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Dez is a good girl who does as she's told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself. Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.
Everything is about to change--and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them, are prepared for what Dez will unleash.
"Be prepared to lose some sleep. ...
Dez is a good girl who does as she's told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself. Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.
Everything is about to change--and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them, are prepared for what Dez will unleash.
"Be prepared to lose some sleep. Otherkin is full of non-stop action and suspense, and you're not going to be able to put it down!" --Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series
"Get caught up in a dangerous world of shadow magic, shifters, and secrets." --New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep
"Berry's debut offers just the right combination of high-stakes exploits and steamy love scenes to keep readers up until the wee hours. . .ripe with issues that will resonate with readers. From body image to friendship, first love and betrayal, [OTHERKIN] explores the truth that no matter who or what you are, there's no escaping the politics of high school." – Kirkus Reviews
I stared at the brace, anger curling in my gut. It sat tilted on the floor like an ancient broken statue with no head, no arms, no legs.
Oh God, it had happened. A cute boy had asked me out. And not just any cute boy, but Jake fricking Peters, hottest senior in school, who could have any girl he wanted. He'd not only invited me to the lame-ass dance this weekend, he'd put his hands on my waist as he did it. Only to feel my rock-hard robot contours. I pressed my hands to my heated cheeks. Shame had seared the scene into my memory.
"What's that?" Jake had asked as his fingers grazed my hip. His eyes lit with surprise.
"Nothing." I backed away from him, avoiding his gaze. I'd known this would happen. I knew getting close to anyone was a mistake. "I ... I've got to get home. See you later." The words rattled out of me, and I had scuttled away.
Now I breathed deep, trying to squash my rising frustration. At least I was home where nothing could touch me. Safe in my own room. With Mom and Richard out at work, I was alone, where no one would laugh at me, or pity me, or call me a mutant.
I peeled off the sweaty undershirt I had to wear under the thing and hurled it into the laundry. God, I hate those stupid shirts. I slid my hand around my own waist, the waist no boy could ever put his arm around.
I wasn't that goddamn brace, not anymore. To hell with the brace! I looked around for something to hit it with, something to break it, so I'd never have to wear it again.
But there was nothing. Nothing but my bare hands.
Even as I yanked it off the floor, a small part of my brain knew this wasn't like me. I never flew into rages or whined about the brace. I was a good girl, a nice girl, and tantrums were for people with no self-control.
But I'd worn the damned thing twenty-three hours a day for two years to prevent my spine from curving further, donning baggy clothes to hide it, unable to bend, enduring the agony as it fought against my body, unable to swim or climb trees, avoiding any proximity to boys.
Something had snapped. I pulled and scraped at it with my bare hands, trying to tear it apart, fingernails splintering. But the plastic wouldn't give. The surface didn't even scratch.
Rage blazed through me, so hot I thought I'd explode. I screamed. A convulsive thrust of power shot from the center of my chest along my spine, down my limbs, and out of every pore. The scream became a full-throated roar. I dropped my hands to the ground. Only they weren't hands anymore, but huge paws, orange on top, white around the claws, striped brownish black. I whipped around, trying to see myself.
What? A long, thickly furred tail knocked the lamp off my nightstand. This can't be happening.
The crash of the lamp sounded like an explosion. I crouched, tail tucked between my back legs, and looked up to see my reflection in the mirror on my closet door. Had I gone insane? Great golden eyes blinked back at me. I flinched. The tiger in the mirror winced too, ears back, white whiskers bristling.
I barely had time to take in my orange coat, white underbelly, and wide pattern of dark stripes when a loud thwack sounded from my bedroom window. Something stabbed into my side. A growl of pain and surprise escaped me. A dart lodged in the pale fur beneath my right front leg. Pain ran up my body, too real to be a dream.
I looked up to see a young man, almost angelically blond, dressed all in white, standing outside my window with a rifle. The screen was torn. He'd broken a couple of stakes Mom and I used to get the tomatoes to climb. We stared at each other. His face was alive and hot with anticipation. Burning pain spread through my veins from the dart. Instinctively, I gathered my new body to leap at him. He fired again. Another barb speared my shoulder, and I reeled back.
