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The Red Queen

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The Red Queen PDF, ePub eBook The post-apocalyptic fantasy series reaches its heartbreaking, world-shaking conclusion! Award-winning Australian author Isobelle Carmody concludes the epic story of Elspeth Gordie, a heroine in the vein of Tamora Pierce's most memorable and empowering protagonists. The final chapter in the eight-book Obernewtyn Chronicles, The Red Queen is a YA fantasy novel decades in the The post-apocalyptic fantasy series reaches its heartbreaking, world-shaking conclusion! Award-winning Australian author Isobelle Carmody concludes the epic story of Elspeth Gordie, a heroine in the vein of Tamora Pierce's most memorable and empowering protagonists. The final chapter in the eight-book Obernewtyn Chronicles, The Red Queen is a YA fantasy novel decades in the making. After years spent struggling to balance her desires with her responsibilities, Elspeth Gordie has fully embraced her role as the Seeker. Battle-scarred and lovelorn, haunted by memories of her beloved Rushton, Elspeth is not prepared for what she finds at the end of the black road she travels: the Compound, a lost community with a startling secret. As Elspeth strives against her captors, she learns that Rushton and her friends have fallen into the hands of the deadly slavemasters that rule the Red Land. And worst of all, as Elspeth stumbles, the Destroyer creeps ever closer to his goal: awakening the cataclysmically destructive weaponmachines that Elspeth has been charged with stopping. Has all her sacrifice been in vain? Full of romance, action, and suspense, The Red Queen is a worthy finale to such a breathtakingly elaborate series. (The Red Queen is the title of the final book in the series as published in Australia; a different book in the series as published in North America has also been tentatively titled "The Red Queen" but corresponds to the second half of the Australian edition of The Sending, book 6, and would not contain any part of this book.) Penguin Australia would like fans of Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles to know that we have made the decision to move The Red Queen from its planned 2013 release to an unscheduled date. We’d like to take this opportunity to reassure everyone, that Isobelle remains absolutely committed to the Obernewtyn Chronicles. The series has been an enormous part Isobelle’s life for over 25 years, and we strongly believe Isobelle should take the time she needs to make this installment, the very best yet. A message from Isobelle Carmody: I understand you have been waiting, impatiently or patiently, some of you for literally years. I thank you and I am touched and honoured that so many of you did not grow out of me, but have allowed Elspeth to visit you through the years. If you are one of these readers, then we have shared a long journey, and it is coming to an end. Forgive me for not rushing it but with each step, I am saying goodbye to a world I have loved. Let me hone and polish and conclude this last book at my own pace, without furious pressure. I promise it will be a better book for it. And isn’t that what we all want, in the end? Not a book produced to fit a deadline, but a book that was worth waiting for.

30 review for The Red Queen

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)

