Monday, February 18, 2008

Obernewtyn & The Farseekers

I found a used book club sci-fi edition of Isobelle Carmody's two science fiction fantasy books Obernewtyn & The Farseekers that was released in 2000. Obernewtyn was originally published in 1987; The Farseekers in 1990. The combined hardcover bookclub edition has 440 pages. The story takes place years after a nuclear holocaust and really is appropriate young adult reading. While I would recommend these books, I will also admit that fantasy science fiction is not my chosen sf genre - generally speaking I prefer hard science fiction and could recommend better post apocalyptic novels. These books were enjoyable enough, though, even with plot holes and gaping leaps of continuity. I'll recommend them with a rating of 3. If you enjoy fantasy science fiction, you may rate them higher. I may go on to the next two books, Ashling (3rd) and The Keeping Place (4th) although it appears that the The Keeping Place is not easy to find.

Obernewtyn, Amazon Review:
After the nuclear holocaust of the Great White, the surviving humans condemn all Misfits (mutants) to either death by fire or exile to Obernewtyn, a remote mountain institution where mysterious experiments are performed on some exiles. Elspeth Gordie is a Misfit, struggling to hide her mutant mental abilities and earn a Normalcy Certificate. But when her secret is betrayed, she is sent to Obernewtyn, from which no one has ever escaped. At Obernewtyn she finds not only dreadful experiments, but ambitious overlords who seek to use the Misfits' paranormal powers to recover the devastating secrets of nuclear war. Cynthia Ward

Farseekers, Amazon Library Journal review:

After liberating themselves from their control by the totalitarian Council, the psychically gifted Misfits of Obernewtyn attempt to develop their skills without interference from the outside world. When powerful psychic Elspeth Gordie leads an expedition into the distant Lowlands to rescue another Misfit, she also receives a call to find and destroy a cache of ancient weapons, relics of the legendary Beforetimers. Carmody!s postapocalyptic tale of heroism and courage in the face of persecution blends graceful storytelling with appealing characters. Recommended for most sf collections as well as for YA fans of speculative fiction.

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