Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Case You Missed It The Obernewtyn Chronicles

Published: 2003 - 2010
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Copies: My own
Summaries: Goodreads

Obernewtyn: 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.

Farseekers: In the two years since its takeover of Obernewtyn, the secret community of Misfits has flourished. Protected by their remoteness, Elspeth Gordie and her allies have worked hard to develop their forbidden mental abilities—all in preparation for their inevitable confrontation with the totalitarian Council. And though their training is far from complete, the Misfits can no longer stay hidden when they learn of the existence of a new Talent—one whose power may eclipse anything they have seen before.

Ashling: As head of Obernewtyn’s Farseeker guild, Elspeth Gordie must travel to the lowlands to seal an alliance between Obernewtyn and the rebel forces that oppose the totalitarian Council. Yet her dreams call to her with an altogether different purpose: Elspeth must destroy what remains of the weapons that brought unimaginable chaos, death, and mutation to her world. Leaving the relative safety of the mountains, Elspeth embarks on a journey that takes her across the sea and into the heart of the mysterious desert region of Sador.

There are many YA dystopian novels around right now, and I am a huge fan of the genre. We have Michael Grant's Gone series, Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth, Jonathan Mayberry's Rot and Ruin, and now Wither, the first volume in Lauren DeStefano Chemical Gardens trilogy. Of course these are just the ones that come to my mind first, and I apologise if I have missed your favourite - there are so many others out that I can't think of right now, - just thought of Lauren Oliver's Delirium. Anyway, I first read the Obernewtyn Chronicles back in 2003 when they were re-issued, but the significant fact is that they were originally published in 1987. Yep, they've been around for a while, and they are really good.

Obernewtyn is set in a society suffering through a nuclear winter, or 'The Great White' as it is referred to, and society has changed enormously. Here is the blurb from the back of my copy of Obernewtyn:

For Elspeth Gordie freedom is - like so much else after the Great White - a memory.

It was a time known as the Age of Chaos. In a final explosive flash everything was destroyed. The few who survived banded together and formed a Council for protection. But people like Elspeth - mysteriously born with powerful mental abilities - are feared by the Council and hunted down like animals...to be destroyed.

Her only hope for survival is to keep her power hidden. But is secrecy enough against the terrible power of the Council?

I absolutely loved these three books - so much so that I went out and bought them after reading them, but I thought the series was finished at 3 books. Now I find out I was wrong, and there are another 3 books in the series. I'm so excited. Here are the covers of the next 3.

Now as I said, I haven't read these, but if they are even half as good as the first trilogy, they should be amazing. Isobelle Carmody is an Australian writer, and has written many other books, some for middle grade as well. This series, as far as I can remember was a relatively 'clean' read, but it is several years since I last read them, so I could be wrong. What's interesting is that in the US this second trilogy has been expanded to 5 books, giving the series 8 in total instead of the Australian 6. Now, I know that The Sending was published in Australia in Dec 2010, but I don't think it is available here yet. The title line-up in North America is: The Keeping Place; Wave Song and The Stone Key; The Sending and Red Queen. Here are the US covers for The Keeping Place and Wave Song:

A huge mix of cover styles, right?  Anyway, to cut a long post short - if you are a fan of dystopian/apocalyptic fiction you really should hunt down this series and try it.  I'm positive you'll love it just as much as I do.

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