cover image Every Other Day

Every Other Day

Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Egmont USA, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60684-169-3

Barnes (the Raised by Wolves books) delivers a gory urban fantasy that balances confident world-building, action, and strong character development. The sharp-tongued 16-year-old narrator, Kali D’Angelo, wields strange, superhuman powers, but only every other day, during which times she secretly goes out and slays various supernatural creatures. (In this world, such creatures were discovered by Charles Darwin and have long been known to human society.) On one of the days when she’s merely human, Kali discovers that her uptight cheerleader classmate, Bethany, has the always-fatal mark of the chupacabra and contrives to transfer the mark to herself. The combination of Kali’s powers and the supernatural creature is bad enough, but it’s soon clear that there are rogue scientists and other dangers to both girls and a third classmate, the potentially psychic Skyler. The conspiracies and supernatural threats vie for time with lone-wolf Kali’s attempts to deal with two potential friendships; all of the conflicts come to a head in an extended but gripping climax. Fans of adult-oriented urban fantasy should enjoy this as much as teens looking for a contemporary Buffy. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)