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Elsewhere (Borderland #4)

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,099 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
The ahead-of-its-time punk fantasy in which magic meets the mean streets.
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 1991)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of faerie books
Elsewhere is moody. It's from the viewpoint of young people who have dropped out and live on the streets, forming their own families and relationships. I don't especially feel comfortable with the idea of kids living this way, but that's one of the best things about reading. You get to see different worlds, lives, existences, and realize that humans are all the same, no matter what kind of lives they live.

Ron came to the Bordertown to find his older brother. He was living in denial, and this tri
...more
Kirsten
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
I read this back when I was in highschool and dearly loved it. The whole "Bordertown" series was great fodder for my imagination. I was pleased to find when I re-read this that the writing was as good as I remembered, and the characters remain compelling. There are times when I walk through my West Philadelphia neighborhood that I half expect to find elves on spellbox-powered motorcycles. Shetterly imagines urban magic in a wonderful manner.
Diane
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mature-reads
What an imaginative story, well-told, and written for the literate. Elsewhere is a bookstore, and the names of the shelves are hilarious for anyone who has worked in a bookstore or library. Interesting ending, too. The world of faerie mixed with urban lit. Those who liked Holly Black's Tithe would like this. It has a male protagonist.
Miriam
I just tried Nevernever, which features the same main character, and didn't remember him at all. Oops.
Leah G
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd forgotten how much I like YA, due to the glut of derivative dystopias currently swarming the publishing market. This book may be from the 80s but it is sizzling with awesomeness. I laughed out loud many times while reading it, from plot twists and turns of phrase that were just plain funny. ("She was either shoplifting a watermelon, or she was pregnant.")

The only reason I didn't give Elsewhere five stars is because I can't possibly rate it the same as Finder (the authors of these books are m
...more
melydia
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place in the Borderlands universe created by Terri Windling, whose stories I have never read. Luckily, there's little to know: Bordertown is located at the boundary between the World and Faerie, a mostly run-down place where technology and magic both work sporatically. In this story, an impulsive human boy named Ron comes to Bordertown looking for his older brother, and ends up falling in with a crowd of elves, halfies, and other humans trying to bust the stereotype that the race ...more
Aiyana
Spectacular. Fans of Charles de Lint, Francesca Lia Block, Nancy Springer, Robin McKinley and other masters of liminal spaces will enjoy Shetterly's ability to juxtapose emotional depth with descriptive whimsy. This story takes place on the borderlands in many senses-- between child and adult, real and unreal, mundane and supernatural, despair and courage. And despite the fantasy setting, the story itself rings deeply true. Ron could be any young man who has run away from home because it is home ...more
Matt
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: Cabell
Elsewhere follows a teenage runaway (Ron) as he travels to the Borderlands between The World and Faerie in search of his elder brother Tony.

While a little dated in parts, the story itself was interesting enough to push past moments of cringe worthy '90s speak. Had I not been into grunge as a teenager this may not have bothered me. Unlike me however, the protagonist never indicated whether or not he ever wore excessive amounts of flannel, so that was a relief.

Soon after arriving in Bordertown Ro
...more
Wendy
Apr 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a little trouble getting into this book, but I would guess that it was because there are a number of books in the 'Borderland' series that come prior to this book. I would guess that they are loosely tied, but probably would have made it a little easier to get into this book. That being said, once I did get past the fact that I might have missed something prior to the events in the book it got GOOD. I love the characters and the idea behind Bordertown. I am looking forward to reading more ...more
Neill Smith
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just Ron starts a search for his brother, Tony, in Bordertown, a city lying on the border of the human realm and that of Faerie. It is populated by humans, elves, and halfies – some humans belong to groups like the Pack or the Wharf Rats, some elves belong to the Bloods, but most of the inhabitants mix. Ron goes to live at Castle Pup under the auspices of Mooner, a half-elf acquaintance. After he finds at job at Elsewhere, a book shop, he is able to spend some time in his search for his brother ...more
Danielle
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I read this one for Tim-and-Danielle Read Together 2008... though it took me much longer to read it. I had a hard time getting into this one, mostly because the main character is a brat and, like with many fantasy novels, I had a hard time getting into the world and getting used to the many characters. But the last third of the book is really exciting. Ron's redemption is believable (and much appreciated) and I found myself really liking the characters and the book itself.


Dee Mills
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2016
I came across references to the books about Borderlands when I was searching for Charles de Lint books and Terri Wendling. The books are difficult to find at my local library, but this one by Will Shetterly was available. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the continuation of Ron's story in Nevernever.
Shelley
Another book from my favorite shared world of all times - Borderland! This is an introduction to the world so good that you don't have to start with some of the original short story anthologies. Read this and the second book and you'll know all you need to know to start enjoying the world!
Kate
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It’s a fun book; nice details and tight writing. It has a darkness, however, that seems to come out of nowhere, and parts of the story feel forced and rushed (view spoiler) ...more
Zita
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, urban-fantasy
Elsewhere and its sequel, Nevernever, are excellent ya fiction that still hold up well even so many years after being published. I wish I'd found these books when they were reprinted in 2004, because I would've loved them even more at that age.

