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4.4 17
by Karen Kincy

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Shapeshifting can be a beautiful and deadly secret. Gwen craves the forbidden rush of leaping from her bedroom window and transforming into an owl, but she could lose it all if anyone caught her. Most Americans don't exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others. In the small town of Klikamuks, Washington, coming out as a person with paranormal abilities means staring


Shapeshifting can be a beautiful and deadly secret. Gwen craves the forbidden rush of leaping from her bedroom window and transforming into an owl, but she could lose it all if anyone caught her. Most Americans don't exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others. In the small town of Klikamuks, Washington, coming out as a person with paranormal abilities means staring down the barrel of a shotgun. Gwen hasn't even told the truth to her boyfriend, Zack, who she hopes will be the boy to take her virginity.

When a pack of werewolves claims the national forest behind Gwen's house as their territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. Prejudice slows the police investigation. It doesn't take Gwen long to realize a serial killer is targeting Others. On the hunt for clues, she meets Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her shapeshifting. Can she find the killer before he finds her, or will her secrets be the death of her?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This fresh take on a modern fantasy is set in Washington State. Shape-shifters, vampires, werewolves, and the like are called "Others," and "normal humans" are well aware of their existence. Others are being murdered, and it seems that a serial killer may be on the prowl. Several deaths are too close for comfort for teenage half-pooka Gwen. She discovers a dead couple, both water sprites, and her friend, a Dryad, hanging from a tree in the forest. Gwen searches for answers, all the while unsure of whom to trust and what exactly it means to be Other. In another wrinkle, Gwen's boyfriend comes from an ultra-Christian family who feel that Others are an abomination. He doesn't know that Gwen is half-pooka until after they lose their virginity to one another. The emotional turmoil of the characters is evident and will appeal to readers who have felt misunderstood or as if they don't belong-teenagers.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)

Meet the Author

Karen Kincy is the author of the Other novels for young adults. Her debut novel, Other, was named to the American Library Association's 2011 Top Ten Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list. Kincy is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and lives in Redmond, Washington.

