Between by Kerry Schafer is a breath of fresh air into the urban fantasy genre, drawing in new mythical creatures, a new magic system, and blending in some high fantasy to boot. While there were a few things that bothered me and there is a big trigger warning that has to be attached to Between, I’m really excited to see where this series goes and to see dragons making a dramatic entrance into UF ;-).
Note: I received Between from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Between by Kerry Schafer (The Between #1)
Published by Ace on Jan. 29th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 294 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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...
- One of the main things that I didn’t realize going into Between is that it is actually an even mix of urban fantasy and high fantasy elements. A lot of the book actually takes place in a high fantasy kind of medieval world. Since I’m a fan of both genres, I had a lot of fun with that aspect :D.
- Between has a very cool dream magic that is the main focus of the plot. If you are into dream interpretation, you will love this! I’m really looking forward to finding out more about how the dream spheres and everything works.
- I like a fair bit of grit in my urban fantasy books and Between does a great job of balancing out those gritty and dark moments with cute and funny ones. I found myself chuckling at an adorable moment just as much as I was grimacing from something horrible happening to my poor characters.
- Between is different than a lot of urban fantasy since it is narrated in third person and actually switches POV fairly frequently. This means that we got to know the main male character, Zee, better and I really liked the added depth that he has.
- Here’s the trigger warning: there is a rape scene. On top of that, Vivian really doesn’t stand up for herself much in Between, which especially annoyed me when she was interacting with her rapist (it’s a little more complicated than that, but you can probably see why I got angry).
- Along the same lines, Vivian is really bad at making decisions at some critical points in Between. Sometimes she just doesn’t do anything even after she knows that she has these incredible powers. I found myself shouting at her to do something, anything!
- There are several random things that crop up in Between that never really get explained and therefore end up feeling unnecessary and confusing. I’m hoping this gets solved in later books, but when weird clues get dropped early in a book and they aren’t resolved by the end, I get a little annoyed.
Between introduces a very cool magic system and world to the urban fantasy genre. As long as you think you can deal with the triggery stuff and are all right with a heroine that is a little less kick-butt than UF typically involves, you might enjoy it! I’m really crossing my fingers that Wakeworld (book 2), answers some of the questions that I was left with and continues to build the cool things this series has to offer.
Have you read Between? What did you think? Are you thinking of reading it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Between by Kerry Schafer
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.