This week I finished Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody.
I have this problem when I know a book is part of a series. I get nervous. I really don’t like to wait for interminable amounts of time for the next book to come out, and I have been known to become highly invested in certain series whose authors write really slowly. I do enjoy (a little) the anticipation of a new installment in a favorite series, but there’s a limit to my patience.
To protect myself from this agony, I generally either check to see how long the delay is between publication dates or I simply wait until I know the series is finished to read any of it.
That entire introduction is to say that I’m really happy that I didn’t begin this particular series when it started.
Here’s the cover. This is not the current cover, but this is the cover of the copy I checked out from the library. I like to get the full 1980s effect:
Obernewtyn is a home of the large ancestral, historically aristocratic variety. In a remote part of the country, this estate now serves as a home for “Misfits,” people who have been so affected by “The Great White” that they have developed powerful psychic abilities.
The protagonist, Elspeth, is a Misfit with little idea of how powerful her abilities really are. (Oh, look, a strong female heroine. One of my favorite archetypes!) She travels to Obernewtyn under duress and discovers that something mysterious and perhaps sinister is going on here.
Post-apocalyptic, specifically post-nuclear holocaust, and dystopian, this book seems to fall into a crossover world between science fiction and fantasy. Because the known world has had to start over, the setting is one that seems to be in the distant past; but the mentions of the “Before Time” indicate that this world is only the offspring of a much more highly technological age that ended in tragedy.
I felt that the book was a little difficult to get into at first, which is not necessarily surprising for the fantasy genre and all the world-building it entails; but it definitely picked up in the middle when Elspeth actually arrives at Obernewtyn. I’m really looking forward to finishing the rest of the series.
I should also mention that Isobelle Carmody is an Australian author. I have a thing for Australian authors, it seems: Melina Marchetta, Garth Nix, and DM Cornish are a few favorite YA writers already.
Apparently, the 8th and final book in this series will be out this year. I have plenty of time to read the first seven books before then; I probably won’t even be finished with them by the time the last book is published. Especially since our library appears to only own the first two books, just one of the many trials of enjoying books by international authors.
In other news, I’m also reading:
Just Keep Breathing by Joan Scott Curtis
Joan is a very dear friend whom I met through the Northstar of Texas Writing Project. I knew the basics of her story: that her husband died of AIDS in the mid-1990s, but I did not have a sense of the emotional impact on her and her family until now. I have read about half of this book so far and highly recommend it. A fuller review will follow when I’m finished. But for now, don’t wait for me—just check it out!
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
I just started this one yesterday. This book is definitely science fiction, so much so that I’m having a bit of trouble hanging on to all the world-building and technical jargon. But as science fiction is a hole in my reading life, and as the characters are compelling, I’m not giving up yet.
These books are still in my half-finished, I’ll-come-back-to-you-someday pile. For various reasons, I’m still in the middle of these:
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
And in the world of audiobooks, I’m listening to:
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
My husband read this book a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I feel like I’ve read it already because we’ve had so many conversations about it, but I haven’t really. I’m catching up now.
“It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a great way to keep track of what you’re reading and see what others are reading!
Sounds like a fantastic series! I’m secretly intimidated by books with titles and protagonists that I don’t even know how to pronounce…guess that’s not much of a secret now. Really interested in The Shallows…can’t wait to talk about Joan’s book with you, too!
Hey, I just bought Confusion of Princes! Don’t even know what it’s about, but I like Garth Nix enough to take a leap of faith. I’m more used to his fantasy stuff, but Shade’s Children is science fiction (sort of) and I really enjoyed that.
Hi Claire! Let me know if you like it–I’m about 1/4 of the way in. It’s a bit hard to hold on to all the jargon right now, but I’m pushing through for now!