    It has been over six months and I still come back to this review and re-read it to try and make sense of one of the biggest disappointments of my long love affair with books. Over time I think I understand. Carmody wrote the first book when she was very young. Around Book 4 she realised she had to bring these stories to an end and had no interest in doing it. She outgrew the characters but her publishers would not have been likely to pick up her other novels if she just refused to write the rest It has been over six months and I still come back to this review and re-read it to try and make sense of one of the biggest disappointments of my long love affair with books. Over time I think I understand. Carmody wrote the first book when she was very young. Around Book 4 she realised she had to bring these stories to an end and had no interest in doing it. She outgrew the characters but her publishers would not have been likely to pick up her other novels if she just refused to write the rest of the series. So we got this. There was kernels of interesting ideas here. But Carmody killed them with her disinterest. I suspect Carmody never had a proper conclusion in mind when she started the series- or she had some ideas but they no longer made sense by the end- instead of working to find a satisfying conclusion to the sprawling epic she limped to the finish line with this hot mess… Whatever happened at least this stands as a warning of what NOT to do with your hugely successful epic fantasy series. The last 120 pages of the 1100 page (ebook version) were excellent. However I could not give this book any higher score. (Some) of the problems I had with it: - The writing: was not up to scratch. I have never seen so many pointless and inappropriate exclamation points. One page had 3(!!!) There was also several typos which were unforgivable considering it has taken 25 years for this final installment to come out. - The pacing: so boring, so slow, so pointless. Parts that should have been important info were over in a few pages while utterly pointless rambling and asides were given hundreds of pages. Like remember when Elspeth fell asleep thru a plot point which was been brewing since book 4? - The plot: made so little sense. E.g The entire habitat stuff had very little relevance and after spending 600 pages there it was barely resolved at the end. Why??? The utter anticlimax with Ariel. Why???? An antagonist which is developed over seven books should be dealt with in a meaningful way. - The characters: very few felt real. In earlier books I was so invested in these characters. Mostly I felt irritated, unsurprised, bored or disengaged. E.g. Dragon- totally new character really with no explanation of the change. She didn't feel like the character I knew from previous books and her sudden change meant that all the turns and twists of the previous books seemed wasted. Apparently all her character development occurred off stage before and after the book. Why? So many characters' stories were left unresolved. I have read over a million words! I deserve to know what happened to characters I had been reading about for nearly 20 years. - Exposition: pages and pages and pages of thoughts and (incorrect/ faulty) explanations from main character. If you have read the other books you already know all this. What was worse she repeated herself even within this novel. Additionally Elspeth often makes assumptions that are incorrect. We have learnt this over many books. Why torture the reader with stupid assumptions which we know are wrong, devoting countless pages to thinking about it then with complete predictability have a 2 line explanation that reveals how utterly wrong she was. E.g the machine blocking talents in the redlands. I realized almost immediately what was really causing the talent block. But I had to read through 100s of pages of her talking about finding the machine that was blocking talent. Argh. - Predictability: one of the problems with series that take sooo long to be completed is that most of the plot twists have been predicted by fans (A Song of Ice and Fire *cough*). That was a huge problem in this novel. - The ending: I was offended. Didn't really get why she was not given a choice/ explanation but I could have forgiven that if the writing, pacing, plot and characterization was better. This book and the last were so disappointing. The entire contents of the previous book plus half of this book should have been condensed into the first 200 pages of this book. That would have allowed the important events to play out in much greater depth. In addition the pacing would have been hugely improved and the reader would have had regular action to keep the plot moving. It might not have been good or logical action but it would have been something. I read these books as a teenager originally and loved them. Elspeth was such a rare mc that was not a mary sue or obsessed with boys at any cost. The first four books were top notch. The next was exciting enough but I started to feel worried. The 6th was so boring and awful and pointless that I was furious. This book was less disappointing then the 6th but I could have read just the final 100 pages and understood the entire ending. I would not have got closure on a lot of characters but the book didn't offer any anyway. I grew up with these books which made the final two books so much more disappointing. Unless you are an absolute die hard fan of the series just read a plot summary. Not worth the money or time. For more discussion on epic fantasy series that die painful deaths read my review of Firebrand.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Cummins

