17 July 2010

Other by Karen Kincy

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.

Great idea, not delivered well.

Bout the only thing I liked about this book was the humor.  I found myself laughing--in between the time I was either laughing AT the book, or just ready to throw it across the room.  I figured, Okay.  This Gwen girl looks pretty good.  And I've read a lot about her, including a character interview.  She looked like a cool enough girl.

Then I read it.

This book would have been a lot longer if detail had been added.  There's just no depth.  I felt no sympathy for Gwen whatsoever.  I was completely pissed at her half the time.  Consider: your boyfriend dumped you because you've got shapeshifting abilities--which is COOL, for the record.  But you do not apologize to HIM!  Gwen has no backbone and I kept thinking, "Oh my GOD!  This chick needs to toughen the heck up."  The scenes with Zach just pissed me off.

I think it was the lack of description that really did this book in.  The writing is short and nearly all of it is told and not shown.  You don't have to tell us that she's mad if you show her slamming something or is about to punch someone. There's no credit given to the reader when everything is told to you.  It takes the fun out of the story.  

I would have really, really, really liked this book if it had been executed differently.  I felt no sympathy for the characters--I have no idea how I got through the entire book.  I did want to know if I was right about who the killer was--and I was.  I figured it out pretty fast but it was kind of interesting how Karen Kincy executed that scene.

The one thing that really got me about the style, was how inconsistent it was.  There were beautiful lines amongst hundreds of pointless sentences.  It felt like a rough draft to me, instead of a published copy.  I'd come across lines like this:  My pooka half rises slowly within me, leaning against my bones.  It isn't eager to shapeshift and fight.  It's...defensive.  Feeling my fear.  (page 166-167)   It's incredible description, and I wish it had continued throughout the entire book.

I'm attracted to humor, which is why I'm keeping this book in the first place.  I AM going to look to it for inspiration for a humor fix.  Now that I've read it, I can go back and reread all the good parts.

I loved the cover when I first saw it, then I got to look at it up close and I could see the graphic mistakes.  So, from a graphic designer's standpoint, I was disappointed.  Also, the cover is so freaking glossy!  I could send signals to the moon with it. XD

Book Info:
  • pages - paperback, 326
  • published - July 2010
  • publisher - Flux
  • genre - paranormal romance/urban fantasy
  • rating - 3/5
  • Summer Reading - #15