Between by Kerry Schafer ~ Review (2013 urban fantasy)

Between by Kerry Schafer ~ Review (2013 urban fantasy)Author: Kerry Schafer
Title: Between
Series: Between #1
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 304
Release Date: 2013-01-29
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours. All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real. And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…
Format: Paperback
Also by this author: Wakeworld, The Nothing, Between, Dead Before Dying
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five-stars

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

review

Between is the first book in the Between series by Kerry Schafer.

The book starts out great, weaving in memories and dreams without slowing the pace. As the story continues, it doesn’t let go of the reader. It was a hard book to put down because each chapter ended on a line that made me want to find out more or made me worried for the character. What I was impressed with was that Kerry Schafer accomplished this without the ending line sounding melodramatic.

I thought the plot was original, creative, and atypical. I liked the idea of a dreamshifter, which was something different from dreamwalkers.

I think a reader who would appreciate Between would need to be one who can stretch his or her imagination a lot without getting confused about the concepts. I have to admit that there were places where I found myself having difficulty wrapping my mind around everything.

Between is a highly detailed, skillfully written book. I could clearly picture the characters, setting, and actions. I thought Kerry Schafer did a really good job of describing the gory parts, like when a dragon rips apart a servant woman. An ideal reader would need to be someone who doesn’t get offended easily by violence, especially sexual violence.

Vivian is generally a likable character. She has failures that make her more human and a person who readers can relate to. The only thing I didn’t like about her was that she never actually figured out what to do. Someone else had to tell her how to resolve the main problem of the story.

Of the other characters in the book, the one who stands out the most for me is Poe, the penguin who accompanies Vivian through Between (the world that is between dreaming and being awake). I kept wondering if he was just there for a cute or comedic purpose, but he proved himself by being useful toward the end of the book.

I disliked how some scenes switched to present tense. I didn’t see any need for changing tenses. It didn’t contribute to the atmosphere or suspense, in my opinion. Of course, I have to acknowledge that this is probably just a matter of personal taste; everyone who reads my reviews knows that I can’t stand present tense writing.

As a whole, I thought Between was excellent. I recommend it to readers who would appreciate urban fantasy with a softer main character, a little romance, and quite a bit of violence and danger. It has original concepts, well-developed and believable characters, and awesome settings.

Thank you so much, Kerry, for giving me the opportunity to finally read this book!

About Kerry Schafer

Kerry Schafer writes fantasy with its teeth sunk into reality, mystery that delves into the paranormal, and women’s fiction that embraces the dark and twisty realms of humanity. The first two books of her Between trilogy (Between and Wakeworld) were published through Ace Books/Penguin. Due to the ever-shifting landscape of publishing, the concluding book of the trilogy – The Nothing – will be coming out as an Indie book, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Kerry’s Paranormal Mystery series, Dead Before Dying, was recently acquired by Diversion Books, and rumor has it she is currently working on a Women’s Fiction project, just to keep things interesting. (bio from Goodreads)

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