Elsewhere by Will Shetterly

Elsewhere by Will Shetterly: This book takes place in the Borderlands universe created by Terri Windling, whose stories I have never read. Luckily, there’s little to know: Bordertown is located at the boundary between the World and Faerie, a mostly run-down place where technology and magic both work sporatically. In this story, an impulsive human boy named Ron comes to Bordertown looking for his older brother, and ends up falling in with a crowd of elves, halfies, and other humans trying to bust the stereotype that the races can’t mingle. There’s gang violence and drug abuse and sex and rock’n’roll, as is to be expected in a story about teenagers living on the street. I first read this book about fifteen years ago and I remember liking it very much. I still like it now, except that I had a great deal more difficulty following it this time around. I kept forgetting which character was which, and the ending felt extremely rushed. The story behind Ron’s older brother is muddled and confusing. I think when I read it the first time, I glossed over a lot of the little details that didn’t add up. Or maybe I just missed something this time around. Either way, I did enjoy Shetterly’s writing style, which struck me as a more realistic portrayal of teenagers than I’ve seen in a while. Perhaps the sequel, Nevernever, will clear up some things. I’ve read it before too, but heck if I can remember what it was about.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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