In Other Lands
Sometimes it’s not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it’s . . . Elliott. He’s grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved in swinging swords around. He’s a little enchanted by the elves and mermaids. Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise) he finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.

In Other Lands Details

TitleIn Other Lands
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 15th, 2017
PublisherBig Mouth House
ISBN1618731203
ISBN-139781618731203
Number of pages432 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

In Other Lands Review

  • Iryna (Book and Sword)
    April 17, 2017
    For full review please visit my book blogI must say that the blurb of this book is a little misleading. I was expecting a fantasy book – full of adventures, mermaids, elves, dwarves, maybe even some dragons – you know, the usual stuff. That was not what I got. Granted there were elves and mermaids, and some other mythical creatures – it just wasn’t fantasy. It had fantasy elements, but that’s it.Also the praise for this book keeps calling it gothic, I didn't see or feel anything gothic about it For full review please visit my book blogI must say that the blurb of this book is a little misleading. I was expecting a fantasy book – full of adventures, mermaids, elves, dwarves, maybe even some dragons – you know, the usual stuff. That was not what I got. Granted there were elves and mermaids, and some other mythical creatures – it just wasn’t fantasy. It had fantasy elements, but that’s it.Also the praise for this book keeps calling it gothic, I didn't see or feel anything gothic about it at all (just fyi). 5 shining stars for concept and ideas. 2 very bleak stars for the execution of those ideas.The topics and issues this book was exploring were fantastic! Racial, cultural, sexual, political – you name it – this book has it! But the way the book was going about them – desired better.To be honest, I felt like this book didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. It started out as a middle grade fantasy, then it became young adult fiction, then it turned into a contemporary, then lgbt, then finally I realized that this was more of a coming-of-age novel than anything else.I would like to thank LibraryThing and Big Mouse House publishing, as well as the author, for providing me with an arc of this book. I always feel honored to be able to read novels before they hit the market.
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  • Clare Vaughn
    May 8, 2017
    Hands-down one of the most hilarious narrators I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Think Percy Jackson, if Percy Jackson was a pacifist and also kind of a huge asshole. Elliot is intelligent, gutsy, and out to save the world through learning trollish, throwing knives (in a uniquely pacifist way that's also a dick move), and talking to (flirting with) people instead of hitting them, good lord guys. He is my absolute favorite person: I laughed during "In Other Lands" more than I have in ages.Al Hands-down one of the most hilarious narrators I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Think Percy Jackson, if Percy Jackson was a pacifist and also kind of a huge asshole. Elliot is intelligent, gutsy, and out to save the world through learning trollish, throwing knives (in a uniquely pacifist way that's also a dick move), and talking to (flirting with) people instead of hitting them, good lord guys. He is my absolute favorite person: I laughed during "In Other Lands" more than I have in ages.Also, this book pulled the rug out from underneath me more times than I can say. Don't expect the unexpected, because you'll be surprised regardless. Just relax and enjoy this insane, creative, hilarious ride. ALSO I READ THIS IN A DAY. I COULDN'T STOP. IT'S THAT GOOD.
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  • Eri (Airy Reads)
    January 25, 2017
    My 2017 is simply much more superior because this book exists. Sarah can write anything and I will devour it no questions asked.
  • Billie
    June 26, 2017
    I had this for a long time before I got around to reading it because it's kind of long and I just wasn't up to a 450+ page YA. I'm kicking myself for that now. Sarah Rees Brennan has read and loved all the same YA fantasy novels you have, and she has also noticed how ridiculous they can be and turned her talents to fixing that. Yes, this is still occasionally ridiculous, but deliberately so. It's snarky as hell, but also heartfelt. It has elves and mermaids and trolls and dwarves and even a unic I had this for a long time before I got around to reading it because it's kind of long and I just wasn't up to a 450+ page YA. I'm kicking myself for that now. Sarah Rees Brennan has read and loved all the same YA fantasy novels you have, and she has also noticed how ridiculous they can be and turned her talents to fixing that. Yes, this is still occasionally ridiculous, but deliberately so. It's snarky as hell, but also heartfelt. It has elves and mermaids and trolls and dwarves and even a unicorn, but no wizards because it's not that kind of magical land. Elliot is every human kid from "our" world who finds himself whisked away to a magical world, but he's also kind of a dick. He's a selfish know-it-all who's clueless about friendship and feelings and shit. In the end, this feels like the best fanfic for a (or every) fantasy series you liked okay, but wished the protagonist(s) to be a little more relatable and a lot less preciously perfect. (It's also fiercely feminist, which is really just the icing on a the delicious, delicious cake.)