Bordertown is a great shared setting and I cheerfully encourage anyone who likes urban fantasy to dig up the anthologies of these stories if you can. The idea is that in the 80's a part of the ordinary world and a part of Faerie, home to the elves, collide
...more
Liz
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ill
4.25 stars
Jaimie
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deirdre
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This novel was my first introduction to Bordertown/Borderland, a shared city/universe created by Terri Windling in the 80's, which started with the short story anthology Borderland ("the dystopian metropolis that lies along the Border [between the human world and the Elflands], which combines urban fantasy of various forms with a vaguely post-apocalyptic atmosphere, is 'Bordertown' or 'B-Town'"--thanks Wikipedia!). The reason I started with Will Shetterly's Elsewhere rather than one of the earli ...more
Amy
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is beautiful, disturbing, and engaging.

In a world full of elves, magic, werewolves, and bikers gangs, Ron struggles to find himself. Human teen Ron travels to Bordertown, a place where the human world and Faerie mingle, attracting the lost souls and wanderers of both worlds. There, Ron joins a unique group of teen castaways (elves, humans, and “Halfies”) defying interspecies hatred, and struggling to build a world where humans and elves can live together in peace, but conflicts within
...more
Иван Величков
Отново Бордертаун, този път роман от по-добрата половина на писателско-съпружеския тандем Уил Шетърли - Ема Бул.
Добрият юношески стил ърбън фентъзи на цялата серия тук достига нови нива. Трябваше по-дълга форма за да се развие потенцяла на Граничната земя.
Рон е избягал от дома си тинейджър, който попада в магическият Бордертаун, със неговите банди изоставени деца и не добре работещи технология и магия. Рон живее в отричане и му трябват доста преживяваня за да намери себе си, нови приятели и смис
...more
Janet Whalen
Early UF. Great stuff for its time. 1991. There are gay characters! Other characters react to this with varied degrees of acceptance. The Border books laid down a lot of the conventions of the Genre, along with Charles DeLint. Today, gay characters are accepted and even expected. Mixing of Fae and mundane, how magic and technology do and don't function together. I read this stuff as a teen originally. Now, the protagonists in such books are a decade older. Come on y'all, we need UF for the middl ...more
Jocelyn
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've gotta say, I have mixed feelings about this book. The dialogue was really awkward a lot of the time and I wasn't sure why the characters talked the way they did; the main character was alright, but kind of rude and I never understood his reasons for doing things; also, I felt that a lot of things Ron thought were pretty vague and meant to give hints to the reader, but I just failed to figure out what they were. That being said, I did enjoy the overall story and am looking forward to the nex ...more
Savannah
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, race
I love all things Borderlands, so this was a shoe-in and I'm looking forward to the companion volume. The backstory of one of the iconic figures of Bordertown really fills in some delightful detail without dipping too far into explaining anything (because nothing in Bordertown should ever really be explained, since it can't be).

And yes, this can be read without prior knowledge of anything Borderlands and still works as a coming-of-age. We put this in the teen fic collection; it's got touches of
...more
Vex Batchelder
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a reread because I've just realized this is pard of a larger Borderlands universe. I still found the main character annoying at times, but I love the way the author deals with human, fey, and halfling interaction. Putting the safe haven in a bookstore only helps matters. Once Ron becomes Gone, I also really appreciate the storytelling of him remembering and forgetting so much. Still not sure how I feel about the woman in the white dress, but I do really love how they dealt with Tony. and ...more
Mary-Beth
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
A decent YA story about a runaway boy who goes to the Borderlands - on the edge of the 'ordinary' human world and the world of Faerie. I liked the world perhaps better than the characters, but they were pretty good too. The story wasn't structured quite right, I thought. There's a big climax a bit too early in the book and then a LOT of things happen in slightly too quick succession. Still, I enjoyed it enough to pick up a sequel.
R. Michael Litchfield
I've mentioned that YA novels are bugging me, I think it is a middle age thing, not wanting to have my face rubbed in the reminder of my glorious youth that can never be as glorious as these stories.

But I like this despite that. I like the gritty realism of the urban fantasy, drug addicts, first time teen sex, fabulous friends and scenes and thier inevitable loss, misplaced and enduring loyalty.
Unwisely
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I have never actually seen Portlandia, but a radio station I listened to used to play the theme song, and I feel like it applies here: the spirit of the 90's is alive in this book. The clothes, the culture, the everything. So...very...90s. (I was in college in the 90s, and I still was like, whoa, seriously??)

Other than that, umm, stuff happens, and I didn't really connect with anyone in the book or care that much, but I read it.
Erin
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I loved the "urban fantasy" feel of this book. Humans and elves mingle in Elsewhere, where everyone is pierced and tattooed, and motorcycles run on magic. The characters are so wildly varied and unique that they don't succumb to stereotypes, and thankfully this book leaves out the typical urban fantasy trope of "a young girl falling in love with a boy from a magical realm". I would definitely recommend this book to any teens or young adults who enjoy action and fantasy!
FasterKillFastPussycat
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidulthood
I read this book in middle school.Oddly enough it was on my Summer reading list and it was the only weird book there.After reading it it was a bit mature to be on a twelve year ols's summer reading list but it was awesome and broadened my imagination.It was the first book I ever read with magic and elves and what not and I never stopped reading these types of books after this. I purchased and re-read it about 2 years ago jus to add it to my collection.
Erica
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A strange book that I had a hard time following. I couldn't keep the characters straight and wasn't sure who was an elf and who wasn't. The whole story felt a bit disjointed and I couldn't ever really figure out until the end why I should care about any of the characters. Not being a big fan of fantasy may have contributed to my not really liking the book.
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