3.5/5 star rating

The Obernewtyn Chronicles Series by Isobelle Carmody 

Yes if you purchase the above omnibus, you unfortunately still need to also purchase the seventh book as well.  Now that the awkward part is done lets get on with something more fun. I’m still not quite sure what prompted me to pick up Obernewtyn, I needed something new to read and I remember flicking through some bookstore, reading through blurbs and coming across Obernewtyn.  The blurb sounded promising and I read through the first few pages right there in the bookstore.  Nothing else was really grabbing my interest so I thought I’d give it a go.  I have to admit, the first book simply blew me away and I just kept reading.  There was a long wait between books and I know I’m not alone in finding the last book as something of a disappointment but overall these books  are a long winded but highly entertaining read.

 

Summary

 

The series consists of seven novels.

  4/5 star rating

Obernewtyn

Elspeth Grodie is born into a world struggling to deal with radiation poisoning, struggling back from the brink of apocalypse.  If that isn’t hard enough she also has dangerous mental abilities, she is a Misfit.  Her best chance of Survival is secrecy and she is determined to never use her forbidden powers.  She finds however that her powers have their own idea and she is brought to the attention of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land.  Banished to the remote mountain institution of Obernewtyn she must still concealing herself and pit herself against those that want to resurrect the terrible forces of the apocalypse.  Accompanied only by her cat Maruman, she must embark on a dangerous adventure which promises not only to be unsafe for her, but everyone around her.

 

 

  3.5/5 star rating

The Farseekers

Since taking over Obernewtyn the secret community of Misfits have flourished, protected by their remoteness.  Led by Elspeth whose extraordinary powers set her apart from even her fellow Misfits, they set out an expedition to rescue a powerful Misfit in a distant part of the Land and only Elspeth knows the enormity of their task.  For her however there is an even bigger challenge, her vow to find and dismantle the dormant death weapon left by the Beforetimers.

 

 

 

  4/5 star rating

Ashling

Elspeth Gordie, a powerful farseeker, must travel to Sutrium, the very seat of the totalitarian council that rules the Land.  She must seal an alliance between the secret Misfit community at Obernewtyn and the rebel forces.  The journey takes her far beyond the borders of the Land, across the sea and into the heart of the mysterious desert region of Sador.  She will need help to destroy the weapon machines, but before her quest can begin she must learn the truth, she must understand why the Beforetimers tried to destroy their world.

 

 

 

 

 

  3.5/5 star rating

The Keeping Place

Elspeth Gordie and the Misfits are forced to join the rebellion against the oppressive Council, using their extraordinary mind powers but Elspeth must also seek out clues left by the long dead seer Kasanda.  Clues vital to her quest to destroy the Beforetime weaponmachines.  One clue is lost in the past, forcing Elspeth to trail the dangerous Dreamtrails, stalked by a winged beast with her cat as her guide and guardian.  Only there can she learn more about the Beforetime Misfits and their enemy Govamen.  Elspeth  is slowly starting to realize her quest is linked to the Misfit refuge Obernewtyn, its past and it’s future.

 

 

  3.5/5 star rating

The Stone Key

When Elspeth Gordie sets out from Obernewtyn to travel to Sutrium, she quickly learns not everyone welcomes the changes brought about by the rebellion.  Captured by an old and vicious enemy she is drawn into the heart of the Herder Faction.  Here she learns of a terrible plot against the west coast.  To stop it Elspeth must risk everything knowing if she dies she will never complete her quest to find the weaponmachines, if she succeeds however, her journey will lead her to the last of the signs left to her by the seer Kasanda.

 

 

 

  3.5/5 star rating

The Sending

 

The time has come for Elspeth to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal.  Before she can embark on her journey however she must find a lost key and although she has long planned for this journey nothing is as she anticipated.  Her search will take her where she never though to go and gain stranger companions then she ever imagined.  It will lead her far from her destination to those she thought lost forever and it will test her and she has never been tested before.

 

 

 

  3/5 star rating

The Red Queen

Before Elspeth can continue her journey to find Sentinel she must fight free of a strange prison where people believe the world beyond their walls is utterly annihilated.  At the end of her journey, nothing is like she imagined, drawn into the struggle for a kingdom only to find the Destroyer is waiting for her.  Somehow she must do what she has sworn to do for the sake of the world and all it’s creatures, she must complete her quest no matter the cost

 

 

Review

I really enjoyed reading the first three books, still enjoyed the next two books but as the books got more and more drawn out, I have to admit they lost something of the magic to me.  The last book was something of a disappointment and from some of the reviews I’ve read, I’m not the only one who felt this.  This shouldn’t detract from the overall brilliance of these books however, nor from the task it must have been to write them.  Elspeth is a strong, compelling character and the world she lives in is brilliantly brought to life along with her powers, her friends and the hint of the world that came before and what could happen if it all went wrong.

Background Info

The first book Obernewtyn was published in 1987 while the final book was published in 2015, almost twenty years later.  Over time the writer changed and I think that is why the the books seem to change.  I also believe it is possible she lost some of the drive and passion for these books as time went on.   Isobelle Carmody is the eldest of eight siblings and started writing these books at the age of fourteen, not long after her father died in a car accident.  She continued to work on them while completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in literature and philosophy; she worked in public relations and journalism.

Who should read this book?

Anyone and everyone, these books are a gripping read, once you start on them, you might not want to stop.  Isobelle admits herself that she struggled to contain her stories, trying to make them fit into some sort of word count.  They do wander and meander off course and find their way back again.  It all comes back together again in the end and all the little subplots start to come together in a brilliantly imagined world filled with flawed, imperfect people who happen to be gifted with powers they barely know how to use.  The end is perhaps a little predictable and becomes a bit formulated in my opinion, I got the impression the author just wanted to finish it and get it done, but it the journey it takes the reader on in between is breathless, enchanting and worth every moment.

I give these books an over all score of 3.5/5

 

Purchase your copy of the Obernewtyn Chronicles which covers the first six books, unfortunately you still need to purchase the seventh book separately.