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Authors: Corinne Duyvis

Otherbound

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Duyvis, Corinne.

Otherbound / by Corinne Duyvis.

pages cm

Summary: A seventeen-year-old boy finds that every time he closes his eyes, he is drawn into the body of a mute servant girl from another world—a world that is growing increasingly more dangerous, and where many things are not as they seem.

ISBN 978-1-4197-0928-9 (alk. paper)

[1. Fantasy.] I. Title.

PZ7.D9585Ot 2014

[Fic]—dc23

2013029536

Text copyright © 2014 Corinne Duyvis
Book design by Sara Corbett

Published in 2014 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher.
Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Amulet Books are available at special discounts when purchased in quantity for premiums and promotions as well as fundraising or educational use. Special editions can also be created to specification. For details, contact [email protected] or the address below.

115 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
www.abramsbooks.com

For my four grandparents, who have always encouraged me—even when they weren't entirely clear on what I was doing, exactly.

Voor mijn vier grootouders, die me altijd hebben aangemoedigd—zelfs wanneer het ze niet helemaal duidelijk was waarin precies.

CONTENTS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

n the world of the Dunelands, Amara was sleeping.

Striding through the Walgreens aisles, Nolan wished he could do the same—just curl up in bed, shut his eyes, and see nothing but the insides of his eyelids.

No: see nothing but the insides of Amara's eyelids. He hadn't seen his own in years.

If he hurried, he could buy the notebooks and get home before Amara woke up. He stopped by the office supplies, adjusted his backpack, and hunted the shelves for the right kind: hard-backed, easy to stack, and with thick enough paper that his ink wouldn't bleed through when his pen paused at the same spot too long.

“Can I help you find anything?” A perky salesclerk appeared to his right.

Nolan offered a smile. Not quite his teacher-smile, but close—he didn't visit stores often enough to have a sales-clerk-smile. All these fluorescent lights and shoppers made him uneasy. If something happened in Amara's world, he had nowhere here to hide. At least his school had bathrooms. Sometimes he even got to use a teacher's office. When the disabled kid said he felt a seizure coming, teachers listened,
if only out of fear that Dad would threaten to sue them again.

“No, thank you.” Nolan drew back from the salesclerk. Another smile. He fingered the straps of his backpack. “I'm doing fine. But thank you.”

He turned back to the notebooks. Amara would give everything she owned for a single one of these. He ignored that thought—with Amara asleep, this was the one time of day he could focus on his own world. Once she woke, or when she started dreaming, all his inner peace and quiet would fade.

Maybe he should pick up some pens, as well. He couldn't risk running out of ink.

The salesclerk crouched to rearrange some mixed-up kids' sketchbooks. Nolan zeroed in on the shelves, on the recent pop cover blaring from the store's speakers. Easier said than done. The music cut out every time he blinked, replaced with Amara's slow breaths and the quiet rustling of sleepers in her inn room.

There. They'd moved his brand of notebooks to another spot. Nolan raised his—

—get up!—

—it was just a snatch of a voice. Male. At first, Nolan thought it was another shopper, maybe the radio.

It wasn't. Amara had woken up. Nolan turned away from the salesclerk. He needed to shut his eyes without the clerk worrying, get a second's glimpse of Amara's world to see what was happening. The fluorescent glow of the Walgreens faded into nothing—

“—this?” It was Jorn's voice, as Nolan knew it would be. Long fingers dug into Amara's wrist. They were cold to her sleep-warm skin, and strong, squeezing too tightly.

Jorn yanked her out of the alcove bed. Her blanket slid off, caught by the hatch, and Amara stumbled on all fours onto the inn floor. Splinters stabbed her knees and feet.

Jorn shoved beige squares of paper at Amara. Scratches of ink covered every inch, forming slashes and loops and dots Amara recognized as letters. “I know these are yours,” Jorn growled. “You're learning to write. What do you think you need that for?”

Amara didn't answer. Even when she could, when he wasn't dragging her by the arm like this, she never answered. Jorn would only get worse. She scrambled for balance, but her every muscle held stiff from fear and sleep.

Through the panic, Nolan tried to yank Amara's arm free. It didn't respond. Never did. He only got to watch and feel.

Cilla
, Amara was thinking,
maybe Cilla can stop him, she could tell him that teaching me to write was her idea, that it wasn't just me
—but Jorn wouldn't care. He couldn't punish Cilla. He
could
punish Amara—

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