I snarled at him and tried to stand. But a painful lethargy took over. I shook my head, trying to clear it. Air whipped across my whiskers, a strange sensation.
An older man, also in white, joined the first to observe me through the window. He clapped a hand on the younger man's shoulder. "Good job, son," he said.
"It's taking two," his son said. "She's strong for one so young."
The older man had a head of thick silver hair. His even teeth flashed almost blue white as he smiled. "We'll see about that," he said.
And everything went black.
Where was I? I caught a whiff of a burlap pallet beneath me, lumpy as an overused futon. Old animal odors drifted up from it. I looked down. The last thing I remembered couldn't have happened. A surge of relief ran through me as I saw that my hands were my hands. My arms were long, thin, and pale. Human arms.
The floor beneath the pallet was as shiny as the bars. A strange, high-pitched hum buzzed up from it. I focused on staying calm. Go slow. First things first. Where am I?
A polished cage squatted around me like a silver spider, less than five feet high and not much longer than my body. Every inch of my skin recoiled from it as if from a hot stove. All my life I'd had a rare allergy to silver. Now I was trapped in a pen made of it.
"You weren't out long." A male voice, young, came at me from beyond my cage.
My heart pounded against my ribs as I pushed myself up to sit. "I ..." Speaking set off a bout of coughing. My body throbbed with pain. I curled into a seated fetal position, careful to stay on the straw pallet and not touch the silver floor. Something about the position felt wrong.
The brace! I wasn't wearing it. Someone had put me in a thin cotton hospital gown that barely covered my bruised knees. Without that shield of plastic and metal around me I felt utterly vulnerable. A deep trembling began in my shoulders and hips and spread out to shake my fingers and toes.
"Take it easy," said the voice. Something in its tone smoothed out the jagged edges of my fear. "Breathe. You'll be okay."
"Oh, sure, I'm great," I said hoarsely.
The half gloom of the world around me was completely unfamiliar. A single floodlight set into a wall beyond my cage cut a white swath of light across my prison and sent the long shadows of the bars stabbing into the space beyond. My eyes adjusted, and the gaps of darkness opened to me.
About thirty feet from me lay another cage, also shiny, equipped with a cot, and inhabited by a tall boy about my own age in a long black coat, dark pants, and a white shirt smeared with grime. He stood almost touching the bars, staring out at me, hands plunged into his pockets. Eyes black as onyx considered me. His dark hair curled back from his tan forehead in short unruly waves, framing the bold line of his nose, his strong jaw, and a full but severe mouth. He stood with a dangerous sort of grace, as if a coiled strength waited beneath the surface, ready to cause havoc. Even in the shadows I could see an indigo bruise forming around his right eye. His intense stare plus no brace or normal clothes made me feel naked. I looked away from him. If only I could disappear.
"My name's Caleb," he said. I was struck by the harmony woven into his voice. "What's yours?"
"Desdemona," I said. "Dez. Where are we?" Trying to remain calm, I looked around and spotted a pile of something in the darkest corner of my cage. "My clothes. Thank God."
"It's a shame to cover up those legs of yours," he said with a small smile.
I startled, flushing.
"But you are looking kind of blue, literally," he went on. "And you'll feel better facing them if you've got something on."
I jerked my gaze up from my legs, which were indeed splotched blue and purple from the cold. "Them—who?"
"The ones your parents warned you about," he said. "Lazar's their best shot. Was he the one who got you? Tall guy, around my age, blond hair?"
The guy in white with the rifle.
None of it made sense—the striped paws, the crash of the lamp, the tiger in the mirror. I rubbed the spot on my shoulder where the first dart had hit. "He did. But nobody ever warned me. He shot me right after ..." I couldn't say it. The cute boy in the neighboring cage would think I was crazy. Neighboring cage? How was this now my life?
"After you shifted?" He looked me up and down. "You've got the grace of one of the big cats. Let me guess. Mountain lion?"
"Tiger," I said faintly.
"Really?" His black eyes sparked. "What are you doing here? Your English is very good."
