By: Nina Berry
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: publisher for an honest review
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.