Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release date: December 27, 2011
Source: Received via NetGalley for review

Summary: (from Goodreads) 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.

First impressions: We open on Kali hunting hellhounds, in an alternate history where Darwin discovered supernatural creatures and the modern day public is aware of their existence as a result. That premise alone hooked me from the start, aided by Kali’s sparkling personality and exciting action.

Lasting impressions: This was a terrific idea executed well, but also aggravatingly confusing.

Conflicting impressions: Nothing is spelled out for you here. The world’s history is never fully explained and the rules aren’t articulated, which often leaves the reader in the dark.

Overall impressions: Kali is one heck of a cool protagonist. Every other day she transforms from an ordinary human into a super powered demon hunting machine. She tracks and kills all different varieties of other worldly creatures, and does so fearlessly as she can’t feel pain and her body rapidly repairs itself. At dawn, she makes the switch back to human for the next 24 hours. And so on and so forth.

The story quickly kicks into high gear when Kali notices a classmate has been infected with a blood-sucking chupacabra. Her life is ruled by an instinct to protect humanity, and guessing that come morning when she transforms to her killer self she can annihilate the beast, she convinces Bethany to let her absorb the chupacabra instead. The plan doesn’t quite pan out the way she thought, and Kali, Bethany, and new friend Skyler are pulled into a fight for their lives when it turns out the chupacabra was placed as part of an experiment.

The action is fast paced, so much so that at times I wasn’t quite sure I was keeping up with the story. Kali gets enmeshed in the shadowy dealings of the corporation researching the chupacabra, which has ties to her dad and Bethany’s dad. The more she learns about what’s going on, the more questions are raised, until things rocket along to the final battle and what seemed like 100 new pieces of information were thrown at us in just a few pages. The whole thing really made my head spin.

An exciting and unique tale, to be sure, but due to my confusion it’s not likely to be one I’ll remember in the long run.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

4 thoughts on “Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  1. I felt pretty much the same way. I was super excited about this book in the beginning, but it just didn't come together as well as I'd hoped. The story doesn't really commit to anything, even the ending, which is really a bummer (especially condering how much I loved her last book, Raised by Wolves). Oh well. Off to go read Trial By Fire and see how it goes. 🙂

  2. Nice review! I haven't read a lot of your reviews so I'm not familiar with your style. I like the way you break it down. What I really hope is that this book fits at least two of the many challenges you've entered. You're a brave and optimistic reader!Heather

  3. I'm a major JLB fan and really look forward to reading this book. I love the sounding of the intro, and find the premise wickedly cool!

  4. Agreed, that does sound like a great premise, but it definitely loses its steam if it's not laid out and explained particularly well. Too bad. I still want to try Raised by Wolves though as I've heard many good things about that one.

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