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Other 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Tiger_Holland More than 1 year ago
"Gwen's half-pooka, a rare shifter from Wales who turns into a horse, an owl, a cat, but her small town in Washington just fails to see that Other-folks are people, too, and that keeps her from divulging her Other side to anyone, including boyfriend Zack. But her shapeshifting's getting hard to hide just as a chilling series of attacks against non-humans start. Who can she trust? This new guy Tavian seems pretty cool, but Gwen's not absolutely sure. She must decide whether she'll fight back or let fear rule her. The worldbuilding is cleverly done, a debut with romance, chills, and lots of fun." I enjoyed Gwen's unique heritage, since I've heard of pookas in myth books but never read any fiction about them. It creates an interesting identity for Gwen, because instead of being tied to one specific animal form, she's more invested in the act of changing, itself. When she's not shapeshifting, it hurts her, and she rarely gets to shift as much as she'd like, since she has to keep her Otherness a secret from anyone outside her family. It's not like people don't know that Others exist, it's just that extreme prejudices still abound, and Gwen is better off, or at least safer, pretending to be human. I appreciate Gwen's snappy personality, too--she maintains a blog called "Premeditated Snarkiness". Gwen's romantic situation is also out of the ordinary for paranormal YA. She actually has a boyfriend, while most heroines are either very much single, or dating some guy so awful you know he's going to be dumped in chapter 2. Zack is kind of cheesy (major obsession with medieval things), but he's a really nice guy and Gwen has deep feelings for him. But there's a new guy on the scene, one who plays a bigger role in Gwen's life as the novel progresses. I truly adored Tavian Kimura's character, especially since he's one of the best examples of what makes Other so out of the ordinary. Rather than introducing some big brooding supernatural guy whose only hobby is protecting the heroine, Other gives us Tavian: a Japanese-American fantasy artist who works in a bookstore, is extra-cute, and about 5'4. The setup of the Other-filled world is intriguing. There are too many paranormal types to count, but most people are only familiar with vampires and werewolves, since those are the two most mainstreamed Others. Also, people like Gwen who were born Other look down on anyone who becomes an Other by being bitten, particularly werewolves. It's gratifying to see Gwen finally understand that she's almost as narrow-minded and prejudiced against werewolves as regular humans are against Others in general. Social complexity for the win! I only had two problems with the story, and the first is more personal. In the book, Christians and Others are presented in opposition, and all the Christian characters are either highly misguided and misinformed or they're cruel and prone to violence. For me, that's never fun to read. The other difficulty is Gwen's tendency to make Very Bad Decisions. On several occasions, she takes a course of action where you can feel the negative consequences coming a mile away, and it made me wonder if there was a way to make the important plot points still happen without Gwen having to rush into so many inadvisable situations. If you're ready to read some great, innovative paranormal YA, Other definitely fits the bill. Shifters, murder mysteries, a snarky heroine, and the awesomen
Anonymous 4 months ago
I really liked this story.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gwen lives in a world where the public knows that “Others” exist but it’s not something that’s flaunted in her neighborhood. Gwen has always hidden what she is [half-pooka] from everyone, including her boyfriend of over a year. However, someone in her town is targeting Others and killing them. Not wanting to sit by and watch friends and neighbors being killed, she decides to discover who the killer is and have them stopped before they can kill anyone else, including herself. For those wondering what a pooka is, like I was, a pooka is a shapeshifter originating from Ireland. Her primary form is a black horse. The stories about them were that they stalked travelers, inviting them on wild rides, and then would throw them into bogs or over cliffs, trampling them. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever read a book that had a pooka in it. So I was pretty excited to read some new mythology. The story itself is a pretty quick read. Since Gwen has taken it upon herself to find the killer, she finds herself in some hairy situations. The one thing that frustrated me though was the fact that the author left so many clues as to who the killer was, yet meanwhile Gwen was off convicting someone else of the crimes. A Nancy Drew, she is not. I mean, from the second she latched onto who she thought the killer was I was thinking to myself, “Wait. What?! No. My goodness. What makes you think it’s them?! Ugh.” She was like a dog with a bone though. Right up until the very end she was still set on who she thought was the killer instead of actually paying attention to what was going on around her. Not to mention that knowing there was a killer out there she would put herself in situations to have her head lobbed off. That REALLY irritated me. Plus she had this huge prejudice against werewolves. You’d think, she of all people would understand that not all the bedtime stories of monsters are true. Ya know, considering she’s supposed to be the mischievous malevolent being based off of folklore. Aside from my issues with Gwen’s lack of intelligence, I really enjoyed this story. The author didn’t just incorporate your typical vampire and werewolf into the story, she also added water spirits, fae, pookas, kitsune, and leprechauns. There may have been others that I’m forgetting about. Point is, the author sort of took folklore from multiple cultures and mushed them together into one story. Which I found really cool and entertaining. This is a great YA story that mixes a lot of mythological beings into it. If you are looking for a quick YA fantasy novel, this is it. It’s got mystery, mythical creatures, and a sprinkling of young love. I look forward to reading the next book in the series that focuses on a character that we briefly met in this story. He’s definitely not a nice person, so I look forward to seeing what the author does with his character.
inkedbeauty More than 1 year ago
Loved it, I could not put it down. I am just so sad that these books are not e books. 
