Sunday, October 5, 2014

ORENDA by Ruth Silver, a Review

A virtual book blast from YA Bound Books Tours.  The first book 
in a new series from author Ruth Silver, Orenda.  
A YA Fantasy/adventure/parallel world story.  
Today I will be giving my review of this book. 
 Please leave a comment and let us know you were 
here….thx, PLP.


Join forces with a parallel universe. 

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified, Lil comes face to face with her doppelganger, Willow, who possesses the ability to travel between the two worlds. Everything Lil knows logically says that Orenda can’t exist, but a small clue may be proof that it was more than an ordinary dream. With the threat of her sister in danger, Lil crosses dimensions but it may cost her even more than she bargained for. 

A sword wielding girl, the eternal suit, and a parallel universe come together in this action- packed Young Adult fantasy adventure that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages. Orenda is the first novel in the Orenda series.

Goodreads review link

Amazon link

My Review

I love the premise of this story, the idea of parallel worlds is very intriguing to me, I was really looking forward to someone else's take on the idea.  Plus the cover of this book truly grabbed my attention…I was very excited to begin this adventure.  It's actually the first time I've considered reviewing a book…that's how much I loved what I saw and read in the synopsis.

The mystery begins on a good note, the characters are believable and the general theme of the book is inviting, it's all exciting and you follow along with the intrigue immediately. It really grabs your attention right away.
However, the jumps in the writing were really throwing me off in a big way, almost immediately.  There's an entire scene in the kitchen with her sister eating breakfast and she gets up to let someone in the door and the very next sentence is her sitting in a classroom at school? Huh?  I had to re-read to see what I missed, but realized we had simply changed scenes without warning or paragraph breaks.  This style of writing, mistakes in punctuation which made it really unclear who was speaking at times, happened so much that I really felt I could not continue reading the book.   It seriously challenged me on more than one occasion, and I almost just put it down several times.  However, I really wanted to like this book, given the synopsis, and give it a fair chance, so I read on.

The story did become more interesting and I definitely wanted to see where it would go.  Although I had trouble with the instant acceptance of the main character's situation, of being thrown into another world (which didn't seem that much different than ours), there should have been more angst or questioning to me.  It seemed like everything was a bit of a breeze instead of the shocking thing that it was.  Too much detail was left out for me, it was all simple. And without giving anything away, there were two main instances in the story where someone is revealed to be something else and it is so blatantly glanced over that it appears rushed, like the author didn't want to take the time to explain the circumstance, or give more intrigue.   I wanted to know more, I was incredulous, why wasn't the protagonist as upset?   It really bothered me a lot, there was no urgency or feelings of betrayal at something so astounding…it didn't go deep enough.  Instead the day carried on like any other.

Now,  having said all of this, I did finish the story and would like to see where it goes, if for no other reason than pure curiosity.  Like I said, there are some interesting characters and ideas…I want to know more.  I want to know how its all going to end.

And speaking of endings.  I was reading on my kindle and when another title came up on the next page I thought it was just a second part of the book, this happens so I didn't think it was unusual.  And since the author's way of writing was so cut up at times, it just seemed natural to keep reading.  Except that it kind of started in a whole other place and it was confusing, until I got to the end and realized the author had placed a sample of the next book immediately after the first, again, with no warning.  It just appeared on the very next page!   Happy that I wasn't completely bonkers, I went back to read the last of the first book again and realized, geez, it really did just simply end!  It wasn't a cliff hanger that keeps you clinging to the edge of your seat, waiting for the next book to come out….it literally just stops with questions rather than suspense and a situation (one of the ones I mentioned above), with a family member and a room that was a pivotal and shocking point of the story, that went right by without a hick up, like it was no big deal…?!

Even after my personal trial of reading this story, I would have to say that if you love the fantasy/adventure/dimensional thing then give it a try…I see some good reviews, so there you have that.  I think the idea is very interesting, but I feel it just needs some fine tuning and a bit more background or something deeper, more world building.  Take your time Ruth, give us the juice and it could make a good series.

That is of course assuming the author delivers in the end.

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