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.
Lil discovers an alternate world similar to her own, including Willow, Lil’s very own doppelganger. In Orenda, Willow has a younger brother, Jamie, the same age as Lil’s younger sister, Jamey. But that’s not where the weirdness ends. When Lil accidentally ends up in Orenda, and her best friend, Bray, comes looking for her, her life becomes a nightmare. She’s forced to rescue Willow and Bray from an evil sorceress who brought about the Scourge to Orenda and plans on doing the same in Lil’s world.
She meets Willow’s boyfriend, Rawlie and his good looking cousin, Hudson, who may or may not have a thing for Lil. They go to the Fae for help, and everything culminates in a pretty intense climax, with the door wide open for a sequel and a return visit to Orenda.
The story opens with a bang, but then takes its time getting back there. The plot moves, but also sort of meanders in that movement. All Lil initially wants is to go home, but she can’t do that without Willow’s help, nor can she leave her best friend, Bray, behind. There were several really good plot twists I never saw coming.
The book is pretty short, particularly for the fantasy genre. Many events are told to us rather than being shown. I think this could have been a really engaging read, where I was completely immersed in the world of Orenda, with a little deeper point of view and drawing out some of the pivotal moments a little more. But the story is definitely interesting and I will definitely read Elfinland, book 2 in the series, when it comes out.
The world building is good. Orenda is fascinating place, and I would have loved for the author to have spent more time drawing me into it, showing me more of this world. Most fantasy is really heavy on world building, and I felt Orenda could have used a bit more. It’s an intriguing place, but I feel like we’ve only really scratched the surface instead of being immersed in it.
Because Ruth Silver uses third-person point of view, it’s difficult to get very deep into any one character and the random head-hopping can be distracting. But the characters are interesting and not stereotypical. It would have been nice to get a little deeper inside their heads, though.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Orenda
1. The Lil/Willow dynamic. These two doppelgangers are not the same and their love/hate relationship with each other is snappy.
2. The Lil/Jamey and Willow/Jamie relationships. I love the sibling love between these kids.
3. Hudson. He’s probably the most interesting character in the story. I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book.
4. Orenda. Although I feel like I need to know more about it, the pink skies alone have me itching to go back.
5. The infinity suit. Because who doesn’t want clothes that can save your life?
Orenda is a decent first book in a fantasy series that lacks some depth, but is a fun, fast read.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Series: Orenda #1
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: April 13, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She has written under three unique pseudo names and penned well over a hundred stories.
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 novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.
Her favorite YA genre is a mix of Dystopian & Fantasy which is evident in the upcoming release of her latest book, Aberrant. Slated for release April 2013 by Lazy Day Publishing, it is the first in a trilogy.