The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld #2) by Skylar Dorset
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Released: December 2nd 2014
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
This is not your average trip to Fairyland...
Selkie Stewart has just saved her quasi-boyfriend, Ben, from a fairy prison run by the Seelie Court. If they weren't the two most-wanted individuals in the Otherworld before, they definitely are now. Along with Ben and the rest of their ragtag group of allies-Selkie's ogre aunts; a wizard named Will; Ben's cousin Safford; and Kelsey, Selkie's best friend-Selkie is ready to embrace her destiny and bring the Court down. Until she hears the rest of her prophecy: Benedict le Fay will betray you, and then he will die. (from Goodreads)
The Boy with the Hidden Name was an okay sequel to The Girl Who Never Was, but it left me a bit disappointed.
Selkie was pretty much in denial about her feelings for Ben for the first part of the book, which started to get on my nerves after a while. She just kept going on and on and on about how he "left" her - to be honest, I don't know why she was SO upset about it she hardly knew anything about him anyway. And so after that she was like "ugh, I'm so not in love with him anymore!" which just made me roll my eyes continually because she obviously was (though I don't know why, the first book was a bit insta-lovey) and her constant denial just made her sound like a stubborn child. It got repetitive. But I did understand her frustrations about her lack of powers. She felt like she was unable to do anything useful for the group and she wished she could do magic like Will or the Erlking. I do wish her naming ability had been explored more; we never really found out much about how it worked or why some people were better at it than others, but it was interesting nonetheless.
Ben was a bit blah in this book. I had no particular feelings towards him. He was kind of boring. But he did save Selkie a few times (and she him). I do think there could have been more focus on his hidden name, it was sort of all brushed over, but oh well I guess. His mother was kind of peculiar, I didn't really get what she was aiming for, and it was a shame we didn't get to learn more about her past and her relationship with Ben. However, I did like her parts in the book even if she was kind of odd.
Plot-wise, I got confused about certain things and some things seemed way too convenient. The world building could have been better. First of all, what was the point of the Urisks? That storyline didn't seem to go anywhere. And the introduction of the two new characters towards the end was a little rushed and odd. Plus, how convenient was it that they managed to find them so easily? I also didn't get why Will did what he did and why it was so important to get that box, and I felt like the book ended somewhat suddenly and confusingly. I don't know. I think maybe the pacing was a bit off, and random things kept happening out of nowhere. The "twist" about the last fay...eh I don't know. It was weird and I didn't understand how it was possible. I also wanted to see more of the Unseelie court (though I did enjoy the parts we did see). Plus, Selkie and her mother never resolved their issues, and in fact barely talked at all - like, what happened after the thing at the end? It just ended without explaining anything. I did really like the Erlking though and the scenes involving him. He was very perceptive, and very funny and was a nice addition to the cast of characters.
Overall, The Boy with the Hidden Name wasn't bad, but I feel like things could have been explained better, and an extra chapter or two would have been nice so we could have found out more about the aftermath.