"Thanks, I've been speaking it my whole life," I said. It came out angrier than I thought it would. Nothing he said made sense, and that didn't help the rising tide of panic in my chest. "I grew up in fricking Burbank, California. Is this some weird cult or something? God, they must've shot me up with hallucinogens." I pulled the pile of clothes toward me. It contained my undershirt, my billowy dress, and sandals, all lying on top of the back brace. Its familiar boxy shape gave me a weird rush of relief.
"More likely a fast-acting tranquilizer spiked with silver nitrate," he said. "Are you saying you don't know what you are?"
"I'm not a what," I said, willing myself to believe it. "I'm a who, and I want to be left alone."
"Too late for that," he said.
My imagination was on serious overdrive. I could've sworn the silver in the cage wanted to bite me. Caleb was circling the edges of his cage, staring at the bars with a hatred that made me almost feel sorry for them. I said, "So what are you, Captain Blackcoat? A panther?"
He brushed his long black coat with the back of his hand to acknowledge my reference to it. "No, I'm something else."
"You're something else, all right. Would you mind ..." I twirled my finger, asking him to turn around while I dressed.
"Of course." He smirked, but bowed at the waist, like one of those elegant men in a Jane Austen movie, then turned away.
I pulled open my hospital gown, relieved to find myself wearing my ordinary white bra and underwear. Deep purple bruises grooved along my waist and down in front of my hip bones, but those were normal. Years of wearing the brace had left me with these imprints. The encircling plastic also acted like a corset, squishing my waistline and hips so relentlessly that they'd permanently shrunk by a couple of inches.
I hated the damned thing with every cell in my body. But I had to wear it. Just before I turned fourteen I'd been diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, fancy talk for curvature of the spine with an unknown cause. Every three months I went in for X-rays and got a big fat reminder from Dr. Mwesi. He'd lean back in his chair, peering over his glasses at me, and tell horrible stories of girls who'd had iron rods placed in their spines because they hadn't worn their brace.
I slipped on the undershirt, then opened the back of the brace. I sat up on my knees to clamp it around my torso. Thick plastic pads inside corresponded with the bruising at my waist. One rigid arch of plastic came up high under my left arm, then dipped under my breasts, cut low at the waist on my right side, and circled around me to come up high again at my spine. Industrial strength Styrofoam pads pressed up against my vertebrae, shoving them into place. I reached behind and tugged on the first strap, shoving it into the buckle as I did so.
The solid plastic tightened around me, and I felt like an ancient knight, donning his armor before a fight. In the brace I was back to normal, barricaded. But as I tightened the other strap, contrary wings of wrath fanned against my ribs. I tugged at the bottom edge of the brace, trying to find a more comfortable fit. Stubborn body. Stupid spine.
I took a deep breath to squash the anger. If I let it escape it might never stop. My torso expanded as I inhaled. I imagined it swelling until it burst the straps and tore off the buckles.
"I sense shadow," said Caleb, beginning to turn toward me. "Shouldn't be possible with all this silver ..."
"Don't look at me!" I barked at him, shoving my arms into my dress and pulling it over my head. I couldn't stand it if he saw me in that thing. Better to be invisible.
"Sorry," he said, turning away again. "I wish I could help you. It's just very odd. The silver should keep it from manifesting."
"Keep what from manifesting?" I awkwardly stretched my arms out and shoved my feet into my sandals. Being unable to bend at the waist made shoes a challenge. "What is it about the silver?" I said. "It's like ..." I was ashamed to say it. "Like I can hear it singing. And it makes my head hurt."
He turned back around, his dark eyes intent. "It does sing, but usually only to a caller like me. I've never heard a shifter say they heard it too."
"What the hell ..." I tried to stand and slammed my head into the top of the cage. I sat down hard. Part of the brace cut up into the soft flesh of my underarm. "What are you talking about?" I rubbed the crown of my head.
"You really don't know, do you?" He crossed his arms and looked down at me. "It doesn't make any sense. No shifter would ever let their child grow up without knowing their heritage."
I took a deep breath. Stay calm. "What the hell are you talking about? What is this place? And why is my goddamn cage so much smaller than yours?"
