Monday, 16 June 2014

Review: Otherbound


Publication Date:  June 17th 2014      
Publisher: Amulet (Abrams & Chronicle)
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~



Amara is never alone. Not when she's protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they're fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she's punished, ordered around, or neglected.

She can't be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he's yanked from his Arizona town into Amara's mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He's spent years as a powerless observer of Amara's life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she's furious.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan's breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they'll have to work together to survive--and discover the truth about their connection.

Oh Otherbound, you were almost freaking perfect.
There's a lot of things going on in Otherbound, we have multiple main characters and a lot going on behind the scenes, we have our world, a different world that might or might not be real, with different rules, magic, a cursed princess that if her blood is spilled their world will go to havoc and a few diverse relationships throughout with differently abled and POC characters. All in one book. So. Good.

We have our differently abled main character Nolan, who lost a leg, and has seizures and "hallucinations" that bring him into Amara's world, in her eyes. As soon as he closes them, he's there, and can only see what she does. It's also have the story is told, through dual perspectives from both Amara and Nolan, that tells the tale of one. It's funny because I thought we'd have two separate stories that merges into one, which at a point, it kind of does, but even while where in Nolan's perspective, we also get to see the carrying on parts from the last perspective of Amara, which was fun, Nolan's side of side of the story does connect, but the whole thing is more to do with Amara's world.
Which, we get to know the world throughout and it's culture and language and everything else inbetween, so it's not a total information dump, you learn along the way and it's pretty interesting, though it tended to slow during the middle, but it picked right up then. So I wouldn't say it's a pacing issue, just a plot build-up, and the twist that I didn't see coming. You also get a sense of is this real? Is this just all inside of Nolan's head because of the "seizures" and the medication he's using? And it made it better that way, we didn't know what was real, we couldn't even trust Nolan, since what he see's he writes down in journals, so it's kind of like a story within a story type of screw with your mind, that I loathe and love at the same time.

Besides that, the writing drew me in from the beginning with such a relatable character in Nolan, he's stretched thin a lot of the type and is trying to do his best to please everyone- and all of us in some point of our lives get that.  You know what I really loved though? How when it came to our other main lead, Amara and how her chapters were written. Since she can't exactly speak, since the servants have their tongues cut out, not allowed to read or talk and really, no signing either. So on Amara's part, there's not exactly a lot of talking going on, but it's "talked" through sign language and still reads as if they are talking but, still.  I have never actually read any YA where the main character that is any kind of disabled in that way (there's not exactly many anyway) so it was a different- and interesting change.

The only reason it's not a 5 for me, is because of where it lagged a little, but it's only minor and otherwise, it's pretty perfect.
With diverse relatable characters and relationships that are constantly in danger and on the run, with  twists and betrayal and a complex world and complicated characters who  actually swear, Otherbound was an intense journey.

Rating: 4.5/5