Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Orenda by Ruth Silver

Title: Orenda
Author: Ruth Silver
Release Date: April 27th, 2014
Pages: 264
Goodreads Rating: 4.33 Stars
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Content Rating: PG (Nothing more than brief kissing)

Summary from Goodreads: 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 younger 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.

Orenda is a unique new fantasy novel, set in a parallel universe.  The descriptions describes it well, so I'm just going to get right down to my review.

The negatives:
  • Not enough character development.  While I enjoyed this book, I never quite connected with the characters for some reason.  In the beginning, we have a good friendship that's developed between Lil and her best friend Bray that seems like it might develop into something more.  I think I might have been able to root for that, if it had been developed, but instead we're told (by another character) that Bray is in love with her (we never get this from Bray's POV though) and Lil insists she's not interested and falls for another guy.  Supposedly.  I just didn't feel much of a connection between them, so when something pulls them apart later, I couldn't bring myself to care all that much.  All of the other characters felt pretty secondary and I just didn't connect with any of them.  I think the book needed to be longer to really develop these characters.
  • Somewhat anticlimactic. It seemed like every time I expected something really exciting to happen, things somehow fizzled out. Specifically, whenever anyone confronted with the villain in the story - I would expect some sort of big showdown and they would just end up sort of talking a bit and then she would let them go.  Huh.  I guess she had her reasons, but it was sort of anticlimactic.
What I loved:
  • Orenda.  I really enjoyed discovering Orenda itself. It was an interesting parallel universe that was similar to earth in a lot of ways, but involved magic.  I enjoyed the mystery of discovering what this place was, who the people were that lived there and what the similarities and differences between the two worlds were.  Lil found that she had special powers in Orenda (in fact, everyone has a power of some sort).  I also appreciated that what happened in Orenda was tied in to Lil's life on earth at the end.
This was an interesting fantasy story that will most likely appeal to younger YA readers. I do think it could have used a bit more development, but it was an enjoyable read. I give it 3/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

   photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  

About the Author

Ruth Silver author photoRuth Silver is the best-selling author of ABERRANT, a young adult dystopian adventure series published by Patchwork Press and Lazy Day Publishing, in 2013. Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required, because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. Upcoming works include Royal Reaper, a young adult series about grim reapers, due for release June 3rd, 2014. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Author Links: