Nevernever

by Will Shetterly

Place: Publisher & Year: Orlando: Magic Carpet Books, 2004

Genres: Fantasy, faerie tale, punk fantasy, urban fantasy

Series: Sequel to Elsewhere, part of the Borderlands series edited by Terri Windling

ISBN: 9780152052102

Intended audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 226

Setting: Bordertown- the city which acts as a gateway between the realms of Faerie and the World

Time period: Present day

Plot summary: When Ron was cursed by an elf named Leda, he gained a new identity- Wolfboy, aka Lobo.  For the most part, it’s much cooler than his older identities as Just Ron or Gone, except that his vocal chords have changed and he can no longer talk.  This makes it difficult to explain to elves, halfies, and humans alike that he has no wish to harm them and he is only laughing, not growling.  But at least he can still write and his new heightened senses give him greater chances of success in keeping his friends safe from the powerful forces of Elfland which seek to cause strife in Bordertown.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Fast paced from the very first sentence- “You expect people to get quiet when a werewolf walks into a restaurant.”  Wolfboy is constantly finding himself or one of his friends in some kind of trouble which requires immediate action.

Characterization: Told in first person through Wolfboy.  Readers are introduced to many characters in this story, but really only get to know Wolfboy.

Frame: The frame of Bordertown, the city where Faerie and the World come together, is essential to the story.  Neither magic, nor technology works reliably in B-town as they do outside of the city.  Bordertown is also a city built from runaways and rejects in search of new lives.  The city has its own systems of governance and its own forms of racism and classism.

Story Line: A humorous, yet moving coming of age tale about being different, dating, helping friends, and coming to terms with oneself.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:
Werewolves — Juvenile fiction.

Similar authors:

The Essential Bordertown edited by Terri Windling is a collection of stories by various fantasy authors which all take place in Bordertown.  Other authors included in this collection are Emma Bull, Charles deLindt, Midori Snyder, Patricia McKillip, and Ellen Kushner.

Personal Notes:

I want to read Elsewhere now, but the library doesn’t have it.  It would have helped to have read it first, but I was already familiar with Bordertown, and it’s not necessary to have read Elsewhere to gain enjoyment from or understand this tale.

[Annotated 11/16/08]

Other info:

The first Bordertown book was Bordertown: A Chronicle of the Borderlands by Marc Alan Arnold with many collaborators.

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