I first got really excited about reading this thanks to Rhiannon Hart’s review where she said “It's like the Goldilocks of books: everything is juuuuuuuuuust right.” And come on, how could I resist a book with not only a cat on the cover, but a main character who can converse with cats (as well as all other animals). I’m so envious!
For the most part, this 1987 novel lived up to my expectations. The world is described just enough to get you up to speed, but not so much that it suffocates you with unnecessary detail. The plot, with its focus on a group of misfits that can ‘true dream” sometimes seems like it is going to veer off into some mystical mumbo-jumbo, but the denouement is actually quite clever and logical in the framework of the post-apocalyptic landscape.
And Elspeth – I just loved her. For all her paranormal gifts, she comes off as remarkably normal and relatable. She’s not shy, but she’s cautious. She’s curious, but not demanding. She may just be the most powerful person on the planet, but she’s humble.
The only aspect I found lacking really was the cartoonish way the villains were portrayed, and the two-dimensional quality of some of the supporting players. Madam Vega, in particular, had so much potential, but her character just didn’t go anywhere which was a big disappointment.
Of course, it is always possible that at least some of these characters will be fleshed out better during the course of the series – after all there are 5 more books already out with 2 more planned for an October 2010 release (pictured). Find out more about them at Obernewtyn.net.
My Rating – 4 Zombie Chickens: An Excellent Example of the Dystopian Genre