Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
Gwen is an Other: a supernatural being. She just happens to be half-pooka (on her father's side)--a shapeshifter who can shift into almost anything, but typically seen as a black horse with yellow eyes as their main characteristic. But Others can also include, but not exclude, vampires, werewolves, kitsunes, dryads, and water sprites. Despite this wide array of people, Others are not wholly accepted in the world (not even in Canada!) with a group called The White Knights in that frontier of negativity. Now there's a suspicion that they are back on the attack when Others in Gwen's town are found in the open--dead; many of the times Gwen is the one finding them including one of her closet friend hanged with her throat cut open. Gwen wants answers yet she fears for her life as clues are being left that may point that Gwen may be next. High stakes call for high emotions especially when one just falls in love.Karen Kincy writes in an urgent manner with quick fast action scenes and heavy romance, while still managing exact details that paint vivid images and sensations. Others portray a universal and classic motif of prejudice--a different form of race in this manner. Yet the incorporation of various ethnicities gave a pleasant shock as it is a rare treat.
Kincy embraces a modern technology: Internet. Instead of long-winded monologues, Google searches explain much of the needed background which was refreshing. She also incorporated an authentic AIM chat--something that I can imagine reading and participating in with lol's and emoticons and none of the forced internet slang. (Also mentions blogs.)
As mentioned previously, ethnicity is pretty big in Others and one character that I found most interesting was Tavian (short of Octavian). Tavian is Japanese who is shorter than Gwen: 5'4 compared to 5'7. It is just so new to me because I am used to reading male characters being tall and Caucasian that I inadvertently smile when I read the description. Kincy creates healthy relationships where couples at least try to be honest and open with each other (and practice safe sex).
However, Others have inconsistencies and contradictions scattered around. Gwen wears a dress then several pages later she apparently had worn a blouse and a long skirt; Gwen checks on her blog daily yet she apparency owns no blog when asked are just a couple of examples. Then I felt somethings were not clarified: Maris being a prime example. And finally just some awkwardness in the book: a dream sequence that failed to be much of anything (especially with foreshadowing) since it was not mentioned ever again after that page and these huge hints that Gwen somehow misses.
Others ended solidly where I saw no point of a sequel (let alone being a trilogy), but I am eager in reading Bloodborn and Foxfire. I expect a detailed, action-packed romantic escape like I found in Others with the faults smoothed out.
Buy Others now: Amazon / IndieBound / Book Depository