books in the series but they tell the stories of some of the minor characters from this book. I enjoyed the book enough that I would be willing to give the next book a try. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a light YA Paranormal book.
“Did you see that?” I ask Chloe.
“Hmmm?” Totally engrossed, she doesn’t look up from her book of botanical prints.
“That cute Asian guy,” I whisper.
She sighs, still not looking up from the page. “One word: boyfriend.”
“I’m not letting good eye-candy go to waste. And do you know who he is?”
“No,” she says. “But I believe you’re going to enlighten me.”
“He’s Takehiko, that blogging anime artist I told you about. His real name is Tavian.”
“Interesting.” Chloe closes the book with a thump. “I’m going to buy this.”
She lugs the heavy folio to the front of the bookstore. Behind the counter stands Tavian. I bury my nose in an old romance novel and pretend to read. He unlaced her bodice, his hands calloused yet gentle. Her bosom heaved, two creamy mounds tipped with carmine, and she quivered with anticipation.
Urk. Hideously flowery, yet strangely intriguing.
“Excuse me?” Tavian says. “Are you going to buy that?” It sounds like he already asked me at least once.
I slam the book shut. “Uh, no.” I stare at the brawny kilted man and half-naked women locked in a kiss on the cover. “Definitely not.”
“Sure?” Tavian says, a hint of amusement in his voice. “The cover’s nice eye-candy.”
FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Other. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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