    I was 10 when I first read Obernewtyn. I am 35 now and still waiting! Nuff said :-) The Internet now seems to say that Red Queen will be out 12 November 2015!!! I know we've been taunted before with release dates but this seems promising - Penguin Australia website says the same date!! And I'll only be 37 by then!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Look... this was not good. but at least I'm finally free!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was beyond frustrating and disappointing in many ways. My biggest complaint was the pages and pages of info dumping. Most of it was irrelevant. Trying to introduce two entirely new societies into the mix in a final book was always going to be a tough ask. The info dumpy was clumsy and killed the flow for me. Which brings me to... Habitat. Ugh! This section could be replaced with one paragraph saying 'Elspeth figured out that her captors were computers and machines. She found Miryum and c This book was beyond frustrating and disappointing in many ways. My biggest complaint was the pages and pages of info dumping. Most of it was irrelevant. Trying to introduce two entirely new societies into the mix in a final book was always going to be a tough ask. The info dumpy was clumsy and killed the flow for me. Which brings me to... Habitat. Ugh! This section could be replaced with one paragraph saying 'Elspeth figured out that her captors were computers and machines. She found Miryum and convinced the computer to send an androne with her team. They continued on their way.' The entire Habitat detour was mindnumbingly boring. So they eventually get to the Red Land. **MAJOR INFO DUMP** Meanwhile we still have very little idea what has happened to the four ships or any other characters. As an aside, this book seems to place way more reliance on future tellings/visions than previous books. There's plenty from the Beforetime and they have the feel of someone setting up for further books on the Beforetime. It just seems like none of the characters actually do anything or decide anything in this book. They vision at convenient moments and act accordingly. I don't know how I feel about this. It has been present in other books but not to the same extent. A key difficulty in Red Land is the mind block. Everyone thinks the mind block is a machine...REALLY?!Elspeth and other misfits have encountered Lidgebaby before and it occurs to nobody that the block is Lidgebaby? I was skimming for interesting bits by this point but it seemed that the block had been in place constantly and for quite a while. Lidgebaby was a valuable null to Ariel and I would have thought that he would keep her close to him and he was not always in Red Land. How could the block have been maintained when he took Lidgebaby away. Or did he just leave her behind hidden somewhere and nobody found her ever??? Meanwhile... why don't the Red Lander's have mind powers? We never did find out. Also, Lidgebaby as the Destroyer, isn't that an odd anticlimax. Why was Lidgebaby stalking Elspeth on the dreamtrails years prior? She would have been only a tiny child and what would she have had against Elspeth? This was just so wierd. I thought this book would have benefitted from the deletion of the entire Habitat sequence, deletion of all the irrelevant info dumping on Red Land and Gadfia, fleshing out the action in the last 150 pages and giving some voice to all the missing characters and what they'd been up to since the ships sailed away. Given the minute detail we got on Elspeth's journey, the recap of what Rushton and the others had been doing was laughable. The whole thing just feels like a set up for another series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Okay, here we go. Deep breath. Inhale, exhale. Now where to begin? That’s probably a question that the author of this book should have asked herself. Along with how should I end and what am I going to do in the middle. I’m sure that I could rave on for pages about this book (and not in a good way) but I will try to keep it to the point and spoiler free (something that Carmody should have a go at). The Red Queen is the long awaited and supposedly stunning conclusion to the lengthy Obernewtyn series Okay, here we go. Deep breath. Inhale, exhale. Now where to begin? That’s probably a question that the author of this book should have asked herself. Along with how should I end and what am I going to do in the middle. I’m sure that I could rave on for pages about this book (and not in a good way) but I will try to keep it to the point and spoiler free (something that Carmody should have a go at). The Red Queen is the long awaited and supposedly stunning conclusion to the lengthy Obernewtyn series by Isobelle Carmody. This book was most definitely long awaited, with it taking 25 years for Carmody to wrap up this series and 4 years between this final instalment and the penultimate one. However, it falls well and truly short of stunning. In this final book we once again join Elspeth Gordie on her quest to shut down the before computermachine, Sentinel, that still threatens the world with its arsenal of nuclear weapons, as well as her mission to set the Red Queen back on her throne. At 1108 pages (Australian Penguin/Viking addition) I wanted this book to be fast paced, I wanted all of my questions about the world to be tied up in a neat little package, I wanted action, I wanted drama, I wanted to spend that entire 1108 pages on the edge of my seat. But instead I spent that 1108 pages resisting the urge to throw this book across the room. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I could imagine this giant tome of a book doing some damage to whatever it collided with. I guess I’ll start with the most broad and obvious thing that made this book so bad, and that is the editing. Or rather, the complete and utter lack of editing. I know that despite the long editing process sometimes mistakes creep through the cracks, but that isn’t the case with the Red Queen. This book has. Not. Been. Edited. AT. ALL. There were some giant mistakes in this book. Things that ranged from a lack of grammar and the wrong words being used, all the way to important plot points being forgotten and instead of Elspeth finding these things out, they just out of nowhere became fact. Aside from these glaring mistakes was the sheer amount of time that Elspeth spent speculating on things instead of doing anything. I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of pages of her just thinking about stuff with zero action. I seriously think that if you cut out Elspeth mulling over things over, and over, and over again, this book would have been half as long. The lack of editing is such a big thing for me because of one reason. The date for the publication for this book kept getting pushed back and back with Carmody eventually releasing a statement asking her fans to be patient, she wanted to finish the story off right and well, after all she had spent such a long time with Elspeth. When I read this statement I thought fair enough, I want a good conclusion to the series too. But Carmody had four long years to write this book, and this is just a guess from me of course, but it looks as if she spent three of those years without her laptop even cracked, as this book reads like the first draft that it is. So let’s delve a little deeper into the writing in this book. Firstly the chapters are excessively long with pages and pages of drivel and speculation with nothing happening in whole chapters or for even chapters at a time. Secondly this book was quite clearly written out of order, which isn’t an issue, I doubt anyone is able to write anything in chronological order, I know I can’t. The problem is rather the fact that you can see the seams where the different parts were put together. The first part of the story and the last part of the story were clearly written first with the events at the start of the story being all but forgotten in the lengthy middle part only to start being referenced again at the end. You can clearly see where things have been forgotten and just left hanging as Carmody went off on yet another tangent, and things that were meant to have big reveals were casually mentioned earlier in the book by mistake. Generally the writing in this book is just plain lazy. After the above mentioned pages of drivel action scenes were short and fleeting, or at times none existent. For example there is an event in this book (I won’t tell you what it was to avoid spoilers, but I’m sure you can guess if you have read it) that we spend literally hundreds of pages leading up to and laying the ground work for (not to mention Elspeth speculating about) only for Elspeth TO BE ASLEEP while all of the action was taking place, and we find out what happened from a friend of Elspeth’s after the fact in a report format. Lets move on to the characters. Firstly all of the characters speak in a stiff and strangely formal way regardless of their background and every single character seems to sound exactly the same, making it difficult to tell the characters apart especially when Carmody forgets who is in a scene and when characters seem to disappear or come out of nowhere. If you have read any of these books then you will know that there is an absolutely massive cast which is only added to in this book. Aside from the fact that Carmody doesn’t seem to understand the difference between round characters and flat characters, for instance do we really need a whole background story for the owner of a house that Elspeth has broken into? Or some little girl that she has met on the street? But this book also lacks the very handy list of characters that were included in the back of previous books so you are left to fend for yourself and try and drag up from your memory since the last book was released four years ago who each of these characters are and what each of their over complicated back stories are. Furthermore, a massive cast is obviously cumbersome with Carmody frequently forgetting about apparently vital characters for hundreds of pages until it was convenient. Such as the wolves, who were apparently needed on Elspeth’s quest but are unaccounted for for the majority of the book, as well as people like Gavan, and Elspeth’s huge group of traveling companions. Generally the characters in this book were unbelievable. Take for instance Ariel, I was hoping that in this book we would get some more background on Ariel, as he must be the only character without’ an extensive back story, and find out what some of his motivations were. But you don’t, he’s just a bad guy. Ariel is like a cardboard cut-out villain, all he needed was a moustache and an evil laugh. Ariel isn’t the only character whose motivations aren’t explained, what about Salamander? What about the white faced lords? Who are the white faced lords even? Additionally some characters seemed to change completely from previous books, such as Dragon. I think what we all wanted from this book was some really solid conclusions to a lot of loose ends, but we didn’t get them. Many of the conclusions that we did get were dealt with badly as well. Some conclusions were simply brushed over and other were not clear at all. Generally the plot was all too convenient and the ending was ridiculous. I think this book could easily be in the running for the most disappointing book released in 2015.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cate

