The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1)

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1)
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Release Date
June 01, 2014
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THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right? When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life. Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.

Editor review

1 review
A fantastic urban fantasy with tantalizing magic and fiery romance.
Overall rating
Writing Style
This book was fantastic.

Selkie is a great protagonist, who is strong and interesting, but doesn’t try to save the world all on her own. It is a little hard for Selkie to come to terms with her Otherworld heritage, but once she does the girl is tenacious.

Not only that, she accepts the help of other people she knows she needs. Don’t get me wrong, Selkie would rather go it alone – just to keep these people safe. But Will, Ben, Kelsey, Safford, and even a couple of minor characters are just too integral to the story to leave out. I absolutely loved that these characters were important, fully conceived, and well through their own story arcs and character development. A good heroine like Selkie has an awesome team backing her up, and a fun sidekick like Kelsey.

The world-building is so well done. The author writes with personal knowledge of Boston, the real world setting, but not with so much detail that we get bored with it. Just pertinent information about various places in Boston is shared, and it is so well done that I feel like I could recognize these places! The same for the Otherworld, of which we only get to see the Seelie court. However, I feel like I could find my own way from Boston to the gates of the faerie castle because it was so well written!

The Verdict: Skylar Dorset’s debut novel is an astoundingly well-done urban fantasy in the style of Neverworld and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. If you’re looking to get swept up in a world-spanning fantasy adventure, check out the Otherworld series!
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