The Obernewtyn Chronicles – Book One
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 to is keep her power hidden. But is secrecy enough against the terrible power of the Council?
This series has been recommended to be me time and again by numerous people – most memorably Jess and The Giraffe and I had been meaning to pick this up but somehow something else always drew my attention. However, I finally decided to take the plunge this Ramadan and I am so glad I did because, wow, this book is so very good and such a tremendous beginning to what may end up as one of my favourite series and another testament to the prowess of Australian authors.
The novel is a Dystopian. Perhaps one of the earliest YA dystopians ever (though I could be wrong). It deals with humanity after a nuclear disaster wipes out most of the civilization. The novel mixes magic and science wonderfully. Elspeth Gordie, the protagonist of this novel, when we meet her in the beginning, is a prickly creature doing her best to fit into the community established by the survivors of the Great White as they call the nuclear disaster. She has powers that label her misfit and automatically sentence her to death but circumstances conspire to lead her to Obernewtyn instead – a repository of Misfits, if you will.
The novel does, as first installments in a series are wont to do, spend a lot of time setting things up but it does not do so at the expense of the primary narrative. Obernewtyn establishes itself to be propelled by not just character development but also the unfurling of a grand narrative. A lot of characters are introduced, main plot points are established and events take place with the consequences promising to last through the entire series. There is also a Cat Character and I think we have all established that I am a bit Silly for Cat Characters.
If you are looking for a dystopian with a solid story though not much romance initially, I recommend this to you. It’s an exhilarating adventure, fraught with danger, friendship and a glimpse of what life may be like were we to continue to play with things we have no business playing with.