Friday, August 22, 2008

The Otherworldlies by Jennifer Anne Kogler

12-year-old Fern McAllister is a little different. Her classmates call her Freaky Fern, but her family has learned to live with her eccentricities. She talks to the family dog (and he talks back), she has to keep a pot of dirt under her bed or she can’t sleep, she blisters if she stays in the sun too long, and she has to wear sunglasses constantly because her eyes are so sensitive. But her strange habits are the least of her worries these days. Lately she’s been accidentally…teleporting. One minute she’s daydreaming in class, the next she’s on a local beach. This new and frightening ability attracts the attention of Lindsey Lin, Fern’s popular classmate. Lindsey tells Fern that her powers mark her as an Otherworldly, or vampire, just like Lindsey and her family. And Fern’s not just any ordinary Otherworldly, but one of the Unusual Eleven, a child destined to have great powers. Also, Otherworldly children are only born to Otherworldly parents, which means Fern is adopted. These revelations shock Fern to the core. As does the news that now that her secret identity is known, other Otherworldlies, both good and evil, will be trying to find her and convince her to join their side in a supernatural battle for supremacy.

Kogler’s novel is more complex and unusual than your run-of-the mill vampire tale. The plot mixes the superstitions associated with vampires and the mythology of the ancient Greeks to create a totally unique story. It also deals with issues such as family belonging, adoption and the problems of being different. Hopefully, Kogler will write a sequel to this wonderful story.

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