I thought I knew myself. Then I met Caleb.
Dez is a good girl who does as she's told and tries not to be noticed. Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself. Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.
Everything is about to change--and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them, are prepared for what Dez will unleash.
"Be prepared to lose some sleep. Otherkin is full of non-stop action and suspense, and you're not going to be able to put it down!" --Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series
"Get caught up in a dangerous world of shadow magic, shifters, and secrets." --New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep
"Berry's debut offers just the right combination of high-stakes exploits and steamy love scenes to keep readers up until the wee hours. . .ripe with issues that will resonate with readers. From body image to friendship, first love and betrayal, [OTHERKIN] explores the truth that no matter who or what you are, there's no escaping the politics of high school." – Kirkus Reviews
“Freak.” I tore off the back brace and threw it on the floor.
“Why’d you let him touch you?”
I stared at the brace, anger curling in my gut. It sat tilted
on the floor like an ancient broken statue with no head, no
arms, no legs.
Oh God, it had happened. A cute boy had asked me out.
And not just any cute boy, but Jake fricking Peters, hottest senior
in school, who could have any girl he wanted. He’d not
only invited me to the lame-ass dance this weekend, he’d put
his hands on my waist as he did it. Only to feel my rock-hard
robot contours. I pressed my hands to my heated cheeks.
Shame had seared the scene into my memory.
“What’s that?” Jake had asked as his fingers grazed my
hip. His eyes lit with surprise.
“Nothing.” I backed away from him, avoiding his gaze.
I’d known this would happen. I knew getting close to anyone
was a mistake. “I . . . I’ve got to get home. See you later.” The
words rattled out of me, and I had scuttled away.
Now I breathed deep, trying to squash my rising frustration.
At least I was home where nothing could touch me. Safe
in my own room. With Mom and Richard out at work, I was
alone, where no one would laugh at me, or pity me, or call
me a mutant.
I peeled off the sweaty undershirt I had to wear under the
thing and hurled it into the laundry. God, I hate those stupid
shirts. I slid my hand around my own waist, the waist no boy
could ever put his arm around.
I wasn’t that goddamn brace, not anymore. To hell with
the brace! I looked around for something to hit it with, something
to break it, so I’d never have to wear it again.
But there was nothing. Nothing but my bare hands.
Even as I yanked it off the floor, a small part of my brain
knew this wasn’t like me. I never flew into rages or whined
about the brace. I was a good girl, a nice girl, and tantrums
were for people with no self-control.
But I’d worn the damned thing twenty-three hours a day
for two years to prevent my spine from curving further, donning
baggy clothes to hide it, unable to bend, enduring the
agony as it fought against my body, unable to swim or climb
trees, avoiding any proximity to boys.
Something had snapped. I pulled and scraped at it with my
bare hands, trying to tear it apart, fingernails splintering. But
the plastic wouldn’t give. The surface didn’t even scratch.
Rage blazed through me, so hot I thought I’d explode. I
screamed. A convulsive thrust of power shot from the center
of my chest along my spine, down my limbs, and out of every
pore. The scream became a full-throated roar. I dropped my
hands to the ground. Only they weren’t hands anymore, but
huge paws, orange on top, white around the claws, striped
brownish black. I whipped around, trying to see myself.
What? A long, thickly furred tail knocked the lamp off my
nightstand. This can’t be happening.
The crash of the lamp sounded like an explosion. I crouched,
tail tucked between my back legs, and looked up to see my reflection
in the mirror on my closet door. Had I gone insane?
Great golden eyes blinked back at me. I flinched. The tiger in
the mirror winced too, ears back, white whiskers bristling.
I barely had time to take in my orange coat, white underbelly,
and wide pattern of dark stripes when a loud thwack
sounded from my bedroom window. Something stabbed into
my side. A growl of pain and surprise escaped me. A dart
lodged in the pale fur beneath my right front leg. Pain ran up
my body, too real to be a dream.
I looked up to see a young man, almost angelically blond,
dressed all in white, standing outside my window with a rifle.
The screen was torn. He’d broken a couple of stakes Mom
and I used to get the tomatoes to climb. We stared at each
other. His face was alive and hot with anticipation. Burning
pain spread through my veins from the dart. Instinctively, I
gathered my new body to leap at him. He fired again. Another
barb speared my shoulder, and I reeled back.
I snarled at him and tried to stand. But a painful lethargy
took over. I shook my head, trying to clear it. Air whipped
across my whiskers, a strange sensation.
An older man, also in white, joined the first to observe me
through the window. He clapped a hand on the younger
man’s shoulder. “Good job, son,” he said.
“It’s taking two,” his son said. “She’s strong for one so
The older man had a head of thick silver hair. His even
teeth flashed almost blue white as he smiled. “We’ll see about
that,” he said.
And everything went black.