Desdemona Grey, or Dez, is a normal sixteen-year-old girl, that is, until she shifts into a tiger one night. Almost immediately she finds herself locked up in a cage – with no idea how she got there. That’s when Dez first meets Caleb, who is being held in the neighboring cage. From Caleb, Dez learns that she is a shifter, or otherkin. Caleb too is directly linked to the world of otherkin. As he and Dez become allies, Dez is thrown into a strange and unfamiliar world. She must come to terms with her true nature, and try to learn the truth about her past.
I could hardly tear myself away from Otherkin – it jumps into action almost immediately and never slows down. The characters are fun and three-dimensional, the dialogue has some really great moments, and the mythology is unique, without getting too complex. The story gets pretty dark at times, but there are also plenty of fun moments.
I really liked the way Berry described the process of shifting, it was always interesting to see what was going through Dez’s head, and it was described realistically. Dez makes for a fascinating protagonist, on one hand, she is pretty normal, and her fears and insecurities make her all the more realistic. On the other hand, the “normal” in her has to co-exist with her shifter self, and Berry, I think, handles it well. Romance plays important part and is handled nicely, but it isn’t the main focus of the story. I found the relationship between Dez and her mother very touching – it was refreshing to see this kind of portrayal of teenager-parent relationship.
Nina Berry’s writing is very enjoyable – it’s never overly wordy, yet still has some great details. The descriptions are always concise and to the point, which helps to keep the fast pace of the story. Otherkin is the first book in the series and I already can’t wait for the next installment.
Otherkin came out on July 31st.