From the book’s back cover: 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.
My take: I enjoyed the setting of Other. A lot. It never occurred to me to have a supernatural book set in America where everyone knows supernatural creatures exist already. The situations described by the author in which there were discrimination and, in some extreme cases, segregation, were very realistic. I liked that while there wasn’t exactly a “don’t let normal people find out about us” feel (like Harry Potter and most paranormal stories), there was a “let’s just not tell them …” approach.
However, some bits of the book put me off. Apart from the sloppy writing, it was sorta predictable. I could see a train wreck coming where Zack was concerned, and a bunch of roses near Tavian. The ending surprised me quite a bit, though it did make sense looking back.
The characters felt real, except for a few that didn’t get quite enough “screen time.” All in all, this book would’ve been quite good except for the swearing and sex scene and all the nudity.
Rated: High, for several instances of strong language and more than a dozen uses of moderate language as well as plenty of mild language; one sex scene, multiple instances where a boy and a girl are naked together, and graphic deaths.