YA Review: Otherworldly (F.T. Lukens)

About This Book:

A skeptic and a supernatural being make a crossroads deal to achieve their own ends only to get more than they bargained for in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of Spell Bound and So This Is Ever After.

Seventeen-year-old Ellery is a non-believer in a region where people swear the supernatural is real. Sure, they’ve been stuck in a five-year winter, but there’s got to be a scientific explanation. If goddesses were real, they wouldn’t abandon their charges like this, leaving farmers like Ellery’s family to scrape by.

Knox is a familiar from the Other World, a magical assistant sent to help humans who have made crossroads bargains. But it’s been years since he heard from his queen, and Knox is getting nervous about what he might find once he returns home. When the crossroads demons come to collect Knox, he panics and runs. A chance encounter down an alley finds Ellery coming to Knox’s rescue, successfully fending off his would-be abductors.

Ellery can’t quite believe what they’ve seen. And they definitely don’t believe the nonsense this unnervingly attractive guy spews about his paranormal origins. But Knox needs to make a deal with a human who can tether him to this realm, and Ellery needs to figure out how to stop this winter to help their family. Once their bargain is struck, there’s no backing out, and the growing connection between the two might just change everything.

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

OTHERWORLDLY is an engaging YA fantasy. Ellery has been working in the nearest city to send money home to the family farm, when they encounter a boy running from some odd people. They save them with a pipe, but they don’t quite believe it could be anything supernatural when the weird hot guy comes to them the next day asking them to make a bargain – especially since it’s his family belief in the supernatural that seems to be hindering their progress.

Knox is a familiar and creature of the crossroads. He is brought to the world when needed as part of a bargain, but he loses all memory of his time there when he returns. When his latest master finishes their bargain and the shades come to claim their soul and Knox, Knox makes a quick decision to bolt – and is rescued by Ellery. However, the shades will keep coming unless Knox has a reason to stay. Luckily, he has an idea – if Ellery will agree.

Eventually, the bargain is struck, and they spend more time together, complicating the already complicated in all the best ways.

What I loved: This was an interesting take on magic, bargains, and family (blood and found). Ellery lives with their cousin and her girlfriend, creating a family of sorts, while also being connected to their family on the farm. Their distrust of the existence of the supernatural has been longstanding as they have seen the farm failing and listened to the wild things their parents say about it. However, as Knox pulls them into this world, they begin to realize there are more and bigger things at play than they ever expected.

There are some thought-provoking themes around freedom, choice, making bargains, found family, morality, and helping others. Ellery, their cousin and her girlfriend all stand out to Knox because of the aid they are willing to give without expecting things in return. He begins to find family and home with them, because of their kindness and willingness to help. Given that he has been trapped in a cycle of bargains which he had no say over, this is new and refreshing.

The characters were all really charming, and beyond Knox who was endlessly endearing and Ellery who was kind and generous, Ellery’s cousin, Charley, and her girlfriend, Zada, were also lovely people who took in Ellery and Knox without a second thought, willing to help whenever needed. Their banter was also lots of fun throughout, and I loved seeing their established relationship alongside the budding, new one of Knox and Ellery.

As a stand-alone, the ending also had some lovely themes and wrapped things up nicely.

What left me wanting more: The story moves a bit slowly at first, as the bargain does not happen until near halfway through the book. That being said, this would work well for people who enjoy a lot of background and a slow burn.

Final verdict: OTHERWORLDLY is a charming YA fantasy that will work well for fans of magic, love, and slow burns.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

 

 

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