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Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
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The beginning of a quest. The start of figuring out who you are? ( )
  DaffiMere | Nov 15, 2015 |
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody is the first book in The Obernewtyn Chronicles. It was first published in 1987, but still holds up today as a well written dystopian novel. The book starts off a little slow for me, though I'm sure it's hard to build and describe a dystopian world. Today's books usually start off with more action, but Carmody took her time to give us a true sense of the world.

The story is told in first person narrative. Quite often that made things more passive. Instead of relating what was said in exact words, Elspeth will tell us that she told them such and such and they said okay. I'd rather the actual interaction was played out. Also, dialects were used in some of the characters speech such as, "Dinna worry 'bout 'er." That was hard to read. Characters could have been more well rounded, but as it's a series, I hope that happens as the books progress.

The world and storyline were well written. It helped me to overlook the other minor annoyances and keep me reading. I do want to know what happens next! ( )
  NCRainstorm | Mar 26, 2014 |
This book had brilliant characters and a pretty good storyline, however it seemed to me the writing was at times a bit ambigious. I don't know, maybe it was just me. But I did enjoy it and am looking forward to the next ones. And now I have one book marked off my Aussie Readers Summer Challenge list :) ( )
  crashmyparty | Feb 26, 2014 |
Read this a few years ago now, but loved it and promptly tried to track down others in the series. ( )
  Peace2 | Jan 11, 2014 |
First published in 1987, Obernewtyn really just reads like a book from that era. I don't really know how to explain that, except that I've read dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction from then and from now, and it very much reads like the former. Partly, this stems from the formatting, broken into a number of short books, because in the 80s and 90s publishers did not have the same faith in teenage attention spans that they do now.

Pulled in by the pretty cover with the intense looking girl, pretty mountains and a cat, I had no conception of what I was getting myself into. Apparently, as the infodumping all over the beginning of the novel told me, humanity made machines that destroyed the world, irradiating and polluting it. Many people died immediately, but some hardy farmers survived. These farmers established a new order, one opposed to technology and worshipful of Lud (their God). They also dictated a policy to kill any seditious people and those affected by radiation, Misfits.

Oddly, though, they don't kill ALL of the misfits. Some are kept alive as workers or sent to the mysterious estate of Obernewtyn, much feared, because, like with a roach motel, those who go there check in but don't check out. Elspeth, the heroine, has, of course, psychic powers, able to speak with animals in her mind and sometimes having prophetic dreams. She, as expected, gets discovered, though for the more minor misfit tendency of the dreams, and shipped off to Obernwtyn.

There, mysterious happenings are afoot. People disappear. There's a creepy doctor running tests. A weird machine that attempts to take over Elspeth's mind. The people running Obernewtyn appear to be evil. On the other hand, for once in her life, Elspeth has real friends who know her for who and what she is and accept her. She has more freedom than ever before, but her life is in great danger.

Obernewtyn failed to really shine, though the story does exhibit promise. For one thing, you never really learn anything about the characters particularly. While I liked Elspeth, Matthew and Dameon well enough, all I really know is that they're nice people with powers. The world building, too, is half-hearted. I enjoyed the idea of this book, but never got sucked into Carmody's world.

Personally, I would label the book more post-apocalyptic than dystopian, though many people on Goodreads would disagree with me. There are elements of both, however. On the plus side, there's no romance in here, so I suspect there will be eventually. For now, it's a nice respite from the modern, romance-focused dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales.

Despite how slow much of the book was for me, I am curious enough to keep going with this series, because, at the very least, the books are short. I suspect these might be more enjoyable for middle grade readers. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Blends graceful storytelling with appealing characters.
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for Brenda
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In the days following the holocaust, which came to be known as the Great White, there was death and madness.

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Before first light we set out for the Silent Vale.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375857672, Mass Market Paperback)

In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. And for Elspeth Gordie, it is also dangerous. That's because Elspeth has a secret: she is a Misfit, born with mysterious mental abilities that she must keep hidden under threat of death. And her worries only multiply when she is exiled to the mountain compound known as Obernewtyn, where—for all her talents—Elspeth may finally and truly be out of her depth. Then she learns she’s not the only one concealing secrets at Obernewtyn.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When she is exiled to Obernewtyn after her psychic abilities are discovered, Elspeth encounters others with powers like her own and discovers dark secrets concerning the ambitious overlords who control the destinies of all the outcasts.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140178546, 0140134050, 0143204785

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