Review: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

(I'm reading this book as a part of my Diverse Fantasy Read-A-Thon. If you're interested, sign ups are still open!)

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.

This book deserves applause for the beautifully diverse characters the author has created. There is so much racial, sexual and ethnic diversity in this book but this is not an "issue" book. This is a book with well-written characters who just happen to be wonderfully diverse.

Amara, the female protagonist is dark skinned, mute (due to having her tongue cut as a child) and bisexual. Nolan, the male protagonist is Mexican-American, speaks Spanish with his parents and English with his sister. He has a prosthetic leg and suffers from 'seizures' when he is sucked into Amara's world.

The relationship between the main characters is so unique. For years, Amara doesn't know of Nolan's existence. But Nolan knows everything about Amara. Ever since he was a kid, he gets sucked into Amara's world every time he closes his eyes. This happens once when he is cycling which leads to an accident, resulting in the loss of his leg. His 'seizures' are diagnosed by doctors as a rare form of photosensitive epilepsy but Nolan knows better.

The secondary characters like Cilla and Nolan's sister Pat, are also wonderfully written and their character developments are interesting to read about.

This book has a really unique concept. It's set half in our world and half in a fantasy world where Amara lives; called the Dunelands. The story is about the connection between the two worlds and how Amara and Nolan deal with it and at the same time deal with the problems in their respective worlds. Amara has been protecting Princess Cilla for years now and hates her job. She has to deal with Jorn's tempers and her feelings toward Mort and Cilla.

Nolan has a love-hate relationship with Amara. He hates her for having cost him a leg and for the 'seizures' he suffers from everyday. He wishes she would just go away but he also cares about her and wants to help her during her bad times.

The plot didn't pick up pace until halfway through the book but I enjoyed the world building and character development in the first half. The second half is filled with action scenes and a lot of twists. And I personally loved the final few pages of the book!

The writing was absolutely wonderful. Writing with alternate PoVs isn't an easy job but Corinne Duyvis nails it. I enjoyed the dialogues between Nolan and Pat as much as I enjoyed reading about Amara's thoughts and her careful communication with Cilla.

- The Diversity
- The plot
- The writing

- The slow pace at certain parts

Pick up this book if you enjoy rich and diverse characters, an engaging plot and beautiful writing. I'd recommend this book to everyone I meet.

View all my reviews