Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Pages: 352
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Published: December 27th, 2011
IBSN: 9781606841693

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Kali's both normal and not, though not at the same time. One day, she's a withdrawn teenage girl and the next, she's a fierce demon hunter. It's a routine she's used to. Until one day at school, she notices the mark of a paranormal parasite on a girl. The mark that indicates she'll be dead by the end of the day. And unfortunately for Kali, that day is a human one.

Every Other Day spans just a few days; at 380-odd pages, it works out be around 6 pages an hour. But the story is anything but slow.

We're lucky enough to have a protagonist that's very nature pushes the plot forward. Kali's determination to first save Bethany paired with the time limit on her hunting skills means she doesn't waste a second deliberated whether or not she does what she needs to do. This just might be her most admirable quality as well.

Kali had a distinct voice, evoked through the narration that served more than just a fast-pace. Her determined nature was consistent through both human and demon hunter days, but the differences between her two selves were portrayed as well. The personal style of narration also emphasised the fine character development and changes in motivation that come with her new investment in her friends' well being and self-discovery.

The world in which paranormal creatures are scientifically acknowledged is well-built and well-researched. Beyond your token vampires and werewolves running free, there are hundreds of strange, dark and diverse species that come into play, making for a unique and fascinating and -- since neither us nor Kali completely understand them -- unpredictable read. 

It starts as a simple attempt at saving one person's life and evolves into monsters around every corner and unraveling conspiracies, Every Other Day is a paranormal story with teeth. It's right up the alley of fans of Angelfire.