    Don't be tricked into thinking this is a good book just because you loved the series (or have been so loyal in actually waiting for it). The Red Queen is dull and predictable. The writing seems lazy, and the editing non-existent. You'd probably be better off just asking someone who's read how it all ends up

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    It was said that this book was postponed so the author could finish it properly. What a joke! I feel that the whole series was a waste of my time with the "properly finished" final book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Absolute hate.... You drag out a series for 25 years and deliver unedited and repeative garbage.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Terrible conclusion to a series I have loved for so long. Terribly written, terribly edited, slow and frustrating. Zero development of so many characters other than Elspeth. I thought finally we might get more insight into the motivations of Ariel but nope, he's just bad. I'm refusing to believe the plot twist about the Destroyer as it makes zero sense. So many pages devoted to pointless endeavours in the first half only to rush through the important stuff at the end that we've been waiting for. Terrible conclusion to a series I have loved for so long. Terribly written, terribly edited, slow and frustrating. Zero development of so many characters other than Elspeth. I thought finally we might get more insight into the motivations of Ariel but nope, he's just bad. I'm refusing to believe the plot twist about the Destroyer as it makes zero sense. So many pages devoted to pointless endeavours in the first half only to rush through the important stuff at the end that we've been waiting for. All round lazy effort from Carmody. Utterly disappointing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮

    ERMEGERD The first book in this series was first published the year I was born. I discovered it as a teen and have been waiting years for this wonderful finale to be available. It is finally finished. Bring it on. Gimme.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)

