"Once upon a time it had been a hotel or something,
the stairwells and lobby still fashioned
from the vintage brass and marble fittings they'd first known,
the elevators permanently 'out of order.'
But the building maintained a certain dystopian chic
that London had come to identify with."
--Anna Silver, Otherborn
Genre: YA Dystopia, Science Fiction
Publisher: Sapphire Star, 290 pages
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Source: eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Welcome to this stop on the Otherborn Blog Tour!! When Anna emailed me asking to join her tour I was immediately intrigued by the book...um, duh it is a dystopia, how could I deny? And I am so glad I said yes! The concept of this book was so unique and kind of the epitome and extreme of an oppressive dystopian world. The citizens of the city are pretty much trapped inside the city walls, they are only given vouchers/paper tickets in order to buy food and clothes which are all regulated by the government, art is not only highly censored but all in all obliterated, and nothing New is ever created...no music, art, expression of any kind. This is extreme people.
The tables start to turn when London does the impossible...she writes a song. This is absolutely unheard of. Not only does she create something New, but we find out she dreams as well. Another thing of legend. And she's not alone. 4 of her closest friends also dream and experience themselves as an alternate human being in their dreams. So mixed in with this dystopian world is this alternate dream universe where our characters also exist. Totally trippy, right?! Enter Rye, Kim, Zen and Avery. All dreamers. All complete with an 'Otherborn,' their alternate persona. Each time we got a glimpse into their dream world was such a treat for me. While it totally twisted my mind trying to figure out and grasp what was going on, I really liked this aspect of the story. I don't read a lot of alternate universe type story lines so this whole idea was so unique and fresh to me. As frustrating as my impatient reading mind is when I'm reading things I don't fully understand yet, the mystery behind it is really intriguing and I wanted to know more.
Because of this I never really knew where the plot was going. Without giving too much away I really liked the honesty of the character's actions. These were just normal kids trying to make a difference and change their situation. They make mistakes, they have no clue what to do half the time and I feel the desperation behind their dire situation. I thought this brought so much to the story. It felt real because they weren't "regular" kids that all of the sudden know how to fight against the world.
I do have mixed feelings about the character development of all the characters. The main character London is a very hardened young girl. She is very independent, strong-willed and takes care of herself. She is pretty closed off emotionally which should have irritated me but it made me like her more. Stuff happens later on where she pretty much shuts down and some of me wanted to shake her and say listen, the majority understood where she was coming from. Refusing to give in and be weak. I thought she was just great. I really liked Rye as well. His decisions and being wishy-washy in the beginning bothered me but towards the middle and through the end he started to really grow on me and certain lines of his just blew me away. He began to stand his ground and make decisions. And there is more but again, can't give away the plot.
The other characters in the periphery didn't really make an impact on me. The other two boys Zen and Kim kind of blended together. I mean, they were distinct but I didn't feel as connected to them as I did London and Rye. Avery is a little better and I have a feeling we are going to get more of her in the next installment which I am really looking forward to. Tora was an extremely interesting character. So similar to London but so different at the same time. I really enjoyed her development as a character because her history is so pertinent to the world building and her part in the story is very mysterious and I want to see where her piece of the puzzle fits in.
The world building is really good. You feel the desperation of the characters. The absolute loss of hope with the people around them. The lack of beauty in the world that is suffocating each one of them. And the story behind their Otherborns is just...wow. I need more details about their history and reason for what is happening to them. Great world building, pretty good character development and the unique plot and story line will definitely keep you interested. I will for sure be reading the next book. :)
And that's not all!!! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a SIGNED paperback copy of Otherborn and some awesome bookmark swag!!
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About the Author
Anna Silver grew up with a passion for words, books, and storytelling. She began writing as a child and eventually landed at St. Edward’s University in