Caleb resumed pacing. "The Tribunal is more afraid of you than they are of me," he said. "Your cage is smaller because they need to get the silver as close to you as possible, to keep you from shifting."
"What's the Tribunal?"
"The ones who captured us. They hate people like you and me, and they'll do whatever they can to strip away everything we are." He looked more like a wild animal than I did, pacing like that. "You and I are otherkin," he said. "We're human, yes, but we are also other. The silver suppresses your shifting abilities and prevents me from seeing your shadow self. I felt shadow vibrating from you a moment ago. But that shouldn't be possible. All the silver around us should keep me from sensing anything, and render you barely conscious, let alone able to shift."
"Shift," I said. "You mean, into ..."
"Abomination." A different voice echoed off the bare walls. "Demon."
"Fiend," said another, female. "Filth. Perhaps we can wash you clean."
The young man who'd shot me walked toward my cage, his gold hair catching the light. He had perfect cheekbones, thick brows, and deep-set brown eyes straight out of a Romantic painting of some implacable archangel. A large gold cross over a snowy white shirt completed the picture of vengeful purity. He didn't look older than eighteen, but he carried an authority that seemed more man than boy. Something jingled slightly as he walked. Then I saw a ring of keys, half tucked into his right pants pocket.
Behind him a girl about my age glided in a long white gown that covered her modestly from neck to toes. But it couldn't hide the luscious curves beneath it. I felt a stab of envy. I could never wear a dress like that. It would show every contour of the brace. Her hair lay stick straight and pale over her shoulders. She had the same deep-set, brown eyes as the boy with her. They had to be brother and sister, bright as morning in a meadow, or the harsh glare of a flashlight in the face.
"Desdemona," said Caleb. "Meet our hosts, Lazar and Amaris, acolytes of the Tribunal."
The girl, Amaris, glanced over at him, her face shuttered. He gazed back at her, blank. "Does he have to be here?" she asked. "Couldn't we ..."
"When Father gets back he'll decide what to do with him," said Lazar. He also had a musical voice, but harsher than Caleb's. "Until then, he stays in the cage."
I saw a flash of defiance as Amaris opened her mouth to argue. But in a heartbeat she crushed it down. I felt an instant of kinship; I knew how it felt to squash down your feelings.
She came close to my cage, hunkering down gracefully. Her gaze traveled over me as if I were a curious specimen. "The demon is remarkably awake," she said of me. "Are you sure she can't shift?"
So much for kinship. "I'm right here," I said. "And I can talk."
They looked at me as if the couch had spoken. "The silver makes it impossible for her to shift now, just as it keeps Caleb from calling to shadow." Lazar squatted down next to her, scrutinizing me. "We may have to drug her again before we remove her though. Her system purified itself more quickly than we anticipated."
Excerpted from Otherkin by NINA BERRY Copyright © 2012 by Nina Berry. Excerpted by permission of K TEEN BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted September 19, 2012
OMG what a roller coaster. I can say for sure I was never once bored on this trip. What drew me to Otherkin was the amazing cover. Yeah it is cover love again. But dang could that cover be any better, I think not! Just perfect. Otherkin has a good strong plot and lots of action to keep anyone entertained. The writing is good, and flows nicely. I found myself drug into Dez's life with her personality and honest reactions. I would have to say I relate more to her than I have to many other heroines. Sometimes there is that one MC that just stands out, and Dez is it.
Dez is a girl who has been restricted by health issues. She doesn't feel comfortable around boys or really anyone for that matter. She is angry and frustrated as most people would be. Dez is literally caged in, waiting to break free. And boy does she ever! When Dez breaks free of her confines she turns into one powerhouse of a girl. With the restrictions removed, it's like a whole new Dez emerges from the ashes. The thing I loved best about Dez is when push came to shove she had no problem biting back. There were several times I found myself thinking "Oh yeah, now that's girl power" and "you tell him Dez" You know what I am talking about. When the leading guy Caleb starts to draw away from her, Dez doesn't do the whole OMG he doesn't like me anymore and cry. Heck no, she tells him the hell off and makes him feel the way she does. I have to admire her for this, now to me this is an honest reaction! Dez, you rock!