    The last 120 pages of the 1100 page (ebook version) were excellent. However I could not give this book any higher score. The problems I had with it - The writing was not up to scratch. I have never seen so many pointless and inappropriate exclamation points. One page had 3. There was also several typos which were unforgivable considering it has taken 25 years for this final installment to come out. - The pacing: so boring, so slow, so pointless. Parts that should have been important info were ove The last 120 pages of the 1100 page (ebook version) were excellent. However I could not give this book any higher score. The problems I had with it - The writing was not up to scratch. I have never seen so many pointless and inappropriate exclamation points. One page had 3. There was also several typos which were unforgivable considering it has taken 25 years for this final installment to come out. - The pacing: so boring, so slow, so pointless. Parts that should have been important info were over in a few pages while utterly pointless rambling and asides were given hundreds of pages. - The plot: made so little sense. E.g The entire habitat stuff had very little relevance and after spending 600 pages there it was barely resolved at the end. Why??? The utter anticlimax with Ariel. Why???? - The characters: very few felt real. In earlier books I was so invested in these characters. Mostly I felt irritated, unsurprised, bored or disengaged. E.g. Dragon- totally new character really with no explanation of the change. She didn't feel like the character I knew from previous books and her sudden change meant that all the turns and twists of the previous books seemed wasted. Apparently all her character development occurred off stage before and after the book. Why? So many characters' stories were left unresolved. I have read a million words! I deserve to know what happened to characters I had been reading about for nearly 20 years. - Exposition: pages and pages and pages of thoughts and (incorrect/ faulty) explanations from main character. If you have read the other books you already know all this. What was worse she repeated herself even within this novel. Additionally Elspeth often makes assumptions that are incorrect. We have learnt this over many books. Why torture the reader with stupid assumptions which we know are wrong, devoting countless pages to thinking about it then with complete predictability have a 2 line explanation that reveals how utterly wrong she was. Example of this is the machine blocking talents in the redlands. I realized almost immediately what was really causing the talent block. But I had to read through 100s of pages of her talking about finding the machine that was blocking talent. Argh. This book and the last were so disappointing. The entire contents of the last book plus half of this book should have been condensed into the first 200 pages of this book. That would have allowed the important events to play out in much greater depth. In addition the pacing would have been hugely improved and the reader would have had regular action to keep the plot moving. I read these books as a teenager originally and loved them. Elspeth was such a rare mc that was not a mary sue or obsessed with boys at any cost. The first four books were top notch. The next was exciting enough but I started to feel worried. The 6th was so boring and awful and pointless that I was furious. This book was less disappointing then the 6th but I could have read just the final 100 pages and understood the entire ending. I would not have got closure on a lot of characters but the book didn't offer any anyway. I grew up with these books which made the final two books so much more disappointing. I was offended by the ending. Didn't really get why she was not given a choice/ explanation but I could have forgiven that if the writing, pacing, plot and characterization was better. Unless you are an absolute die hard fan of the series just read a plot summary. Not worth the money or time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    So...The first book of the year for me and I have to give it the full 5 stars. Carmody is still one of my favourite authors. It is rare that I can read over 1100 pages with so many characters and not complain about either of those things. There is also more romance in this book than I would normally like and most of it is pretty predictable and stock standard BUT with so much respect and courage and compassion that it won me over. The ability of characters in the book to sacrifice their own desir So...The first book of the year for me and I have to give it the full 5 stars. Carmody is still one of my favourite authors. It is rare that I can read over 1100 pages with so many characters and not complain about either of those things. There is also more romance in this book than I would normally like and most of it is pretty predictable and stock standard BUT with so much respect and courage and compassion that it won me over. The ability of characters in the book to sacrifice their own desires for the greater good- to commit to a quest for the sake of the world, the people and animals they love and yet to weave in the humanity of holding hands and preparing food and longing for a loved ones smile was very humanising. Elspeth is an inspiring heroine but she is also flawed and human, uncertain and at times almost wavering. She has to grow as a character and learn things from others. The book for me struck the perfect balance between individuals and building communities of hope and support for the public good. I've made it sound idealistic and being the last book of a long series I suppose it was more light filled and idealistic than the very dark beginnings, however complexity and cruelty and suffering and loss were still present, its positivity was tempered by loss. Evil in the book is believable- at times broken and weak individuals and at times an inexplicable lust for power and the pain of others...but not in a cartoonish way. A lot of stuff I want to say would be considered spoilers. All the characters you hope (from the previous books) seem to be in it and most one way or another get either what they deserve or at least a taste of it! Dragon comes of age beautifully and for people who like animals more than people the book is strong on that as well. It's very vegan for such a mainstream series. Anyway you won't be reading this unless you read the other 6 Obernewtyn books, you are either already a fan and don't need my recommendation (but won't be disappointed) or it's time you tried out the series for yourself. ;) I can see why Isobelle Carmody took so long writing it too. Worth it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Niamh

