Happy Friday! Today, we're excited to be hosting on of the tour stops for Ruth Silver's novel, Orenda. We've got Ashley's review for you, as well as a giveaway. So be sure to enter for your chance to win all kinds of fabulous books via the Rafflecopter code found at the end of this post!
You can also see the tour schedule and visit the rest of the stops on this tour by clicking on the banner above.
About the Book
Author: Ruth Silver
Genre: YA/MG Fantasy
Published By: Patchwork Press
Synopsis: 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.
About the AuthorRuth Silver is the best-selling author of ABERRANT, a young adult dystopian adventure series published by Patchwork Press and Lazy Day Publishing, in 2013. Author, YA Blogger, and Book Manager with Booktrope Publishing, Ruth keeps busy with writing, updating her book blogs Write Away Bliss and YA Book Deals, and promoting authors.
With a passion for reading, photography, and traveling Ruth has plenty of stories and experiences to share. She loves dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy young adult novels most of all. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.
The synopsis of this book sounds really fantastic. Parallel worlds, doppelgangers, magic, sword-fighting... it sounds like it has everything for the makings of a great fantasy book! And while all of the parts are there, I felt like the execution was a little bit off. I still thoroughly enjoyed Orenda and will be coming back for more (Elfinland comes out soon! I hope!), but there were parts of this book that just didn't mesh well for me.
I really liked the idea of the parallel worlds, and that Willow is in charge of guarding who can cross between the worlds. I also thought it was really interesting that Willow can go to Earth, but only Rawlie can bring them back. It implies some thinking on the part of the Mystics (who grant powers), since one person does not have the ability to travel freely between worlds. It might be inconvenient in this situation, but it's better overall that way. I'm still not sure how I feel about Lil though. She's actually kind of annoying and way too trusting. Like who visits a parallel world, gets thrown in to the middle of a decades-long war, and just goes along with everything? I certainly would not.
As far as the boys go, I always cheer for the best friend (because hello! Obviously they should get together if there are feelings there!). Bray is so obviously in love with Lil, but she just doesn't see him that way and it's really kind of sad. I mean, I get it, but still. You'd think once someone points it out to her that she would realize it instead of denying everything. Then there's Rawlie, who I was afraid was going to be the love interest. It was just way too convenient, and I'm glad Ruth had other plans for him. I'm sure he's a great guy and all, but he definitely goes better with Willow.
And then there's Hudson. I felt like the relationship here was really rushed and built on pretty much nothing. One page, Hudson is a real jerk to Lil and she can't stand him. A few pages later and she decides he's not such a bad guy after all? I can see where that could happen, but those few pages span a couple of hours and he's trying to beat her up and teach her how to fight with a sword, so I don't think the circumstances really merit her starting to possibly develop feelings for him. It was just really fast and sudden and their relationship took me a little by surprise.
I did really enjoy all of the faerie and mythological elements in Orenda though. I had no idea there were such things as the Seelie and Unseelie courts until recently, but I'm glad I had that knowledge prior to reading this book because it really added to my understanding of Ruth's fae. And I loved that the Faerie Queen is named Morgan LeFay, and I hope there's more about her in the next book(s)! I'm really curious to know more about her and why she takes the things she does in exchange for favors.
Overall, the concept behind this book is really exciting and different, but the execution of it falls a little short. The world-building isn't as in depth as I usually like in a fantasy book, and the characters are left very flat. Especially the villain. The plot moves very quickly - sometimes too quickly - and I found myself confused and having to reread parts to make sure I didn't miss anything. I still enjoyed this book though, and would give it a 3/5!
The Giveaway!1 signed paperback of Orenda (US only)
5 eBooks of Orenda (Intl)
1 eBook of Jacob, King of Portalia (Intl)
1 eBook of Spirit Warriors: The Scarring (Intl)
1 eBook of Fractured Dream (Intl)
1 eBook of Dead Girl Walking (Intl)
1 eBook of Eyes of the Enemy (Intl)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by!
--Ashley & Paul