Book - 2014
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Nolan doesn't see darkness when he closes his eyes. Instead, he's transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan's life in his small Arizona town is full of history tests, family tension, and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara's world is full of magic and danger--she's a mute servant girl who's tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is only an observer in Amara's world--until he learns to control her. At first, Amara is terrified. Then, she's furious. But to keep the princess--and themselves--alive, they'll have to work together and discover the truth behind their connection.
A fascinating premise, clearly and compellingly written and imagined by a startlingly original debut writer.

Praise for Otherbound
" Original and compelling; a stunning debut."
-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Numerous plot twists drive the story along, and it's grounded in worldbuilding that creates a believable, authentic setting. Duyvis makes ingenious use of a fascinating premise."
-- Publishers Weekly , starred review

"While Duyvis's debut is an exciting take on the fantasy genre, as it alternates between our world and that of the Dunelands, the true strength of the novel is in its positive portrayal of LGBT issues."
-- School Library Journal , starred review

"Fantasy and speculative fiction fans will no doubt enjoy the ride, while authors should take note--this is how you do fantasy in a global world."
-- The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books , starred review

"Duyvis creates a humdinger of an adventure that contains the agony of loyalty, the allure of magic, and, most gratifyingly, the element of surprise."
-- The Horn Book Magazine

"Debut author Duyvis has written a nice twist on the classic bodysnatchers theme and keeps the pace moving smoothly, even when jumping between Nolan's and Amara's perspectives. Her racially diverse characters struggle with both disabilities and sexual identity, but she keeps her focus solidly on the story and character development so that diversity integrates naturally into both Nolan's and Amara's experiences."
-- Booklist

Publisher: New York :, Amulet Books,, c2014
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781419716812
Branch Call Number: FIC Duyvi
Characteristics: 391 pages


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Sgordano Apr 23, 2019

I was drawn to this book as an epileptic former YA librarian; any book that has a character involving seizures (real or otherwise) immediately draws me. From the outset descriptions of the book, I was wondering if the author was incorporating ecstatic epileptic episodes or if it was just a paranormal world. It obviously turns out to be the latter, but to me in a dissatisfying fashion; we never get a real explanation as to how Nolan or any of the other "travelers" get there in the first place after the spell is broken and they all return. That is probably my primary issue with this novel- the premise is interesting enough and I can suspend reality, but despite in depth character colorization we don't get the real flesh of the story. Yes, this is happening, but how and why? Is there a common thread between the travelers? Some common criteria?

I feel like there was definite undeveloped potential here, but nonetheless it's an interesting enough story for anyone with the fantasy slant and perhaps doesn't want to feel roped into a series.

Jun 24, 2017

Awesome and intriguing. At first it kind of seems weird and boring but once you get into it its very adventurous and its worth reading if you enjoy action

ArapahoeBridget Aug 24, 2016

A unique portal fantasy. There are some serious themes in this book, from violent abuse to dealing with a magically caused disability to political persecution, but the characters and story are so well drawn that the book doesn't feel mired in issues. I particularly loved Nolan's family!

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Feb 26, 2015

Really unusual teen fantasy about a boy in our world who travels into the body of a girl in a fantasy world every time he closes his eyes. Hard to explain, and the plot gets pretty complex toward the end, but there's a lot of interesting concepts here, and issues of different ethnicities, sexual orientations, and disabilities are handled so wonderfully and as a non-issue and that don't feel forced at all -- it's just incredibly well done in that regard. Very enjoyable read.

ChristchurchLib Sep 01, 2014

"Lots of people might wonder what it's like to see the world through someone else's eyes, but Arizona teen Nolan doesn't have a choice: when he closes his eyes, he experiences life as Amara, a mute slave girl living in the magical Dunelands. Nolan's doctors diagnose him with epilepsy, but his seizures are actually caused by Amara's agony as she shields the fugitive princess Cilla from a painful curse. After a new medication allows Nolan to influence Amara's actions, new possibilities are revealed in both worlds. Fantasy fans who appreciate diverse, authentic characters and creative world-building should definitely pick up this unconventional debut." Teen Scene September 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/8c5d2fc3-2dbd-444e-9fcf-6538111b2bb0?postId=483ea93a-652f-4637-834d-a7fa6c6b6cd9

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