Saturday 6 December 2014

The Boy With the Hidden Name (Otherworld (Book 02)) by Skylar Dorset

Title: The Boy With the Hidden Name
Author: Skylar Dorset
Series: Otherworld (Book 02)
Read Type: eARC from SOURCEBOOKS fire
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You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon UK and Amazon US
You can find out more about the author on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads and her website

Book Blurb
"Benedict Le Fay will betray you. And then he will die."

Betrayal and death—not quite the prophecy Selkie wanted about her first love. A half-faerie princess with a price on her head, Selkie Stewart just wants a little normal in her life. Not another crazy prophecy. Besides, she and Ben are a team. They're the two most wanted individuals in the Otherworld, and fated to bring down the Seelie Fairie Court and put an end to their reign of terror. Nothing can come between them.

Until Ben leaves.
And the sun goes out.
And the chiming bells deafen all of Boston.

The Seelies are coming. And only Selkie can stop them from destroying the world.

Author Bio
Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo & Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven.
Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there.

Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. Skylar shares her home with a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor, lots of Mardi Gras beads from the time she spent living in New Orleans, and a harp she’s supposed to be teaching herself to play. She’d like to get a dog.

Strong language: Some, mild
Drugs: None
Violence: None
Sexual content: Yes

I was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley, in return for an unbiased review.

Note: I have read and reviewed this before the release of The Girl Who Read The Stars, so any contradictions are due to that

Selkie is a half-faerie, half-goblin who until recently lived under an enchantment believing herself to be a human living with two slightly kooky aunts and a grandfather clock that never told the right time. Since this life changing discovery she has collected, usually accidentally, a small posse of supernatural creatures, and a human best friend, who tend to take up crazy adventures with her. The biggie of these was going to the Seelie court, a type of evil, or possibly just misguided, faerie gathering to find her mother, with interesting consequences.

This is a fantastic series so I highly recommend you start at the beginning (there are links to all of the series above), but with this knowledge I feel you could jump straight into this story. Selkie has a whimsical voice when she tells these stories, even in the most stressed of times, which helps to keep up and get the snippets of information you need when you need them. A couple of parts in this book did deviate from that style, in that I felt a bit like I was on a run away horse, but this was soon back under control and having a discussion.

The story starts with strange events happening on Boston Common, opposite Selkie's home, bringing a prophesy to life. Danger, adventure and the odd discussion over a feast ensue, with both life and death, and light hearted normal teenaged-girl moments. Soon a small group, consisting of multiple species, are running around where they shouldn't be, trying to stop the collapse of the world as we know it.

The characters go both through the world that we know, and the Otherworld, a place where al kinds of faeries live. This expanded geography, as well as culture of the worlds, is deep, while being dealt out in small amounts. Amazing worlds are shown to us through the eyes of both the perpetually surprised Selkie and her human friend Kelsey. This did annoy me in places, given this was not their first trip, I think their resident wizard put it best with "Don't you think, by this point, that it's time for the two of you to stop being so surprised by everything that happens?". I had to agree with this, while we were seeing new things I got used to the basis of the events faster than the characters. Nevertheless this encouraged me to look deeper into the world and what was on the page than I may otherwise have done.

I think the real dynamic and strength of these books is the character's. charismatic, cruel, all real world emotions, if heightened, in a believable sense, even when I'm watching a goblin and a fairy have a chat! It was also nice to see that friends and family were still a key element in Selkie's life, even when the sky was falling down around her. She always have thought for them and her heart was with them.

The plot twisted back and forth, at times I was confused, but as the characters were too, and having to take things one step at a time I think this was the author's intention and helped to keep the reader in the story.

I liked the ending, I just hope that this is merely the start of an expanded set of adventures. I think there is a lot of gold to mine in these tales.

The 411
Overall this was another fun tale in the Otherworld series and I hope to see more to come. The plot dug deeper into morals and emotions that previous books, hooking the reader.

I did have some minor irritants such as characters repeated shock, but this did not deter from the book.

I give this a firm 4.5, rounded to a 4 for reviewing sites.

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