Caleb is a very mysterious guy who Dez meets in a cell next to hers. I found him both protective and sweet. Sure he has his moments of pigheadedness, but hey once you find out why you will understand. I love that he is both protective of Dez but he doesn't try to push her into doing things she doesn't want to. He lets her make her own decisions even if there's a chance she will get hurt, not saying he won't be there to try to stop it though ;) I found Caleb to be level headed, he didn't let things get in the way of what he had to do, even if it was Dez herself. I respect him for that. Bottom line, Caleb = swoon. He has won me over.
Otherkin is a great book. If you are looking for a book to take you away from the everyday, this is it. The author has an original plot filled with tons of action and an equal amount of romance. I loved to concept of Callers, very unique. I can't wait to find out more about them. I also can't wait to find out more about Dez and her abilities. I will definitely have my calendar marked when part 2 comes out. Take a chance on Otherkin, you won't regret it.
12 out of 20 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2013
99% of the so called reviews are plot spoilers. Each of these should be deleted and the posters banned. To ruin a book for other readers is rude and inconsiderate. I bet you stand at the theater door and tell movie goers the ending before the movie starts too!
11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2013
I clicked on the reviews to see what people thougt of the book not to get the whole story and background. Please just write what you thought of the book
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Posted December 17, 2012
Posted September 8, 2012
In Nina Berry’s debut YA series, the reader is introduced to Desdemona Grey, a socially awkward teenager dealing with teenager issues including having to wear an embarrassing back brace to prevent curvature of the spine (this back brace plays a very important if not strange role later on). Her life is completely normal until one day she shifts into Siberian Tiger and is tranquilized by a group of armed assailants. After waking up in a cage across for the handsome Caleb Elazar, Dez learns that she is an Otherkin Shifter and her life as she knows it is about the change. Berry does a great job describing this new world without losing the reader’s attention.
Dez already knew she was adopted after being abandoned in the wilds of Sibera. Her mother who was somehow drawn to her, is relatively easy to convince that Dez is special. To protect her family after escaping with Caleb from the dungeon of the Tribunal (who are out to kill all Otherkin), Dez sends them into hunting and joins Caleb at a “school” for Otherkin. There she learns about herself (even though everyone seems to be frightened of her but won’t say why). She learns that Caleb is a Caller who are normally enemies of the Otherkin. Their attraction to each other is quite evident throughout the story. Dez also learns that not one of the Tribe’s (made up of all the different shifters) get along, they have always only looked out for themselves and could care less if on Tribe is being hunted to extinction. Dez knows that to survive they must work together, but how is a teenager suppose to unite everyone after centuries of fighting amongst themselves?
I definitely loved this first installment and look forward to reading book two. There is very creative writing involved in Otherkin that delivers a fast-paced intriguing read. Using teenagers to show adults that fighting among themselves will only lead to the death of all of them is ingenious on Berry’s part. I became invested in each of the teenagers of the school and can’t wait to learn more about them. Highly recommend for all YA urban fantasy fans who are looking for a new series to start.