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  • Jessi ♡
    July 24, 2017
    i read this when it was a story on her blog, cant believe i get to read it now that it's a finished and edited book.
  • georgia
    July 14, 2017
    so... i'm a little confused about the extent to which this matches the original the turn of the story (i'm HEARTBROKEN that i didn't get to reread that before it was taken down btw) but either way i am excited
  • Beth Cato
    April 4, 2017
    I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.This book was not what I expected it to be. At the start, I was highly engaged at the thought of a new, creative take on a kind of Harry Potter book with a sarcastic, pacifist geeky lead. Then I started to wonder what the actual plot was, as nothing developed along those lines. Then it became clear that it was really an angst-filled catalog of teenage sexual exploits with some fantasy dressing. There was no real plot beyond th I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.This book was not what I expected it to be. At the start, I was highly engaged at the thought of a new, creative take on a kind of Harry Potter book with a sarcastic, pacifist geeky lead. Then I started to wonder what the actual plot was, as nothing developed along those lines. Then it became clear that it was really an angst-filled catalog of teenage sexual exploits with some fantasy dressing. There was no real plot beyond the coming-of-age story, though that was certainly rewarding in some regards. I liked Elliott as a lead, though he's an unlikeable person at times--with reason. He's from an abusive family, and the writing along those lines is heart-breaking. He's also bisexual (or more like pan sexual, as he's interested in a variety of species) and it's great to see representation in that way. The thing is, I wanted more to the book than that. I wanted... a fantasy book. Some romancing and relationships along the way are fine--great! But the sordid teenage melodrama took over the whole book, and everyone slept with everyone. I wanted a bigger plot. Higher stakes. More fantasy, because the fantasy elements were great. I loved the takes on mermaids and harpies and elven feminist culture, and I wanted so much more of that. Instead, it was 90210 in fantasyland.
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  • skadoosh
    June 7, 2017
    I'm so excited!!! Elliott was one of the first explicitly bisexual characters I came across and I related to him so hard. He'll always hold a special place in my heart.However, for all the original version poked fun at fantasy clichés, I can't remember whether or not it fell into that oldest fantasy cliché: White Is Default. The sexuality rep was great, obviously, but I'm no longer willing to gloss over all-white casts. I hope the new version steps up on the diversity front!
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  • Joel Singer
    April 9, 2017
    Warning: This book is NOT your traditional young adult fantasy novel.It hits you bluntly with the first line: "So far magic school was total rubbish."Sarah Rees Brennan has written a brilliant book subverting many established fantasy tropes. What if a fantasy story was told from the point of view of the sidekick, not the hero? What if the isolated teenaged boy who walked through the portal and found himself in magic land was frustrated at the lack of central heating and indoor plumbing, and was Warning: This book is NOT your traditional young adult fantasy novel.It hits you bluntly with the first line: "So far magic school was total rubbish."Sarah Rees Brennan has written a brilliant book subverting many established fantasy tropes. What if a fantasy story was told from the point of view of the sidekick, not the hero? What if the isolated teenaged boy who walked through the portal and found himself in magic land was frustrated at the lack of central heating and indoor plumbing, and was not shy about telling others so? What if he said stupid things, and cruel things, and blundered his way about because he was an awkward sex-starved bundle of hormones who didn't really understand this love and friendship thing, whose abusive home upbringing had damaged his soul?Both hilarious and heartbreaking, this novel throws a completely different spin on Narnia, Hogwarts, Wonderland, Tortall, and a dozen other fictional universes. A breath of fresh air tinged with a little bit of acid.Watch out for the mermaids.
