[REVIEW] Orenda

Series: Orenda #1
Ruth Silver
young adult, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, urban fantasy, adventure
Published: April 13, 2014
Patchwork Press
Orenda (Orenda, #1)
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.

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Parallel universe is something I’ve never come across while reading books. And in a way, I think that Orenda has somehow able to give justice to the idea.

Orenda started pretty rough for me. It didn’t immediately grab my attention. It bored me. I wanted to drop it. But there is this part of it that was kind of interesting – the meeting of Lil and Willow (both are named Willow but the first wanted to be refer to as Lil) through Lil’s ‘dream.’ It’s supposed to be something that will pull me into the story but it didn’t. I read through because I’m already aware of this premise – that there’s a parallel world, that there’re two Willows.

Okay, let me talk about the world for a while. The story is set in Orenda, a parallel world that involves magic or something of the sort (fantasy stuff). While Willow is the only one who was introduced to have a doppelganger, I’d like to assume that everyone has and they were not introduced yet. NOW Orenda is under the rule of Eilith. Apparently, Eilith takes the energy of other living forms thus killing the world of Orenda (or at least a huge part of it). AND not to my surprise, there’s a resistance group that (of course) wants to stop Eilith.

I had a few issues about how the story is told, particularly how things escalated waaaaay too quickly and how freaking boring and maybe a bit pointless the first half was. It’s like this early morning Lil was brought to Orenda > she met the people there > the next day she ‘trained’ > the next day they went to ‘fight’ Eilith, the most powerful witch in Orenda. And I was like: seriously? I know that there are people who learn quickly but SERIOUSLY? Lil has never touched a sword or even fought anyone in her entire life and now you tell me she trains for a day or two then tries to walk into the supposedly most powerful witch in Orenda? SERIOUSLY?

The first half focused on the rescue of Willow and Bray. Things were really quick. Rushed. Anti-climactic even. The second half focused on Lil’s return to her world. Kind of interesting. Especially the whole visit to the fairy territory.

I had mixed feelings about the romance. I really like how Lil and Hudson started and how their relationship somehow developed. I really hoped that there was more but more or less it was okay. Their relationship towards the end was somehow nicely done. I liked it. While it didn’t exactly move me, at the very least there was an attempt to make their romance really beautiful. I guess all it was missing was further development of their relationship (and maybe better way of writing it). The thing is that there was a bit of fuss about Lil’s relationship with Bray. It’s as if there was something more between them but unfortunately instead of building a love triangle among Lil, Bray and Hudson, Bray was set aside come the second half particularly on the romance aspect of the story.

It disappointed me how I didn’t feel anything for the characters. Lil was a practical heroine. She’s not exactly brave but more like determined (which is good as well). But there was barely development in her. The rest of the characters didn’t exactly make an impression to me other than Hudson maybe because of his feelings for Lil.

Another thing that bothered me is the shifting of POVs. At first I thought that it was only Lil’s and Bray’s POV which will completely make sense. But apparently there were a few more POVs and in some cases I just get so confused at whose POV Silver is writing the story because sometimes a chapter walks in many POVs and changes without even a warning. Another thing is that their voices were somehow the same. Nothing exactly changes other than some of their inner dialogues but they were written the same all throughout. Might as well stick to the Bray and Lil POVs.

The ending was more or less okay. It wasn’t something that surprised me or thrilled me or even something particularly memorable for me. The ending summed up the book well and in a sense, it was beautifully closed. It wrapped up and connected things that were tackled earlier in the story.

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What I Like: (1) the premise: parallel universe, (2) the second half of the story, (3) the romance between Hudson and Lil, (4) the well explained world, (5) the nicely wrapped conclusion

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the first half of the story, (2) the pacing, (3) the lack of character development, (3) the occasional confusing character POVs

interesting premise + nicely wrapped up story + well explained world = nice read

~this book was provided in exchange for an honest review~

About Ruth Silver

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy, released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. 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 YA/NA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.

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