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Radiant Shadows

Every Other Day

Every Other Day - Jennifer Lynn Barnes An interesting premise with a strong heroine combine for a fast-paced, entertaining read. But blunt dialogue and choppy paragraphs create an unwelcome distraction that takes away from an otherwise enjoyable read.It took me a few chapters to get used to Barnes' writing style. The dialogue is very blunt and straight-forward, as if each character says exactly what they're thinking without any type of filter. Though refreshing, it created quite a jarring experience to have a character say exactly what they mean, without then commenting on how what they said wasn't the whole truth, or having the rest of their thoughts to sort through. It's direct and gets straight to the point, without much filler. This made it hard for me to connect to any of the characters, as emotionally, they came across quite flat. So while I enjoyed watching Kali struggle with what she is, what it would mean to care about someone and what her future had in store, I never truly cared if she found the answers she was looking for.That being said, Kali is a great heroine to read about. She's physically tough as nails (on the days she's not human) but she's also emotionally strong. Having just uncovered the horrifyingly disturbing secrets to her past, Kali takes a minute to digest the information, and moves on with her plans - she comments on wanting to curl up into a ball of hurt, but she's stronger then that and she doesn't let it leave her a sobbing mess on the floor. She has a bit of a heroine complex, and feels the need to save everyone - even if it might mean sacrificing herself. I couldn't understand her relationship with her father - he was just too oblivious (convenient absentee parent syndrome?) - and I wish we had seen more of her relationship with her mother; it would have better explained some things that happened near the end.I adored Skylar in all of her eccentricities. She was quirky and super observant (though her special ability might have played a hand in that!) and her obnoxiousness was endearing. Luckily I half-guessed about her role in the plot, otherwise I would have been devastated. Her back-and-forth banter with Bethany was hilarious, and she gave off the annoyingly-adorable younger sister vibe. Bethany is a character I'm still on the fence about. She came off as a selfish popular girl at first, but quickly showed that it was all an act. From her backstory I got some understanding about the walls she puts up to keep others at arms length, but I never really understood her (or her motivations) as I had a hard time connecting to her. And lastly, Zev. I'm still not sure what Zev is to Kali, but I get the feeling that he's going to be a possible love interest. His presence throughout the book is scattered and random, and his connection to Kali is one I still don't understand. Other then what he is, I couldn't tell you a thing about Zev, and I haven't decided if his mysteriousness is intriguing or annoying. I do know that all the conversations he had with Kali should have been to better prepare her or to provide her with information, rather then to warn her against doing something dangerous - it got to be quite tedious to have him show up only to warn her against something she already had her mind made up about.The world building was interesting, but poorly done. I'm so confused about how the preternaturals came into being, why humans would ever let them roam free in the middle of a populated area, and why a society that can believe in hellhounds or basilisks can't believe in psychics or vampires. And it might just be me, but I almost got the feeling that everyone was happy to live in ignorance of these preternaturals' and the threat they imposed on the general public's safety. It didn't help that most of the explanation for preternaturals came from an info-dump towards the end of the book. That being said, I did enjoy the scientific approach to the paranormal, citing Darwin as the person responsible for their discovery, and the amount of preternaturals that Kali came into contact with were as numerous as they were varied.While I found Every Other Day to be a refreshing and entertaining spin on the slightly over-done world of the paranormal, it wasn't without its flaws. The fluff-less dialogue, emotionally-flat characters and poor world building left me with too many unanswered questions in a world I couldn't envision, with characters I (mostly) didn't care about.Also published on my blog, Radiant Shadows01/31/2012 Update: I just found out that this was written to be a stand-alone. I'm really not sure how that makes me feel, as I was hoping that a second book would answer some of the many questions I have remaining. With that factor added in I don't think I would lower my rating, as the main plot points were resolved, but it would add to my overall annoyance with the amount of loose ends that weren't tied up.