Author: Corinne Duyvis
Length: 400 pages
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Content Appropriate For: Grades 9-12
Format: Digital ARC provided by Amulet Books via NetGalley
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Three adjectives that describe this book: unique, intriguing, dangerous
I was intrigued by Otherbound. I love reading the worlds that authors create, and in this book Corinne Duyvis had to create two vastly different worlds. I was eager to see how she would manage the switching back and forth between worlds, and if it would be confusing as the reader. The short answer is that the switching between worlds was smooth and easy to follow, but the world development had a few holes.
This is an ambitious story and it starts off slowly to accommodate for all the complications of dual world-development. I found it a bit confusing in the first 100 pages - not because the worlds were switching back and forth, but because Amara's fantasy world had so many darn people, places, and culture names that I just couldn't keep track of them all. Corinne Duyvis dumps you right into the action, so the reader has to get their bearings, while also following plot. This is difficult because there are 2 sets of characters, 2 sets of places, and 2 plots to follow. I'm hoping that the final published version of the book will include a map, at least, to help readers navigate. A character list would be helpful too.
After the first 100 pages, though, Otherbound became a real page-turner. I read the last 150 pages in one sitting. There were lots of plot twists - they were perfectly timed and sufficiently shocking. Some were downright terrifying!
The writing was so vivid in sections that I literally held my breath and squeezed the book tightly through some of the more tense scenes.
I initially rated Otherbound a 3.5 because of the slow, confusing start. However, I'm going to bump it up to 4 in the hopes that the published version will include a map to support the reader's understanding. PLEASE include a map!
UPDATE June 21, 2014 ~ Otherbound has now been published. I checked the "Look Inside" and was so pleased to see a beautiful, clear map of Amara's world. YAY! That map will relieve a lot of the confusing elements of the setting.