Series: Otherselves Series #2
STEAMPUNK and GARGOYLES and WORLD MIRRORS, OH MY!
No, but in all seriousness, this book was a stunning read. Being my first foray into a NetGalley blind pick read (meaning that I chose it based off of description and cover alone), it turned out to be a pretty AWESOME choice. One caveat though, I did not realize when I picked it that it was the second book in a series and so I have not yet read the first in the Otherselves series. That being said, I didn’t feel AT ALL like I had missed out on valuable information while reading this book, somehow the author managed to make this book feel like a stand-alone piece even though it is part of a larger whole.
I have to say, Luiken’s world building is some of the most fantastic in in the Young-Adult/Fantasy genre I have ever come across. Considering this is the first of her works I have read (which is a crying shame) I am amazed at how subtly and seamlessly she was able to make me believe in all of these worlds so quickly. Building up their mythologies, their customs and different backgrounds is a complex task and this is not even the first book in the series but I still felt like I knew each of the worlds completely.
Of course, Air World quickly became my favorite because of all of the steampunk elements and the almost Victorian courtly style to it. And I could’ve read an entire book just on Audrey alone, considering she comes onto the scene in the first few pages as such a headstrong yet light-hearted character.
Piers was eyeing her as if she were crazy. Well, she was carrying on a one-sided conversation with a bucket.
And oh, The Phantom had me caught up in his charm from his first appearance (always the mark of a good love interest) although, at least to me it was pretty obvious who his identity was from the get-go and I will admit I’m not diggin’ his name *spoiler* (Piers, really? Jack is a much more roughish, Phantom name) *spoiler*
Stone World was so contrasting to Air, being completely bleak and morbid. I swear when the writing would get into descriptions of dust and stone I could almost feel my throat drying up, now that’s some good poetic writing right there. The plot felt a lot more rushed during the times spent in Stone World thought (not that I was complaining much cause of my obvious Air bias) but the characters in Stone did seem somewhat rushed because of the fast pace that the book had, which I did like. I’m one of those people who enjoys fast paced books and not the slow movers.
I liked the diversity between the female, especially when you consider that they are technically copies of the same people. While I was able to really like some of the Otherselves (Holly, Audrey) the other two kinda drove me batty (Leah, Dorotea). I don’t know if this is purposeful on the authors part, but I just couldn’t identify with the choices that Leah and Dorotea make, when they feel so justified in making them. Plus, Dorotea and Jasper’s relationship seemed to hinge solely on Leah but that’s getting a little into spoilers so hush hush on that 😉 But Audrey and Holly were much more confident, calmer and level-headed characters while still being able to be compassionate. They were more relatable in my opinion. But all of them were interesting and complex in a way that made me want to know more about each of their “selves”.
Overall this book is a stellar read, it’s very high on the fantasy and use of imagery and while it does include many characters, Luiken does a wonderful job of telling their stories in a way that feels satisfying but makes you want to come back for more.