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I was very nervous going into it. See, Other got a lot of hype from my blogging friends. Almost everybody gave it a near perfect rating and practically demanded that I read it once it was in my possession. It lived up to the hype. First of all, let's start with the summary. I've been a STICKLER for summaries lately. If you're going to give me the end of the book in a summary, I'm not interested. If you even summarize halfway through the book, I'm sad. This? This is, like, first four chapters. It gives the general plot. And it is AWESOME. And then there's the book itself. We start off brilliantly - Gwen shapeshifting, and having to deal with her need to do that. There's no slow beginning; there's no explanation of what she's doing. We're shown what's going on. We understand. And we're presented with this fantastic world where Others live with humans, and we meet more and more amazing Others, and it's beautifully crafted. Then, of course, there are these characters. We have Gwen, who - yes, has a few occasional tear moments - but she's realistic. Is she a shape shifting half pooka? Sure! But I connected to her anyway. Yes, she has a half page breakdown at some point in the book with her pooka powers/murdering detective skills/just broke up with her boyfriend stress all coming to hit her at once. But she's snarky, and she's funny, and she knows how and when to laugh. Hell, she blogs. I like her. And Tavian and Zack! We have Zack, her first boyfriend, who is pretty much my ideal guy. And Tavian, who comes along and is absolutely positively adorable and perfect for Gwen. And guess what? They're quirky and realistic. I don't think I can overuse these two words in this review: realistic and connected. I CONNECTED to this story with REALISTIC characters that I absolutely adored. And it's so hard for me to say that characters are realistic in a freaking paranormal. But there you have it. And - wow, this is becoming a long review - then, last but not least, is the plot. Yes, good characters and a great world can make up for a bad plot. But guess what? The plot was GREAT. The only thing I was certain of was that a werewolf wasn't the killer. I began to suspect closer to what the final thing was, but even then, I was surprised. It's hard to guess. You start leaning one way and then another and by the time you get to the end, you're on the same page as Gwen. I'm going to wrap up this review before it gets to long, but just... wonderful. I mean, I was going to give this book a 9/10, and then I started writing the review and realized I sounded like an obsessed fangirl. And then I tried to figure out why it deserved a nine instead of a ten. And I couldn't think of any reason. Clearly, you're not going to like this if you're not into paranormal or any sort of fantasy. But for those like me who are? YES YES YES.
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sandySG More than 1 year ago
I was dying to read Other since I saw the cover on on a blog ages ago. Read it over Christmas, and loved it. Gwen is snarky - which I love snarky characters. The beginning starts with her shapeshifting because it's not just something she can do it's apart of who she is. Which Gwen and her family have been keeping the fact that she's Other a secret. Being Other where Gwen lives isn't always a good thing - especially when there's a serial killer on the loose targeting Others. Having read the back of the book knowing there's gonna be a serial killer I tried to figure out who it was...and I didn't figure out who it was. My guess was wrong, which I consider a good thing. As for the guys in Gwen's life there's Zack, and Tavian. Zack is the normal guy that has religious parents although I think it's cute that he likes to talk like he's from medieval times using words such as "my lady" and "thy". Then there's Tavian. Love him. Other was very original with Others that I have not read much about - like dryads, water sprites, pookas and Japanese fox spirits. There was a pack of werewolves and a mention of vampires and more. And the ending I felt was perfect. The bad guy was caught and all is right in the world. But I still wanted to read more about Gwen and Tavian and the wonderful world that Karen Kincy has built that is filled with Others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Gwen Williams is Other. She's a shapeshifter, and people in her small town don't want Others walking among them. When Others start dying, it's important for Gwen to keep her identity a secret. People blame the new werewolf pack in the area, but Gwen suspects a serial killer is in their midst. When one of her friends becomes a victim, she's more determined than ever to discover the truth. Her search for answers leads her to an attractive fox spirit who agrees to help her. If Gwen doesn't expose the murderer, she'll become his next victim. There was quite a bit of foul language in this novel and some sexual scenes (though not too graphic), but I enjoyed the intrigue and twists of the plot enough to keep reading. I loved Kincy's take on mythical creatures, and Gwen was an amazing character full of strength and mystery, yet human enough to be sympathetic. I pre-ordered this book but wanted to read it so much that I tried to get my hands on an advanced reader's copy. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to and had to wait for my copy to arrive, but OTHER was worth the wait.
Bookluvr94 More than 1 year ago
Karen Kincy's debut came out in a shower of fire works. Well done! I loved reading this book. It had a new teen character Gwen who wasn't our average werewolf or a vampire. She was a shape-shifter. I haven't seen a story like this in young adult books. Instead of sticking with the trend of vampires, they only made up a fraction of the story. Everything about this book was amazing. I couldn't put it down. Her choice of words made you feel like you were there transforming with Gwen. It is great to see this new author have such a vivid imagination. Loved it. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is tired of twilight. It gives readers something to think about.
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StarSapphire More than 1 year ago
I honestly can't get enough of Other - it's a real page turner with totally memorable characters and a thrilling plot. Karen Kincy's writing is so vivid, engrossing, and satisfying you really feel like you're right alongside Gwen throughout the story. It's one of those books that you just want to read over and over again. An absolute must read!