This book has been around since forever, since 1987 in fact, but this is the first time I've read it. I've been really enjoying dystopian novels lately, and my mum happened to have this series just sitting there on her shelves. The cover is enticing with its craggy mountains, cat, and girl with intense eyes. The word Obernewtyn is unique and quirky too.
So, I wanted to love this book, but something wasn't quite right about it. The ideas were good, but the execution just wasn't earth shatteringly brilliant. I often find authors of books intended for young adults seem to not take as much care with their writing, and I wanted to give this book a good edit!
The opening chapters were very heavy with back story to set the scene, a vision of a world after the holocaust, also known as the Great White. Many children born after the Great White are found to have telepathic powers and are known as Misfits. If they are found out, they are sent to Obernewtyn in the mountains, and banished from the rest of society.
With her power of reading the minds of both people and animals, Elspeth Gordie lives in fear of being taken prisoner and sent to Obernewtyn and this is the story of what happens to her there.
While there is a high level of intrigue and suspense in the story which kept me reading, there was a sense of awkwardness in the way the story played out, particularly in the motives behind the characters' actions. There was little back story for the characters, so their actions and responses were often unexplained and yet predictable. The final chapter was a total letdown with its quick conclusion to the tale, and while I am curious as to what happens next in Elspeth's life, I don't want to be disappointed again. I will give the second book a chance because there is the potential here for genius, but I have a feeling it will be written in a similar style.
My rating ***