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  • Rebecca
    March 25, 2017
    In Other Lands"So far magic school was total rubbish."Do you want something different? Something wickedly funny? Something that puts YA tropes into a meat grinder and serves up delicious rainbow meatloaf? Then read this book!The worldbuilding is on the thin side, making the story seem like a minimalist stage play. But plays without any sets can be brilliant, and so is this book. It is billed as a young adult book, but I think it might be even more enjoyed by old adults, it's so drily satirical. In Other Lands"So far magic school was total rubbish."Do you want something different? Something wickedly funny? Something that puts YA tropes into a meat grinder and serves up delicious rainbow meatloaf? Then read this book!The worldbuilding is on the thin side, making the story seem like a minimalist stage play. But plays without any sets can be brilliant, and so is this book. It is billed as a young adult book, but I think it might be even more enjoyed by old adults, it's so drily satirical. And like all the best satire, it has an earnest heart. And did I say that it is FUNNY? Because I'm trying to think of things to say and all I can come up with is hahahahahahahahaha! Hahaha! (Shriek!) ahahahaha! Four and a half stars.
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  • Sami
    April 19, 2017
    In Other Lands is a stunning example of Sarah Rees Brennan's style; her characters are hysterically funny with complex and nuanced inner lives that could break a reader's heart. Elliot, cranky and obnoxious teen that he is, desperately longs to be loved best by someone, but covers with immense sarcasm and general unkindness. Luke and Serene, both exceptionally talented and good-looking, also struggle with feeling displaced. The depiction of misandry in Elf culture is one of the funniest concepts In Other Lands is a stunning example of Sarah Rees Brennan's style; her characters are hysterically funny with complex and nuanced inner lives that could break a reader's heart. Elliot, cranky and obnoxious teen that he is, desperately longs to be loved best by someone, but covers with immense sarcasm and general unkindness. Luke and Serene, both exceptionally talented and good-looking, also struggle with feeling displaced. The depiction of misandry in Elf culture is one of the funniest concepts that Rees Brennan has come up, and even that she turns into a deeper lesson for Serene, Elliot, and Luke. In Other Lands can come off as a parody of fantasy, but it delves deep into issues of race, gender, sexuality, and war, and absolutely nails the struggles and triumphs of growing up.**note: I read this on Sarah's Blog as Turn of the Story and I am SO THRILLED it's coming to print
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  • S.
    December 15, 2016
    HANG ON A MINUTE. THIS IS GOING TO BE A THING???? GIMME. GIMME RIGHT NOW.
  • Sandy
    July 13, 2017
    Elliott finds out he is one of the select few who can cross into the Borderlands and is invited to come to school there. There are elves and mermaids and dwarves and all manner of other mystical, mythical creatures, and Elliott's read the books about magic kingdoms, he definitely wants in. There's 2 tracks of study, combat and council. Elliott, a pacifist, of course chooses council. He falls instantly in love with Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elf maiden initially in the combat course, Elliott finds out he is one of the select few who can cross into the Borderlands and is invited to come to school there. There are elves and mermaids and dwarves and all manner of other mystical, mythical creatures, and Elliott's read the books about magic kingdoms, he definitely wants in. There's 2 tracks of study, combat and council. Elliott, a pacifist, of course chooses council. He falls instantly in love with Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elf maiden initially in the combat course, who wants to take both. Add Luke Sunborn into the mix (solidly in the combat course), and they become a constant trio. Elliott is entirely full of snark and sarcasm and is utterly hilarious. There are some very definite predictable parts of the book, but Brennan uses that to build some of the suspense, and there's still plenty that is not predictable. I really didn't expect to like this book nearly as much as I did, but it was fabulous and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
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  • Finorie Lew
    July 14, 2017
    Turn of the Story, in print. More or less a self-canibalization of the Draco in Ravenclaw fanfic. SRB, always delightful at the start, meandering but still enjoyable around the middle, then drags and falls flat at the end. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY enjoy me some SRB. But sometimes I wish she would just get over writing her old fanfic and *really write*, and it frustrates me to no end that someone so talented will not break out of that talented shell to become truly GOOD. But hey, it's a candy Turn of the Story, in print. More or less a self-canibalization of the Draco in Ravenclaw fanfic. SRB, always delightful at the start, meandering but still enjoyable around the middle, then drags and falls flat at the end. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY enjoy me some SRB. But sometimes I wish she would just get over writing her old fanfic and *really write*, and it frustrates me to no end that someone so talented will not break out of that talented shell to become truly GOOD. But hey, it's a candy bar. Remember: delicious candy bar. You reached for the candy bar first. Don't complain after eating that candy bar was lacking, and not a Michelin meal. You chose this candy bar.The sequel, in Monstrous Affections, turns out to be a re-do of Drop Dead Gorgeous, the fanfic. Hoo boy.
