Monday, March 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Otherborn by Anna Silver

 Welcome to our stop on the Otherborn blog tour.
Thank you to Anna Silver and her publicist Devyn for having us on the tour and providing this excellent ARC. 
Today we have an awesome guest post by Anna, along with Shelley's review. Make yourself at home, kick back and get ready to enter the world of Anna Silver's Otherborn...
 Creating the World of OTHERBORN: An Insider’s View

World building is one of the aspects of fiction writing that I love most. Losing yourself in a new space, etching the details of your characters’ world, it’s an incredible adventure for me every time. I had two things in mind when I first began world building for OTHERBORN: contrast and plausibility.
I knew from the start that my characters would spent part of their time on the astral plane— a magical, fantastical setting that was always vibrant and shifting, always in flux and interacting with the characters. So it was important to me, in order to build the sense of importance and drama around what was happening to them there, to contrast that setting against their waking world. If I was going to do that, then I had to make the world London and her friends lived in everyday the opposite of the astral plane. Where the astral was vibrant, their world needed to be monotonous. Where the astral was flowing, their world needed to be stagnant. Where the astral was wild, their world needed to be precisely controlled, ordered by some force they couldn’t influence. Where the astral was alive with infinite potential, their world needed to feel like a dead end. Originally, I thought writing about the astral plane would be the most satisfying, but I found that the creativity and imagination required to build London’s waking world, whether it be behind the walls of Capital City, lost in the overgrown Outroads, or spying on the verdant valley of New Eden, was far more fulfilling than I anticipated. In the end, it was the ability to play these two worlds off of one another that really brought each one to life. It’s a recurring theme in my work, and the genesis behind my website’s tag line, “Where worlds collide…”
The second major factor in world building for OTHERBORN was plausibility. I love dystopian and I’ve read a lot of it. Some of it is wildly imaginative. There are dystopian settings that every bit as fantastical to me as Middle Earth. But I wanted my world to hit a little closer to home. I wanted it to be built on an idea that was entirely possible and, some would even say, probable. We are currently facing a global crisis in regards to energy. And there a dozen ways it could play out. Our fossil fuel industry is a major roadblock to progress. And because our economy is tightly interwoven with those corporations, we tread lightly. It made sense to me that an industry that powerful, sensing its own demise, would do most anything in the name of self preservation. Even enslave the population at large. And it followed that the best way for them achieve that goal wouldn’t be through brute force, it would be through propaganda. By playing on our own fears and survival instincts, they could easily get us to shut ourselves in the prison and hand them the key.
By making my antagonists the nameless, faceless descendants of today’s oil and gas tycoons, I ended up building London’s world around the central concept of a society without gas, a society living on carefully rationed power. I tried to explore as many of the ways that would affect her world as I could. So, our sprawling American suburbia would get sucked into tightly clustered units behind walls. And the melting pot of our culture would eventually settle into a miasma of forgotten races and traditions, where diversity loses its rich influence. And what about those who exist outside the tight confines they’ve been given. How would rebellion take shape? There are always those who fall through the cracks. In this case, the Outroaders. What would their way of life look like? How did they come by it? But most important of all, how do you keep a society under your control once you’ve gained it? Oppression is hard. It requires a lot of energy. Sedation is the path of least resistance. Mentally, physically, emotionally, creatively. This is how New became a dirty word in London’s world. It’s how reprocessing became the orchestrated replacement for recycling and scrapping became a natural outgrowth of that movement.
Contrast and plausibility became my foundation for a host of details that together built the world of OTHERBORN. I hope you enjoy exploring it with me in the book. And I hope you come back for book two, working title ASTRAL TIDE, as I expand the setting and adventure for London and the gang.

Confined within CapitalCity’s concrete walls, London keeps an impossiblesecret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. Her friends are seeing themselves in“night pictures” too, as beings from another world. Together they uncover thestory of their avatars, astral shamans they call Otherborn.
When one Otherborn is murdered and another goes missing, London realizes someone ishunting them. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselandswith only their Otherborn to guide them. Can they find their friend before theassassin finds them?
Otherborn an EXCERPT on her website.

Author Blurbs:

"Anna Silverweaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off thepage." –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

"Travel to aworld where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’spost-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, groundedby vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian."–Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKINseries

“Silver built theright amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world,and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –NatashaHanova, author of Edge of Truth

Anna Silver grew up with a passion for words, books, andstorytelling. She began writing as a child and eventually landed at St.Edward’s University in Austinwhere she studied English Writing & Rhetoric. She has always nurtured avivid imagination and a love for art, expression, and fantasy. Currently sheresides in the greater Houstonarea with her family and pets where she continues to read, write, and dream. Otherborn is her first published novel.
When one Otherborn is murdered and another goes missing, London realizes someone ishunting them. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselandswith only their Otherborn to guide them. Can they find their friend before theassassin finds them?

Otherborn was a unique and complicated tale of survival in a very strange and dark future. It was truly like nothing else I've ever read. A world where control has gone to the extreme, the recent past is ancient history, dreams don't exist and nothing New is allowed. No new stories, no new songs...
Wow. Can you imagine? Doesn't sound too happy or exciting, huh. It's certainly sounded a bit scary to me.
While dystopian is not my favorite genre the synopsis piqued my interest and I had to know about the Otherborn. Who or what are they? What is their purpose? And how do they fit into this desolate and dirty modern world?
The story is told in narrative style which sometimes makes it difficult for me to connect to the characters. It did take awhile for me to understand our heroine, London. She is, though a very interesting and complex character. With many layers including a bad attitude, and along with her few close friends, the unique ability to dream.
London with her naivety and creativity strives to find some happiness and make her life meaningful. So she dreams, plays in a band- and writes a New song...
*sound the sirens- red alert*
It is this ability that puts her, the band, and their closest friends in danger and subsequently on the run. From here the story moves at full speed as the friends try to make sense of what is happening around them and to keep themselves and families safe.
I enjoyed getting to know London. From her struggles with her home life and the ways she chooses to cope, she brings a somber and realistic voice to a world that doesn't hold much hope for it's youth and their future. Her life is hard. And she's desperate for attention and the affection she doesn't receive from her mother. But she's got the band- and Rye.
Oh Rye. I loved him. The best friend. The confidant. The one any girl would fall for. The other characters are just as interesting and unique. Each connected and key to the other kind.
Otherborn is pretty action packed and suspenseful, but the details are heavy and sometimes cryptic- ok, at times I was downright confused. But I muddled through, all along rooting for the group and thoroughly enjoying their outrageous and clever ideas and often hilarious dialogue.
What interested me the most were the character's Otherborn. I wanted to learn more about them and the worlds they come from. In this area Silver's descriptions were vivid and alive. Such a contrast to London's crew. You could feel the vibrancy of their kind. The beauty. The purpose. And the urgency.
Anna Silver is creative and cunning. Much of what she brings to the page is surprisingly beautiful and unexpected. She constantly builds the tension and intensity,leaving you and her characters grasping for answers and hanging on a thread of hope.
The conclusion was smart and had me saying, hell yeah, London. I'm right behind you.
Let's do this...
I have no idea what will happen next, but if you're a fan of dystopian fantasy I highly recommend checking out this daring adventure yourself and taking the next leap with London and me.


  1. Thank you, Shelley! I'm speechless. What a great review!

    1. Thank you, Anna for having us. It was a wonderful story. <3

    2. Oh, and thanks for the amazing guest post!!! :D

    3. You're so welcome! It's been a pleasure!