(book was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
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Posted August 27, 2012
“Otherkin” by, Nina Berry Desdemona Grey is an average teenage girl with
a couple not so average issues. Dez’s first issue is that she has to
wear a backbrace to keep her spine from curving as she grows. (Sucks
especially for a teenage girl) Dez’s second issue is that she can shift
into a huge tiger. (This would be an issue for anyone) The backbrace is
something that Dez has lived with for years but the tiger shifting comes
as quite a shock to her. After an embarrassing moment with a boy at a
school dance, Dez runs home very upset. She is in her room and is doing
her best to tear apart her brace when out of nowhere she starts to
shift. If that wasn’t bad enough, in the middle of her shift she is
tranquilized and kidnapped from her home. Dez wakes to find herself
locked in a small cage and she’s not alone. In a cage next to her sits a
boy about her age named Caleb. With a little luck, Dez is able to escape
with Caleb and find her way to a special school for shifters. (That’s
where the real adventure begins) I found “Otherkin” to be a quick read
that kept my interest easily enough. The action starts very early in the
story which is good especially for a teen read, but I was bothered by a
few things. I found it a little hard to believe that any teenager would
deal with the reality that they are a shifter as well as Dez did. I also
felt that the relationship between Dez and Caleb moved way too fast from
strangers to “Love”. That being said, I do allow for the fact that the
circumstances are extraordinary and feelings are magnified when in life
or death situations. I really enjoyed the other shifters that are
introduced in this book. We have London the wolf shifter, November the
rat shifter, Siku the bear shifter, and Arnaldo the eagle shifter. I
thought the personalities were fun and all the characters have lots of
room for growth. Even though the romance between Dez and Caleb moved
fast I did enjoy the sweet moments and hope to see the relationship
deepen in the next book. I found the magic element in this book
interesting and I like the idea of the Othersphere. With the evil
Tribunal, the shifters, the callers, and the shadows hidden in everyday
objects “Otherkin” is a fun start to a new teen series. I will happily
pick up the next book “Othermoon” coming out February 2013.
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Posted March 1, 2013
Not even done reading this one yet and felt compelled to shout my 'Yes!' on this one!
Even though this is a 'Young Adult/Teen' book, the Otherkin has captured me in Shadow and has yet to release its hold. I am 39 and cannot seem to put this book down. I have stayed up late, been late for work (thank goodness I will finish it tonight...lol).
The characters of Dez and Caleb have a great chemistry that seems to be spot on with teens these days. Does not run to cheesy. Without boring details, you still get a sense of the other characters as well. Glimpsing their backgrounds and general history of Otherkin.
I cannot wait to FB this post or Pin it! I hope she has more books, I think I may be adding another fav to my author list!
Another reason this book intrigued me was that I was tired of vampires, wolves, shifters, wizards witches, callers, faes...etc , but the cover intrigued me, so I bought it. SO glad I did!
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Posted September 8, 2012
I have been literally dying to read Otherkin by author Nina Berry. I expected so much from it and guys, I got everything and the moon from the novel (what’s up in-book reference?). It sounded like the perfect mix of everything a reader like myself could want; Shape-shifters, thrills, romance action—definitely my cup of tea. If there’s one thing about the novel that I didn’t expect it would be the start of the novel, I seriously had no idea what to expect and was shocked to see that the novel just throws me into the story. Otherkin is filled with non-stop action from start to finish.
The novel itself (and I feel I should put this because what I saw on the back of the book didn’t tell me much) is about main character Dez who finds herself able to shape-shift from a teenage girl with spine problems to a freaking tiger. That’s pretty awesome-sauce already and you know it. Care if I add into the awesomeness? Not only can Dez shape-shift, but she finds herself on the run from a group of people called the Tribunal who have taken it to themselves to hunt down every shape-shifter. On the run with her Caller friend, Dez has to learn to control her new found abilities before all hell breaks loose.
I make it sound pretty awesome-sauce, but I’m just telling it like it is, guys.
The one thing that I’m usually hesitant about when I read Shape-shifter novels is that I usually hate the descriptions about bones crunching and joints moving and pain. It’s a mess in my head that I seriously hate hearing about. Finally, I found a novel that gave me a better representation of what a “change” should feel like. It was both realistic and actually made sense considering the type of world the shifters grow up in.
I absolutely adored the world of the otherkin because it was the type of world that I have been waiting a very long time to read about. It’s full of secrecy and danger and shadow magic and I fell in love with it—hard. Did I think the shifters were cool? Yes. Did I think that the callers like Caleb were cool? Hell yes. Being able to manipulate the states of matter and the shape of things is a power that I wouldn’t mind and when it came to Caleb I found Callers getting cooler and cooler. Especially when Caleb is such a romantic and still your typical guy with typical guy responses.
While I did love the story, I found (and this is my only complaint) that this novel did have a slow start. But that’s okay, because once Caleb and Dez finally find Morfael the story got so deep into the otherkin lore that I was hooked! Plus Morfael was the Master Shifu of the novel (if you’ve seen Kung-fu Panda you should know that reference…).
