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.
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: December 27th 2011 by EgmontUSA
Four Stars: This book features a unique kick butt heroine! Lots of fun!
Tick Tick the seconds drag, only twenty two hours and thirty six seconds...tick tick tick. For Kali her wrist watch is a perpetual enemy, since it constantly counts down the hours to the next day. Another day where she will either be a plain, boring human, who lacks any special abilities or a day when she is a seemingly impervious, kick butt, non human, who spends her time battling the zombies, hell hounds and other preternatural creatures that roam the world. Seventeen year old Kali has no understanding behind her inexplicable metamorphosis every other day. She only knows that on the days when she is something else she possesses an insatiable lust to hunt and destroy the creatures of the night. The hands drag across her watch at a crawling pace as Kali suffers through an unbearably, long school day. Slouched down in the bleachers trying to blend into the background she bides her time, then a friendly voice and an offer of an orange tic tac and a stick of gum change everything. Soon Kali finds this school day is anything but ordinary. Bethany, the head cheerleader and popularity queen, bears the mark of a fatal, parasitic chupacabra bite. An incontrovertible death sentence. Kali makes a rash decision and lures the lethal chupacabra into her ill prepared human body. The parasite infesting her body soon proves to be just the beginning of her worries. The steps of treachery stalk down the hall; the sharp, snapping, strike of a set of smart heels slap toward her signaling that her troubles have only just begun. Will Kali survive until tomorrow?
What I Liked:
*The characters in this book are so much fun and decidedly unexpected. Beginning with Kali, our heroine, with her unique ability to morph every other day into an unstoppable force bent on destruction. She is smart, sassy and full of snark. When Bethany popped onto the scene I groaned inwardly and resigned myself to suffering through the taunting of a mean girl prima donna but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was more to her character. I actually enjoyed Bethany and I was so relieved that she eclipsed beyond the typical beautiful, teenage girl, who thrusts her nose in the air. She does retain a few of those qualities but not enough to make me dislike her. Skylar, what a blast of fresh air, she is quirky, endearing and doggedly determined to prove that she is indeed psychic despite the constant nay saying she receives, especially from her brothers. Her optimistic attitude remains undeterred in spite of the continual antagonization dished out by the cheerleaders and her five brothers. Her good nature takes it all in stride and she introduces herself to Kali as "the school slut" and then laughs it off and says "it says so right on my locker." She also has a penchant for collecting the cast offs of the school population. Her ebullient personality is irresistible.
*The plot is engaging, full of action and it has mystery too. I enjoyed trying to uncover the truth behind Kali's eccentric condition. As you get further in you find that there are several other secrets to unravel, such as who are the villains? Who tried to infect the cheerleaders with the chupacabra? Who is Zev? This book has its share of surprises!
*I enjoyed the personification of the villianess. The way she strides on scene with her swift, clipping stacatto steps. I could almost hear the sound pounding out of the pages. It was like the bad guy music in a movie except in words.
*I appreciated the setting of this book. Ms. Barnes creates an alternate universe that mirrors our own with a few, slight aberrations. The illustrious Darwin writes his famous volume not on the evolution of the species, instead he uncovers the presence of the preternaturals. A revolutionary minute in time that changes their world. Humans two hundred years later, now live side by side with zombies, hellhounds, dragons and all the other paranormals that populate our imagination. Most of these creatures are under governmental protection. There is plenty of creative science woven throughout as well as scientific classifications and genetic makeup of the preternaturals to add authenticity.
And The Not So Much:
*I was intrigued by the symbiotic relationship that Kali forms with the chupacabra but I was confused and I thought that the parasitic bond needed more clarification. How exactly does it work? How big are they? How do they facilitate the psychic connection? Is the infection permanent? The little bit of information that was put forth was a bit muddled.
*There were many confusing questions that were left unanswered. What was the deal with Bethany’s mother? Was she crazy or drugged? At the first encounter she comes across as a little unhinged, and in a cloud of confusion. Later, she meets Kali and she is intelligent and normal. What role does Bethany’s father ultimately play?
*Zev, I am uncertain of my final feelings on this character, I thought at first he is introduced as a possible love interest but now I don’t know what or who he is? I definitely need more information on this character.
*I never received a full explanation to Kali’s rare traits. There are some suggestions but nothing that states definitively what she is.
*I enjoyed the introduction of Skylar’s five teasing brothers but I wish they were better developed, especially Elliot. He is prevalent through a good portion of the story but he lacks depth. It seems his main role in the book is to deter Skylar from her beliefs in her psychic ablity. I hope that we can get to know the brothers better in the next installment.
*The conclusion, the book moves to a speedy end and I was expecting an explosive finish, it was more of a fizzle. The finale was a big convoluted mass of unresolved issues. I was not aware going in that this was the first book in a series but it was obvious that there needs to be another book to tie off the loose ends. The tragic loss was horrendous!
Every Other Day is the first work I have read by the talented Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This was a lively, exciting book with many novel concepts that will capture your attention. Her characters are like-able and engaging. Snap this book up and prepare for an interesting little adventure. I plan on adding some of Ms. Barnes other books to my reading shelf.
A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by EgmontUSA via Netgalley.
“Even without my powers, I would gladly have faced down hellspawn over high school mean girls any day.”
“Some people were born in the spotlight, and some of us lived on the fringe.”
“I may not be the sharpest eyeliner in the box, but even I can read between those lines.”
“There comes a moment in every kid’s life when they look at their parents and realize that they’re people--stupid and fallible and as breakable as the rest of us.”
“I’ve been duct-taped to chairs a lot.”
“You either let the bad things happen,” she said softly. “Or you don’t.”