When I first heard about Deb Kerry’s novel, BETWEEN, the fantasy lover in me rejoiced. I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi all my life, and BETWEEN sounded great.
Then I heard about the penguin.
In fairness, I have a *thing* for penguins. Always have. I can spend hours in the penguin exhibit at Sea World or the zoo. The Madagascar penguins are my Firefox theme. And all my life, I’ve found it cruel that gummy penguins only come in peach (I don’t like peach candy…).
BETWEEN’s protagonist, Vivian, grows up with a special dreamcatcher. It has a penguin in the center. When she finds her way into the Between, she learns that her totem penguin is real … and very much alive.
His name is Poe. (I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you why.)
Poe becomes Vivian’s loyal and lovingly awkward companion, and his presence is an unusual, entertaining, and refreshing take on the fantasy concept of animal companions. (My favorite line in the book has to do with Poe, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.)
He can’t even fly.
And yet, he still manages to help Vivian and to make her stronger than she was alone. He’s also remarkably communicative and endearing.
Poe is my favorite character in BETWEEN – a fantastic book that left me looking forward to a sequel. (Yes, I got my copy early. Yes, you should be jealous.)
But how does a penguin do this? I hear you asking. How does a feathered bowling pin help Vivian save the day?
You already know my answer, right?
You’ll have to read the book and find out for yourself.
What’s the most unusual hero’s “sidekick” you’ve ever read about? Do you like penguins? Have you seen Kerry’s friend the #RandomPenguin on Twitter? (If not, go search his hashtag…it’s well worth seeing.)
Kerry and I would love to hear from you in the comments!