    Finally finished the series after 5 years, but unfortunately this book wasn't the ending it deserved. Somewhat poorly written, I was very bored reading much of the first half. Most of that was unnecessary and dragged a book on that shouldn't have been dragged on. There were a few brief periods of good writing and action-packed plotlines, but then it got boring again and I was not eager to read on. The second half of the book was much the same in its beginning, but it did get more intense and bet Finally finished the series after 5 years, but unfortunately this book wasn't the ending it deserved. Somewhat poorly written, I was very bored reading much of the first half. Most of that was unnecessary and dragged a book on that shouldn't have been dragged on. There were a few brief periods of good writing and action-packed plotlines, but then it got boring again and I was not eager to read on. The second half of the book was much the same in its beginning, but it did get more intense and better plot-wise as I neared the end. The ending though. The last 100 pages or so. Wow. Intense to the last page. Without this ending, this book would have received maybe 1 or 2 stars from me, but the ending brought back the Isobelle Carmody of old that made me fall in love with the series in the first place. I am somewhat pleased with the ending, although I would not mind a short exposé set maybe 10 years in the future to tell us of the aftermath of everything that happened, sort of a "where are they now" novella. In the end though, this is an average book, and not fitting of the beginning of the series, but Carmody does tie up as many loose ends as she can.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Well that was disappointing. I’ve been waiting a lot of years for Isobelle Carmody to finish this series and the ending was definitely not what I was hoping for. Half of this very long book just seemed to be recapping what happened in previous books, there were countless typos, characters didn’t have any depth and/or had completely changed personalities and then the event that all of the books in this series have been leading up to was just rushed through in the last 150 pages or so! This series Well that was disappointing. I’ve been waiting a lot of years for Isobelle Carmody to finish this series and the ending was definitely not what I was hoping for. Half of this very long book just seemed to be recapping what happened in previous books, there were countless typos, characters didn’t have any depth and/or had completely changed personalities and then the event that all of the books in this series have been leading up to was just rushed through in the last 150 pages or so! This series really started going down hill from The Stone Key, having just read all the books again it seems to me that the story just got out of control and Isobelle Carmody didn't know how to finish it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    WatermeLoonie

    Forever waiting....I will always be... Forever.... Waiting. TT_TT

  16. 5 out of 5

    A

    OK, I've revised my review - the previous one was written immediately after finishing the Red Queen/the entire Obernewtyn series, so hopefully this one will be a bit more thoughtful and less "BLAAARGH". I smashed through this book like a starving bear at Sizzler's. I read it for literally 7 hours solid, forcing my eyeballs to engorge themselves on more and more words when they were already struggling to focus. And that's because Isobelle Carmody is really good at setting up new plot threads and OK, I've revised my review - the previous one was written immediately after finishing the Red Queen/the entire Obernewtyn series, so hopefully this one will be a bit more thoughtful and less "BLAAARGH". I smashed through this book like a starving bear at Sizzler's. I read it for literally 7 hours solid, forcing my eyeballs to engorge themselves on more and more words when they were already struggling to focus. And that's because Isobelle Carmody is really good at setting up new plot threads and mysteries - I just HAD to know, what happens next? what happens next??? The problem was, this was the book where every open thread in this massive, complex web she's been weaving for 7 books / 30 years has to be wrapped up. There are So Many Threads. And yet, we spent, like, a million words stuck in Habitat at the start of the book. And that's one of my problems with this book: the pacing. Perhaps it's just a problem with general editing actually, because apart from the book potentially benefiting from being about one-third of its length, there were a few editing errors like Dameon having a conversation with Dameon at one point. (I think it was meant to be Dragon.) There were also pages upon pages of what seemed like rather pointless speculation and logistics. This was particularly galling because at least two of these things were "mysteries" that seemed blindingly obvious to everyone except Elspeth: (view spoiler)[Salamander's identity (hide spoiler)] and (view spoiler)[who Dameon was really in love with. In fact, this was SO obvious that I thought Isobelle Carmody might surprise us all by revealing Dameon was in love with Rushton. But no, it was just obvious. (hide spoiler)] Perhaps because of the slow start, the denouement of nearly every plot point felt flat and rushed at the end. It almost felt like Isobelle Carmody ran out of time and/or was just really sick of writing Obernewtyn at that point. It was like she couldn't be bothered with emotions and story arcs and so forth by the end - just go through the checklist of plot points and get 'em out there! Particularly with the build-up of (view spoiler)[Is Rushton alive? Is Rushton dead? O dearest Rushton whom I love beyond love, etc etc. When they finally meet up again, it's like "O hai." Also, with the whole Tiban plot point. At the end it's like, then Chinaka and Tiban decided not to fight anymore and then I woke up the end. (hide spoiler)] There was no emotional satisfaction at the end of this series I first started and loved when I was 14 (which was more than 14 years ago). It felt like it was Done, but that's all. Got it out of the way. Finally, the last page. So, it turns out that (view spoiler)[Elspeth leaving everyone and everything she knows and loves behind to go to Eden and never go back was (a) not actually necessary to lead the beasts to freedom, and (b) a reward?!?!?! (hide spoiler)] In what way is this a good thing?? I mean, what if (view spoiler)[Elspeth and Rushton have kids? Cain having to get it awn with his nameless sister wasn't exactly a highlight of the Bible yknow. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Mathew

