Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Other by Karen Kincy

Title: Other
Author: Karen Kincy
Page Count: 326 pages
Summary: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.

Review:  Sorry for the lack of reviews lately! I've just been getting settled into college like. But, without further ado:

What I Liked:

  • Crazy Christians! In Other, the super religious Christians believe that being an Other, usually something that is out of your control, means that your soul is damned and you are automatically a sinner.  For some reason, this made me laugh. It reminded me how some fundamentalist Christians are against people who are homosexual, so I like that tie in with real life.
  • Sex! Yay, the last two books I've read don't skirt around the fact that teenagers have, and always will, have sex! I like it when there's some steamy moments, although the steaminess factor in Other couldn't really touch the amount of steam in Forget You
  • Even the Others are prejudiced! I found this to be really funny - at the beginning of the book, Gwen hates werewolves and vampires because they are seen as thieves and murderers, but they are Others just like her, only made that way. I think that's sometimes a way to cope in a society that is prejudiced against you; say, "Well, at least I'm not like them."
What I Didn't Like:
  • School? Gwen states in the beginning of the book that she is homeschooled. However, not once in this book is she actually homeschooled. The author seems to use this as a device to make sure she doesn't have anything in her way to going to investigate things.
  • Police? This one is more of a question than an actual thing I didn't like: why are Gwen and Tavian more competent than the police? I understand that the police are prejudiced, whatever, but they just seem to be oblivious in this book, to an infuriating point. It just didn't seem realistic to me.
  • Boyfriend? A lot of people complain that the first half of this book is slow because it is mostly character development. I kind of agree and something that really bothered me about the first half of this book is how Gwen's relationship with her boyfriend is completely not realistic. They don't seem to know each other well or because comfortable around each other - it's like they've just started going out. 
Overall, I did enjoy Other and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of paranormal fiction. However, a lot of the characters and the world seemed a little too unbelievable for my taste, which kept me from enjoying the book as much as I would've. (Also, the format of the book, at least mine, made me uncomfortable. The pages were super white and the font was super dark - the contrast was a bit too much.) 

Romance: 3.8/5 stars
Overall: 3.5/5

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