Review: Otherworldly by F. T. Lukens

Otherworldly F. T. Luken cover shows a winter scene and tow people angled like they're falling. One holds the other's cheek. The other has a hand at their partner's waist.

F. T. Lukens
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published April 2, 2024

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About Otherworldly

New York Times bestselling author of SPELL BOUND and SO THIS IS EVER AFTER.

Seventeen-year-old Ellery is a non-believer in a region where people swear the supernatural is real. Sure, they’ve been stuck in a five-year winter, but there’s got to be a scientific explanation. If goddesses were real, they wouldn’t abandon their charges like this, leaving farmers like Ellery’s family to scrape by.

Knox is a familiar from the Other World, a magical assistant sent to help humans who have made crossroads bargains. But it’s been years since he heard from his queen, and Knox is getting nervous about what he might find once he returns home. When the crossroads demons come to collect Knox, he panics and runs. A chance encounter down an alley finds Ellery coming to Knox’s rescue, successfully fending off his would-be abductors.

Ellery can’t quite believe what they’ve seen. And they definitely don’t believe the nonsense this unnervingly attractive guy spews about his paranormal origins. But Knox needs to make a deal with a human who can tether him to this realm, and Ellery needs to figure out how to stop this winter to help their family. Once their bargain is struck, there’s no backing out, and the growing connection between the two might just change everything.

My Review

I read SPELL BOUND last year, which was the first book by F. T. Lukens that I’d ever read. I absolutely loved it, and I knew I wanted to read more of their books. When I saw that OTHERWORLDLY was coming out this year, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Just like SPELL BOUND, OTHERWORLDLY takes us to a world much like ours, but with the addition of some magic and a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Ellery lives in what feels like a small midwestern suburb not too far from his family’s farm. The whole area has been stuck in an unending winter for the last five years, though.

The book follows four characters pretty closely. The chapters alternate from Ellery and Knox’s points of view. Ellery’s cousin Charley and her girlfriend are also in a lot of the scenes. I love the fun, closeknit community the four of them make. The relationships between them feel really natural. I found it easy to imagine what life looked like before the story begins.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. I think readers who enjoy low fantasy with a slow burn romance will definitely want to try this book. I’m pretty sure it’ll be in my top ten favorites for the year.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Ellery is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. Their cousin, Charley, and her girlfriend are in a romantic relationship.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between a nonbinary person and a boy.

Spiritual Content
The world is governed (spiritually) by three gods/goddesses who rule the sky, ocean, and otherworld, a place souls pass through on their journey to the afterlife. These deities have children and grandchildren who are minor gods and goddesses. They also have creations, such as familiars or shades, who serve them.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Brief battles between Knox’s allies and enemies. In one scene, a monster stabs someone. A couple of characters use magic to throw back enemies.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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