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Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Review: The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler

Fern is really weird--or at least she's not normal. She can talk to her dog, Byron, hears Voices in her mind (that are usually talking about her), has predicted the correct weather for over two years, and blisters after just moments in the sun light. But, really, other than that, Fern's somewhat similar to your average twelve-year-old . . . until she disapears in the middle of her English class to find herself at the beach. Doesn't sound TOO bad, right? But what if the next place she disapears to isnt as . . . CALMING, lets say? Fern still has no clue JUST how different--and powerfull--she is.

When the arrival of an extremely dangerous vampire becomes known, Fern starts to wonder who she really is. More troublesome, what is she? And who can she trust?

What i thought: This novel was shocking. It completely amazes me, how unlike it is from every other vampire-related young adult novel. I must say: the idea is absolutely fantastic; the characters are strong; the voice has life . . . but i'm just not feeling it. Honestly, it has just fantastic structure and a great base--but i dislike the way that Kogler dealt with it. It is similar Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society in this way; they both were great ideas, and could have been amazing . . . but, sadly, it did not meet its potential--no where near.

Truly, the characters were just great though. Fern was surprisingly strong throughout the entire novel, and very ocasionally came near her breaking point. Sam, her twin, was a great kid, and a sturdy shoulder to lean on. Mrs. McAlister was definitely not without a back bone. Mr. Bing was like the perfect grandfatherly image--despite the fact that he probably isnt a grandfather. But . . . it just doesnt go. The novel, i mean. It clearly could have came together wonderfully--but it does not.

The main reason for this is that it is just . . . slow. Even if it was at an exciting part, it was STILL slow. Achingly slow. I cannot pinpoint it exactly, but there was something that kept me from being sucked in completely. It was like doing to Hokie-Pokie; one minute my arm would be in, the next minute my leg would be in--but i'd never be in all the way. No, actually, thats not true. I was completely sucked in at one point--that point being fairly close to the end of the novel, which i suppose makes it even MORE like doing to Hokie-Pokie.

Despite this, i admired Kogler's writing style. Not so much her style, actually, but her voice. Kogler's words were all very clear, and so were their meanings. It was not hard to follow, but the voice was most definately one of a kind.

Frankly, I think this book could have been so much better, but I would recommend it to younger audiences--sixth grade (ages eleven and twelve), maybe--who are not quite ready to reach the Graceling (Kristin Cashore) or Old Magic (Marianne Curley) point yet.



Anonymous said...

It sounds excellent. I really want to read this now.

Lady K said...

hey Leah,
I gave away some Splash awrds, and i included your blog.

Visit Site said...

THE OTHERWORLDLIES was a satisfying read, with a plot that asked more questions than it answered but still managed to come to some kind of conclusion. Kogler's left herself open for a sequel, perhaps even an entire series, about Fern's future, and I for one look forward to whatever she comes up with next.


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