I would recommend this novel to fans of the Nightshade series, fans of YA supernatural and readers who want some romance with an otherworldly twist. Now go find your inner animal.
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Posted August 14, 2012
Dez has always felt like an outsider. Early on we learn that she was adopted as an infant. However that's not why she feels like an outsider, at least not in the beginning. She's always felt aloof and untouchable because of a back brace that she's been forced to wear 23 hours a day. About two years ago she was diagnosed with idiotic scoliosis. In order to prevent her spine from curving she's been forced to endure the tension and pain that comes with walking, sitting, and sleeping with a brace firmly hooked around her. She's always felt like a freak because of this brace. Not only does it cause her discomfort, it also forces her to wear very baggy clothes to accommodate the extra inches. I really felt for Dez. Because of her sense of being "different" she's shut herself off from the good and normal experiences that come with being a teenager such as meeting, interacting, and connecting with the opposite gender. As Dez says "Boys don't want to literally knock first before you let them in."
So then comes Caleb. The first time Dez meets him they are both locked within cages. After some quick thinking on Dez's part the two break free from the cages, commandeer a SUV and hightail it into the California desert to get away from the crazy group that captured Dez and caged Caleb. You can tell from the beginning that Dez and Caleb have a connection. There's definitely instant-sparkage. Dez is having a rough time dealing with that fact that she a. recalls shifting into an animal (tiger to be precise) b. was shot with a tranquilzer c. wound up in a cage and d. learnt that she's connected to a form of beings that have the ability to shapeshift into a specific animal depending on which tribe they belong to. Luckily though, Caleb himself posesses some unique abilities and is there to help her sort out the details. For instance, like there are only a few shifting tribes left, tiger shapeshifters are rare, and the tribunal (crazy group) which now knows Dez's family's location, believes shifters and all other forms of Otherkin are evil and therefore work towards eradicating them.
Otherkin is an amazing book. The storyline is so unique and interesting. Berry does a fabulous job creating such a multi-faceted, fictional world. There's a lot of deeply drawn out themes throughout Otherkin. Prejudice for instance, plays a big part along with the age-old good vs. evil. I found that those particular lines get blurred quite a bit throughout the story. Although The Tribunal makes it their mission to wipe out and cleanse the world of the "Otherkin" the Otherkin aren't exactly making the Tribunal's job any harder. The remaining Otherkin segregate amongst the different shifters, rats, bears, raptors, etc. believing that each is better than the another. They basically only look out for their own, willing to sacrifice another if it works to their own advantage. I loved the interaction and history between the shifter tribes. I thought it was well thought-out and thought provoking. I eagerly ate up every bit of information we we're thrown.
There was a wide selection of characters. Which I loved! Dez is shy and meek in the beginning but later on we discover that deep down she's incredibly strong and brave. Caleb is extremely charming yet also fiercely protective. I won't go too much into detail as to spoiler the plot, but the other group of secondary characters were just as awesome. Each one was extremely unique with their own tastes and personalities. I found that they really balanced the story out nicely.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good paranormal young adult book with shifters, adventure, romance and action. I thought the pacing was great. Never too slow or too fast. The writing was very clean and engaging with a good mix of description and dialogue. Overall I'm very eager to get my hands on book #2 Othermoon which is set to released in February. *4.5 stars*
2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2013
I would absolutely recommend this book to others. I found it to be both different and captivating. I read this book so fast that I bought the second book within the same day and finished both books the same day. I found it to be an amazing read and I would read it again and again. I applaud the author and I am anxiously awaiting the next book.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2012
Otherkin is a very great book. Very different than most I have read, because here, the characters shift into animals! Being a lover of animals, it was very fun to see what animals each character shifted to, and how they acted in their animal form. Nina Berry did a great job in writing about the animal's feelings, because it felt so real! Everything was so detailed, and I think she did a great job in writing this book! Dez, the main protagonist, has felt out of place all her life. Being adopted into a family, (but a very loving family), and wearing a back brace, and not being able to fit at school. She also doesn't know that she can shift into a lion. Until the day where she gets kidnapped and finds herself locked in a cage. Locked in the cage beside her, she meets Caleb, and that's when she knows everything about herself and her new enemies.
