Author: Karen Kincy
Published: July 2010 by Flux
My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Paranormal | Shapeshifters
Includes: Profanity, Sexuality, Violence
First Lines: I can't last much longer. It's been one week, three days, and I forget how many hours.
Gwen Williams lives in a paranormal world of Others consisting of werewolves, water spirits, centaurs, vampires, etc. She's actually a shape shifter herself - half pooka - but keeps it a secret. Even though daily life for humans living with Others is normal in Washington, there are a few people who are against them. Some even as far as hating them and wanting them dead. A new werewolf pack shows up, and suddenly Others are turning up dead. The police want to blame it on the werewolves, but Gwen has a hunch that there's more to it. With the help of new friend Tavian, a Japanese fox spirit, she's determined to catch the murderer, even if that means putting her life in danger.
From page 139
With clumsy fingers, I tug off my clothes and toss them aside. My skin prickles as glossy black feathers unfurl. Now a crow, I pump my wings, glide through my bedroom window, and ride the wind toward the Boulder River Wilderness. A chilly breeze fingers my feathers. I can feel it in my hollow bones - a storm soon.
I started this book expecting just another romantic paranormal story, but came back with something totally new and refreshing to this genre. Karen Kincy set up the world of Others wonderfully; it was so interesting seeing the interaction between humans and Others, and I learned about a wide new range of paranormal creatures that I didn't know that much about originally. It was a story mixed with creativity and mystery, a splash of romance, and a drop of suspense - a very good recipe to a book.
Gwen had a lot of layers; some that I liked and others that I despised. Her snarky personality, confidence, and sarcastic comments were believable for someone her age and fit her persona. I felt her struggle at accepting her otherness and trying to keep it a secret from the world. However, I think that at times throughout the book she made some very stupid decisions. I know that there has to be problems to create substance in a book, but c'mon Gwen is smarter than that! Sometimes I just wondered what the heck she was thinking. I also didn't like her corny, Medieval-loving, judgmental boyfriend Zack at all. When together, all they would basically talk about was when to have sex for the first time - which is a big turn off in a book for me. I don't like how he and his family were portrayed in the story as Christians either, since they weren't a good example of ones, and made them all look bad instead.
Tavian was such an interesting and dynamic character. I loved that finally a new type of guy was introduced in the paranormal genre; instead of the typical tall, dark, and mysterious man that's goal is to protect the main character from the enemies that surround her. Ugh, I'm so tired of that archetype. Tavian is a cute Japanese fox spirit that works in a bookstore and is actually short! He made the book fun and brought out the best in Gwen..I'm really glad he was included and hope that he'll play a big role in the sequel, too.
The actual mystery of who is killing off Others was developed well. Near the end when I was positive I knew who it was, I ended up being wrong! It's not as predictable as it seems, and the ending leaves room for more - perfect for the opening of the next book. The book makes you think and even though I wasn't swept away by it, I'm definitely glad I spent the time to read it.
Cover Thoughts: I think it's really interesting and mysterious. I'm glad the cover model actually fits the description of Gwen, and the effects of her transforming into an owl are well done. Plus the little blurred wolf is a nice touch!