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  • Vera
    June 16, 2017
    I read Turn of the Story when it was published online and I'm very excited to read In Other Lands! Elliot Schafer is one of the best protagonists in YA lit. (he's bi!!! he's a socially awkward bi nerd with trauma and hes so determined to improve the world the way he sees it needs improving and I love him soooooo much.) Seeing his journey from a friendless tiny angry child to a friend-having less-tiny angry-but-determined-to-channel-that-anger-into-making-the-world-better young adult was so good. I read Turn of the Story when it was published online and I'm very excited to read In Other Lands! Elliot Schafer is one of the best protagonists in YA lit. (he's bi!!! he's a socially awkward bi nerd with trauma and hes so determined to improve the world the way he sees it needs improving and I love him soooooo much.) Seeing his journey from a friendless tiny angry child to a friend-having less-tiny angry-but-determined-to-channel-that-anger-into-making-the-world-better young adult was so good. I'm excited to see what the rewrite will reveal, both in terms of any divergences from the previous storyline and in case of new content. I can't wait to read this.
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  • Dorcas
    July 26, 2017
    So much laughter, heartbreak, and growing up in magical lands where you really get a dose of reality. Brennan has a real way of working with witty and absurd dialogue that really cuts to the heart. Loved it.
  • Michelle
    July 15, 2017
    Just read about 70 pages of pure hilarity in a teaser trailer from Edelweiss. I wouldn't have thought I could fall in love with characters in such a short time, but this is Sarah Rees Brennan. Thank goodness it comes out on Tues...I don't know if I could wait any longer for the rest!
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  • Jes
    April 2, 2017
    Unlike most fantasy book loving children, thirteen year old Elliot Schafer actually gets picked to protect a land which seems to fulfill all his childhood dreams. The Borderlands are full of creatures right out of his favorite stories - elves, trolls, unicorns, harpies, and to Elliot's lasting delight, mermaids. The offer to stay and attend school there is everything Elliot could ever wish for. However, he quickly comes to realize that the books all lied - enemies can look like friends, darkness Unlike most fantasy book loving children, thirteen year old Elliot Schafer actually gets picked to protect a land which seems to fulfill all his childhood dreams. The Borderlands are full of creatures right out of his favorite stories - elves, trolls, unicorns, harpies, and to Elliot's lasting delight, mermaids. The offer to stay and attend school there is everything Elliot could ever wish for. However, he quickly comes to realize that the books all lied - enemies can look like friends, darkness can exist anywhere, and he might have just signed on to attending school in the magic equivalent of Sparta.With a quick wit and a biting tongue, Elliot has always found it hard to connect with other people. Choosing a pacifist path in his war happy new home doesn't help matters any. Still, he manages to befriend the fierce elf Serene and through her Luke Sunborn, the school's golden boy. Together they form a tight knit trio as their friendship grows and they begin to depend on each other.Throughout In Other Lands Rees Brennan deftly weaves a tale that is both a bitingly funny critique of the YA fantasy genre and a well told story of one boy's journey through the tribulations of adolescences. At every turn Rees Brennan uses her characters to subvert the expectations of the fantasy genre. Where you would expect a character to fit the usual mold, Rees Brennan keeps the shape but fills it with something entirely unexpected. Elliot embodies the usual fantasy hero role while at the same time undermining everything about it. He's a genius who alienates people with his quick tongue while being absolutely devoted to pacifism and diplomacy. Serene is from a culture where women are dominate - they're the warriors and the leaders and they're extremely sexist towards men. Serene is the best of the best, but she also thinks emotions should be left for the men and though inverted, expresses extremely outdated views towards relationships and homemaking. Luke Sunborn, the gifted and idolized golden child of the prominent Sunborn clan is competent and athletic, but shy, easily embarrassed, and gay. Rees Brennan never lets you get comfortable with your expectations.This is hands down the stand out book of 2017 for me so far. Laugh out loud funny, subversive, and touching, this is a book I want to bury myself in.Disclosure: This review is based on an advanced ARC version provided by Big Mouth House through the LibraryThing Early Readers program.
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