The adventure in the book starts immediately, and I'm glad I didn't have to wait for the story to start. It was action after action, which never left me bored. All the characters felt relatable, so I really enjoyed reading about each and everyone of them. What I really liked about this book is that it wasn't predictable. It didn't go with the flow of most books, which made me enjoy it more! I don't want to say much about this book, due to not spoiling things, but some parts made me really laugh as well. Caleb was the type of guy who was hard to understand. He wasn't a shifter like Dez, but a caller. Despite their differences, I really liked how the two worked together, and developed their trust for each other. Later we meet the other characters in the book, or shall I say, the other Otherkin. Nina Berry did a great job in the world building, and the fantasy in this book was great! The romance was the exact touch we needed. Not to much and not to little.
I have to admit that some parts in the book were confusing to understand. The fighting, and the magical part of the story wasn't clearly described. Sometimes I would find myself skimming through those parts, just to get to the good parts. Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading this book. From the characters, to the world building, everything was fun and enjoyable to read. The ending was good, but it did leave me wanting to know what happens next! I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel of the book, Othermoon!
1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 15, 2014
Posted March 1, 2014
Posted February 27, 2014
Posted February 16, 2014
Reviewed by Valerie
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
Oh yeah! This one is different and hooked me from the beginning. What made it even more appealing is that the main character, Dez, has no clue what’s going on in her life and as she finds out, so does the reader…what’s going on you want to know? Plenty! Adopted as an infant with loving parents, for the past two years, Desdemona, aka Dez, has been wearing a stifling back brace fighting the curving of her spine. Then, one night she goes to a school dance and a boy puts his arms around her, but she’s horrified he might touch her brace and rushes home.
At home, she fights the anger inside of her at the unfairness of having to wear a brace 23 hours a day and bigger clothes to hide it, besides the bruises on her hips. During this moment of anger, she shifts. Yes, you read that right…shifts…into a tiger, no less. The moment changes her life as she is soon captured and introduced to the world of “other.”
The world that Nina Berry has created is fascinating with teens that shift into animal shapes, others that can conjure shadows, as well as being chased by the Tribunal trying to cleanse the world of all shifters. Enter boy crush, Caleb, and the story was flowing with all sorts of twists and turns!
As Dez fights to protect her parents, figure out her relationship with Caleb, and become comfortable with who and what she is, she strengthens her skills at a make-shift school for teens like her. However, as she learns more and more, she has even more questions and unusual things happening to her, just her.
Read on to see what happens to Dez, Caleb, and her friends! Othermoon, the sequel, will be released in February, 2013.
Favorite Quote:What are you when the moon shall rise?
-Sir Henry Wotton, 1620
Posted February 13, 2014
Posted January 16, 2014
'Otherkin' is a fantastic start to what promises to be an amazing YA fantasy/paranormal series. I haven't read any shifter books in quite awhile, so I was really interested when I picked these up for review. Let me tell you - I was NOT disappointed! This book went far beyond any hopes or expectations I may have had for it. The characters were well formed with distinct personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. I loved the main character of Dez. She's down to earth, smart, and a girl who doesn't get into trouble - she's realistic. We definitely get to see her character grow throughout the book as she begins to change into her "real" self and as she learns who - and what - she really is. I absolutely loved the background and history of the Otherkin. I wanted to know as much about them as I could, and I'm really hoping the author shares more of it in the next book. The plot was intriguing with a solid backstory and tons of action, adventure, fantasy and even some romance mixed in. There's something for every genre fan in this book, which really makes it appeal to a wide audience. The writing was incredible with a natural but fast pace and vivid details that made me feel like I was experiencing everything right alongside Dez. Definitely highly recommended for fans of the genre as well as those who want something fresh and different.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted October 27, 2013
Posted September 1, 2013
I am not even half way done with his book, and already love love love it!!!!Best book ever!!!!!!!! If you like this book,then I recomend that you read Starters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2013