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Obernewtyn (The Obernewtyn Chronicles #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  7,530 ratings  ·  510 reviews
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 tal ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published December 9th 2008 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1987)
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Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed Obernewtyn. Most of the characters were interesting enough; but not all were developed that well. The main character, Elspeth Gordie, seemed realistic enough; an emotionally distant child suffering the pain of losing her parents, spending her childhood in a variety of orphanages and possessing powers she has to keep secret. I also enjoyed her misfit friends, Matthew and Dameon, the enigmatic Rushton, and the mind-speaking animals. I wish some of the characters ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jan 22, 2015 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan of fantasy, post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction
This month, June, marks the start of the Obernewtyn Chronicles Reading Marathon! Each month we are reading a book in the series, though predictably the release date for the final book, The Red Queen, has been pushed back to next year - no surprises there. I decided to go ahead with the read-along anyway, because it has literally been YEARS since I last read them and there's so much going on that I had forgotten about, I've been itching to start from the beginning again.

Forgive my daggy 1993 seco
I want to like this book. I really do. I was interested in the world Carmody was building, especially after the first few pages.

Then I kept on reading. The book is short, primarily because there's so little of substance. Normally, I love the first book in a fantasy series because there is so much world building. Here, Carmody has it's setting, but she doesn't do anything to make that world feel alive. The story takes place mostly in the countryside and the mountains. There is little description
I tried really hard to get into this book, but I felt no connection with the main character. The story might have been very good, but I kept getting distracted and bored because of the descriptions of scenery and setting. Setting can be very important, but I just couldn't get into the book because it got in the way. I'd like to try it again sometime, since I ended up skimming the ending.
Arrrrrg. This one thing was really getting on my nerves and I just couldn't enjoy the book the way I should have.

When certain characters are speaking, their accents are demonstrated in the most frustrating way. For example: Dinna ye ev'n think 'bout gon' roun' thar an' all.

Uh, What? Exactly what I was thinking. It's not so much the visual indicator of their speech pattern that bothered me; as it definitely helped me to "hear" their accent, but it was the frequency with which it was used that was
This was the author's first book, written in her twenties, and it has some flaws. But the story and characters have had a powerful hold on my imagination since I first read it in my twenties, and I found it just as compelling and suspenseful this time around. I'm so excited that the rest of the series is going to be made available in America! For years you could only get the first 3 books.
I'm conflicted with rating this book. On the one hand, I would give it two stars and nothing more, but compared to the other two-star rated books I've read, Obernewtyn was somewhat better. But it's not quite three stars, you see. I gave three stars for Lips Touch by Laini Taylor, and I thought that was infinitely better than Obernewtyn.

On the other hand, I wanted to like this. I had high expectations for it - which probably just added to my disappointment. So I suppose for me, this book lies som
This book has
1) Awesome animal characters
2) Intriguing mystery
3) Thought provoking mesh between sci-fi and fantasy
4) A likable heroine
5) Brilliantly written
6) A well thought out world
7) No plot-hinging whinny cry-baby romance

With all of those factors how could I not love this book? It's exactly the kind of book that you want to curl up and read on a rainy day. I feel warm inside just thinking about it. Will definitely be reading the others is the series ASAP.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
While I found this a bit slow to get into, the world building that Carmody does is fantastic. I flew through the last half of the book, flipping through the pages and holding my breath while Elspeth was sneaking around the property and the house, keeping my fingers crossed that she wouldn't get caught.... It was very suspenseful! Looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.
While I feel that the post-apocalyptic genre has pretty much done to ahem, death, I don't mind books that add new ideas and try and take the genre in new directions. Sadly, while this book attempts that, it doesn't make it, and I didn't feel any emotional connection to any of the major characters, and worse, I felt the book suffered by the author explaining nothing, and waiting for the story to develop as way of explanation. The climax while satisfying was short and didn't have any bang. I am un ...more
Aaron Vincent
Originally Posted on Guy Gone Geek.

After following Will and his mates in their escape to the White Mountains, I decided to continue my dystopian adventure with Elspeth's exile to another mountain, Obernewtyn. The concept of these books may have parallelism but the stories in their entirety are completely different.

For one, White Mountains is a science-fiction while Obernewtyn, although has elements of sci-fi, leans more towards epic fantasy. And while the mountain Will trekked to promises refuge
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
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 mo
This is the umpteenth time I have read this book. I've first read this series in my teens (there were only 4 then) and this is just one of those series which stuck, for life (for me anyway). A few years ago, Carmody decided to write the fifth book, then the sixth and so on. So, it's time that I catch up by reading all the way from the first book.

I used to only classify this series as fantasy but with references to the 'Beforetime', the 'Great White' (maybe referring to an atomic explosion?), and
Jul 01, 2010 Alisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young teen readers who like an independent heroine & a bit of magic
Why do authors assume that after the nuclear apocalypse, we'll all be going back to medieval England? I get the connection to feudal organization and primitive/agricultural technology, but I don't get the "old-timey" language. Just don't buy it.

This series was recommended by a great librarian who told me how much her daughter had loved it. So I was prepared for great FSF candy. And...not so much. I was feeling really dismal about it all, when I came to the talking cat. And, I know, this is where
I have to admit that in comparison to the rest of this series this book is underwhelming. However I think its a requirement because carmody needs to set up a whole new world, with its various dictatorships, factions, opinions etc. I love this book because its the prelim for the rest of the series that I fell in love with at 13.

Obernewtyn is centered around elspeth, a misfit with vast powers including beast speaking (self explanatory), coersion (making somebody do something by essentially hackin
It seems that this book is set after a widespread nuclear fallout called the "Great White," which I think is quite interesting since the book has a historical fantasy feel to it. After the Great White, people that had special abilities were deemed Misfits, and either burned to prevent the Great White from occurring again (which the fanatic populace thought was a punishment from their god, Lud), or sent to work farms to provide something very close to slave labor. Carmody does an excellent job of ...more
First off, some purchasing tips.

1) If you are going to get this book (and you should!) you should prolly get the edition called "The Seeker: The Obernewtyn Chronicles" because it combines Book 1 and Book 2 of the series into one low price edition, which will save you money, and you'll have the second one on hand once you finish the first engrossing book.

2) If you are going to get each book separately and are bad with faces, get the edition with the girl's face and cat. It will help you visualize
I really enjoyed this engaging fantasy, the first book in the Obernewtyn Chronicles. The series has a post apocalyptic setting and depicts a world long after its destruction by a global nuclear holocaust.

The narrator, Elspeth Gordie, is a young girl with mental powers caused by mutation. There are others with various mental powers in this society, known as Misfits. They are condemned by the governing authority known as the Council, and the religious authority, the Herder Faction. Elspeth tries t
Laura-Louise Slattery
I was a bit sceptical when approaching this book because I have been reading a lot of Dystopian novels lately like The Hunger Games series & The Maze Runner series.
Usually, Dystopian novels tend to tell the same story a lot, but with different characters & different settings. This book was familiar, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The setting was one of the best parts of the novel because its set many years in the future where 'The Great White', a holocaust sort of thing, has damaged the wo
This wasn't for me at all. There was never a moment where I was pulled in by the storyline.

Carmody used too much frivolous jargon ie. beforetime, oldtime, aftertime (maybe I made that one up), councils, misfits, herders, great white, the changing, councilcourt, seditioners, and it goes on! Fair enough, jargon might be necessary, but it just seemed overloaded and took away from other aspects of the story.

So one thing I learned is that this type of sci-fi does nothing for me. The book often came
It has taken me forever to get around to reading this book. I liked the world-building with the Council, but I would have liked to learn a bit more about the intricacies/rules in the settlements. Maybe this will be elaborated further later in the series...
I liked Elspeth, but I felt a little detached in the narration, and the same was true for Rushton. I liked the characters, but I didn't really care what happened to them all that much. The action and plot, while inventive, weren't all that grou
For a young adult book, I was not impressed. I have read a lot of youth fiction and this just seemed like a repeated plot as well as a waste of 244 pages... You have to continue with the rest of the series to really find out what happens to the main character, and I do not feel that the series will hold up well. As a stand alone book, this is horrible. If I had been around when it first came out, I think I would have been very upset if I had bought the book.
There are much better selections for y
I really enjoyed this book. Carmody manages to evoke a unique and fascinating world and to do so without resorting to obscure vocabularies and pettifoggery, making for a much more readable text than many others in the genre. I would bemoan having waiting so long to read this... but maybe I have timed it just perfectly as apparently the final book will be out next year after what I hear has been a long wait for more longstanding fans of Carmody's work!
3 - 4 stars (3 if writing is counted heaviest, 4 if readability is counted heaviest).

I enjoyed the genre mash-ups. Science fiction meets fantasy! That's pretty cool in my book. Maybe I did have to ignore the slight eye-roll upon learning of Elspeth's abilities, but the bringing together of these very different (though mentioned in the same breath) genres and their tropes makes up for some other decisions that didn't work so well for me.

But, on a simple straight-forward level, I really enjoyed th
Alissa Tsaparikos
Carmody does a pretty decent job of world-building for this novel, and I have to say it was honestly what kept me reading and interested. I am not a fan overall of her style. It is way too much telling and not enough showing. This made places of action seem more boring. I found the history at the beginning interesting, but I feel like it would have been better suited sprinkled about throughout the story rather than info dumped on us in the beginning. By the time I finished, I look back and feel ...more
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The plot had many highs and lows but I don’t feel that it really had much of a driving force behind it. If you asked me to describe the plot of Obernewtyn to you, I’m not really sure where I’d begin or end as I don’t think there’s a conclusive story line and it was more like a bunch of events that happened. Some parts of the plot moved really fast and others moved really damn slowly with most of the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book kept me interesting and reading despite the fact that I couldn't believe how little actually happens in this book. It's suspenseful and mysterious bug I thought more of the book would be spent in unraveling the mystery instead of just kind of pondering.

Despite the fact the book predates the Hunger Games I couldn't help finding myself comparing them as they were both told first person from a young woman in a dystopian future where we the reading can suspect we are seeing future Earth an
After reading other reviews, I can see that this book is not particularly popular with some. I can understand, and it is a matter of personal opinion. I respect that. However, I personally, loved the book.

In short, it's about a young girl, Elspeth, and her struggles with a nation who loath those who have "mutations". These "mutations" are powers of one kind or another. If you're known to be one of these people, then you are put to death. However, she is found out, though she isn't killed. Elspet
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Isobelle Carmody began the first novel of her highly acclaimed Obernewtyn Chronicles while she was still in high school. The series has established her at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia.

In addition to her young-adult novels, such as the Obernewtyn Chronicles and Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle's published works include several middle-grade fantasies. Her still-unfinished Gateway Trilogy
More about Isobelle Carmody...

Other Books in the Series

The Obernewtyn Chronicles (7 books)
  • The Farseekers (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #2)
  • Ashling (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #3)
  • The Keeping Place (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #4)
  • The Stone Key (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #5)
  • The Sending (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #6)
  • The Red Queen (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #7)
The Farseekers (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #2) Ashling (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #3) The Keeping Place (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #4) The Stone Key (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #5) The Sending (The Obernewtyn Chronicles, #6)

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“Sometimes I am afraid for people like you who have to know things. Your kind will dig and hunt and worry at it until one day you will find what is hidden, waiting for you.” 17 likes
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