    Dear Ms Carmody. Please understand that I respect you in the highest regard but you really need to get an editor. And if you already have one, THEN FIRE THEM. Four years after the previous book came out, we have finally come full circa - I was so glad, so so glad to hear that The Red Queen would be more than a thousand pages long. I love the series - I never really wanted it to end. But within the first few chapters, I felt a little piece of me die. That same relief I felt when I found out the boo Dear Ms Carmody. Please understand that I respect you in the highest regard but you really need to get an editor. And if you already have one, THEN FIRE THEM. Four years after the previous book came out, we have finally come full circa - I was so glad, so so glad to hear that The Red Queen would be more than a thousand pages long. I love the series - I never really wanted it to end. But within the first few chapters, I felt a little piece of me die. That same relief I felt when I found out the book's length immediately churned into horror. I was going to have to read more than a thousand pages of crap. Now this is why I tell you to find a good editor - a good editor would have helped you clean up the clunkiness of the story, the plot was all over the place and the pacing was tediously slow. Not to mention the useless truckloads of information we were getting which should have been cut out, should have been cut out!. Nobody needed to know about the Habitat this late into the series - especially since it wasn't a very important plot point after they leave. Or if it was that significant to the story, it could have been cut down to a shorter length. Forget that, EVERYTHING needed to be cut down. There were too many threads to follow - it was like I got thrusted into a brand new world (even considering the fact that I'm an avid reader of the first six books). In summary: it was a disappointment because the twists didn't make sense, too little happened and too many new things were introduced. I was genuinely hoping for a good ending and... well, I'm going to have to make my peace with it. So thank you, Ms Carmody because despite giving me a book I'd like to wipe out of my mind forever, you did take me on an amazing journey. And isn't that what people say? Something along the lines of: the destination doesn't matter; what matters is the path you take to get there or yada yada yada. Goodbye Elspeth and Rushton, I'll miss you.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I am completely offended by Isobelle Carmody and the editor. What a poorly written, planned and edited conclusion to a series I have loved and talked about for 20 years. All the plots in the book were fine and probably should be kept but the execution was unacceptable. I was so excited and saddened by the release of the final book and now I feel bitter about the resolution because it seems like Isobelle and her editor just didn't care about wrapping up this world with respect to the characters, I am completely offended by Isobelle Carmody and the editor. What a poorly written, planned and edited conclusion to a series I have loved and talked about for 20 years. All the plots in the book were fine and probably should be kept but the execution was unacceptable. I was so excited and saddened by the release of the final book and now I feel bitter about the resolution because it seems like Isobelle and her editor just didn't care about wrapping up this world with respect to the characters, plots or her readers. I feel like this is an April fools joke. I'm sorry what, Gahltha proclaiming to be the Moonwatcher? Slap in the face after slap in the face. Isobelle I will forgive you if you rewrite this novel. Take another ten years if need be and we'll pretend 2015's The Red Queen never happened.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}

    Update 23 Dec 2015--4.5 stars. How to begin this review/Suggestive Read? In truth, this is one of the hardest ones I'll probably ever write, simply because this is one of the longest series I've ever waited end on end to read. And yes, my rating is biased on the fact that I've loved this series for so long and now it's over! If I didn't the rating might have dropped to 3-4stars for length and odd-ish pacing. This will probably be a sketchy review of the whole series, and an indepth-ish review of t Update 23 Dec 2015--4.5 stars. How to begin this review/Suggestive Read? In truth, this is one of the hardest ones I'll probably ever write, simply because this is one of the longest series I've ever waited end on end to read. And yes, my rating is biased on the fact that I've loved this series for so long and now it's over! If I didn't the rating might have dropped to 3-4stars for length and odd-ish pacing. This will probably be a sketchy review of the whole series, and an indepth-ish review of this book. I remember reading the first book thinking that it's okay. I remember the mystery etc., and thinking, I'd like to see where this will go. When I started reading the second than third sequels, I started really falling in love with the story. Isobelle Carmody does many things with her series. She brings forward so many truths about life we should always be more wary of. Things like being kind to animals, being kind to each other, the dangers of humanity, and my favourite part--yes I know, it must seem really weird, but when I think about all the other dystopia, scifi novels, and futuristic stories set in a distant future, I think, there isn't really many books that matches Obernewtyn when it comes to a convincing way of portraying language in a distant future. AND I LOVE THIS. Do you know why I love this? Because as a linguist, it gives me chills to see it done well. What Carmody does, is not like what other authors do, just changing a little this, or saying that the characters are speaking 'another' language, or have characters simply imply that there are 'differences' between their language and that of the past. The characters in the Obernewtyn series really uses, speaks and thinks in a wholly evolved English language. They use words that are pronounced exactly the same, yet are written differently enough that you know you're not in the same world. Speaking of the world. The Obernewtyn Series is amazing. The World Building is fantabulous. Isobelle Carmody does a wonderful job in building her world. There's various territories, the Tainted Lands from the Great White aka Great Cataclysm, etc. Because this series is set in a distant future, it feels more like a fantasy than scifi. But it's a pretty well developed fantasy. It has the flavour of a historical fantasy, with horses being the main mode of transport, and of near (but not really) primitive means of survival, yet there is a very comfortable mix of digital technology. I really loved the smooth transition between the world that the story exists in and to the old technology of the past (which would in fact be the kind of technology we have today). I never once felt like it was out of place. Now, since it seems like I'm writing this Suggestive Read backwards, let's get to the Characters. For me, it's really hard to review my opinion on every single character in this book. Simply because the Red Queen features all the characters from previous stories, and for several pages, it took me awhile remember all the faces. Admittedly, I wish I had reread all the books before getting to this one, but with the limited time, and the hateful waiting for the books at the library, I forgoed it.(I would own all the books, but I started reading it with loaned books, and maybe, in the near future, I'll by the boxset :) ). But it didn't take me long to remember, I mean with 1100 pages to read, there was bound to be a nice portion devoted to linking this sequel back to the events of the previous installments. And Carmody did, though it was a slight info dump, it wasn't such a pain to read, nor did she do it all completely in one shot. With characters, it was a little harder. I had a good memory of most, and the more I read, the more I remembered, though of specific events involving characters, that was different. But I DEFINITELY remembered the emotions tied to each character. Specially characters like Dameon, Rushton, Dragon, Matthew, Swallow, Miryum, Maruman, and Gahltha, etc. It was great seeing them all again, and watching them develop. Especially since the whole series covers a period of around 5 years. Elspeth is the main character though and her story is the most important. How to stop the weaponmachines from destroying the world a second time and causing a more devastating great white? That's Elspeth's mission. And throughout this book, we see her make choices that are sometimes cold because of her quest. Yet they always tear her apart. She always stayed true to her calling, even though in previous books, she had faltered. Dragon, another favourite character of mine, grew a lot in this book too. She changed when she regained what was hers, but she really does become what she is supposed to be. I loved her. And as for the other characters, it was great to read them all over again. Dameon's crushing feelings, the ones he had to hide for so long, they were so sweetly and tenderly expressed, and as expected of an unrequited love, Dameon steps aside. I felt so sorry for him, yet by the end of the book, it is clear that he and Elspeth will always remain friends. As for a character I wanted to see more of! RUSHTON. I was so disappointed that we didn't get to see more of him!! He, unfortunately, only appears towards the end of the book, within the last fifty pages as a proper character, rather than just being a part of Elspeth's dreams. Things I want to mention since I can't talk about the plot without spoiling the rest of the other books. The book is MASSIVE and it was a pain to read everything, since it took a while. I wish it was smaller, but without the size that it is, it probably wouldn't have been able to convey everything it should and did. Carmody put so much in this book and she paced it well. The easy pace meant I didn't feel like it was rushed or that events were being forced on me because it had to happen before the next thing could. It felt easy and tame. I still wish it was smaller though! It was also a bit slow sometimes, if one didn't have the patience for reading such a big book. My favourite parts were the parts when Elspeth actually did something. Overall, I find that this is probably one of the best Sci-fi fantasy stories set in a distant future written by an Australian author, yet first written back in like idk the eightiess??? in a long time. And I don't think there are many Australian authors that can beat this anytime soon. I think this series is AMAZING and deserves to be read from book 1 to book 7. And no review can do it any justice at all. Not even this one. I can't even begin to put how I felt once this series finished--let's just say, I was so torn! But happy with the ending! (Mini Update, 24th Dec 2015) ALSO I wanted to compare this to a few things. Reading this now again after reading The Darkest Minds, I'm reminded of how similar they are a little. Mainly in terms of paranormality and also, that both series have particular categories of paranormal abilities. But both series are very different. I also had another comparison in mind, but momentarily forgotten. