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Obernewtyn (The Obernewtyn Chronicles #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  9,656 Ratings  ·  657 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 4th 1999 by Tor Books (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

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 wi
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mav by: I forgot.
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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
DNF at page 66. It was just so boring and was putting me in the worst slump! The only redeeming factor was the talking cat, but even that wasn't enough to get me to finish it!
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
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
I have so much love for this book.

I first read this when I was a young teenager and having recently picked up some second hand copies of the first three novels from my favourite book man at my local market, I decided it was high time I gave them a re-read to see if they stood the test of time.

I am pleased to report that I enjoyed this even more than when I read it as a teenager. As a teen, this was one of the first fantasy/sci fi style novels I ever encountered, and I think that this has reall
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
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
3.5 stars

A typical dystopian coming-of-age novel, without any real surprises. As the first book in a very long series it sets the stage for further development, but there is not enough tension for it to stand strongly alone.

Obernewtyn follows the story of Elspeth, a young girl with psychic powers she must hide from the oppressive ruling regime. It's a fairly typical dystopian scenario; a nuclear (or similar) apocalypse has destroyed the land, the few survivors have been able to recover by avoid
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
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
Allyce Cameron
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love this series so much. Rereading it (again) I fell in love with the characters and world all over again, although I do wonder if I enjoy it so much because I have read all the other books and have a deeper connection with them all from future books. I will admit that the first book doesn't have as much in the way of character building and world building as the subsequent books. But an amazing book none the less and I cannot wait to read the rest.
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
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.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of a quest. The start of figuring out who you are?
Tilly Booth
I'm gonna re-read this one day because I don't think I was in the right /mind space/ for it.
Have I said before how much I love audio books? They are the best way to read and do something else! So, with the long wait between titles, I've not wanted to get into The Red Queen , (Obernewtyn #7), because I've forgotten so much of the original story. Listening to Isobelle read her own work is magical, and despite how long ago it was written, Obernewtyn stands the test of time. Elspeth Gordie is the quintessential 'clueless' hero. Kept intentionally ignorant (an uneducated population is a co ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I picked up this book after hearing amazing things about it from Jodi McAlister at Melbourne Supernova earlier this year. It had a bit of a slow start but I was hooked after reading about a talking cat - who does not want a talking cat??? I liked where the story headed and am looking forward to continuing the series.
Jody Ellis
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this as much as the first time I read it, if not more as I add my experiences I've had since I first read it.

An original story with an alternative spin on the old twists of telepathy, empaths etc etc. I loved the names and the way the 'before time' was seen and described and what happened post apocalypse.

Bring on the next in the series!
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty great, I was really interested in the magic and liked that there were slow reveals about how much was actually possible, although it was unfortunate that there was a real limit to any character or world building aside from the first few pages introducing the whole scenario. I would have loved a bit more of that background story and a little less "this character did this, oh no this character is stuck" a little more descriptive/emotive language would be nice sometimes!

Still, overa
Dec 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia
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
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
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
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ein sehr spannendes Thema, was uns auch selber treffen könnte. Die Welt existiert nicht mehr so, wie sie war, denn es gab eine Nuklearkatastrophe, aus dieser entstehen natürlich auch Mutationen, gegen diese wird stark gegen angegangen. Elspeth ist eine davon und ich erlebe ihren Weg mit ihr. Der Recht interessant ist und manchmal auch was fantastisches hat, dieser besonders an den Tieren haftet.


Die Story finde ich sehr interessant. Welches ja nicht ganz so abwegig erscheint. Durc
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
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  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
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on my kindle for roughly a year now. I never picked it up because I attempted to read the first chapter and couldn't get past it. But it turns out to be an amazing book! Isobelle Carmody created a immaculate piece of writing, leaving the loose ends that needed to stay loose to ensure the success of this series, loose and tying the ends ones that needed to be tied up. The book created a sense of longing to be involved, or to some how be magically transported into the book so yo ...more
This is a book that I was really looking forward to and it turned out to be a great disappointment. The premise has all the things I like-- a dystopian post-apocalyptic world where science and knowledge has crumbled and people struggle to cobble together an existence, humans discovering their newly-developing supernatural powers, conspiracies and the search for truth, even talking animals... I see so much potential in this series but I was really let down by the author's writing.

One of the cardi
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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 (8 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 Obernewtyn Chronicles: Books 1 - 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.” 21 likes
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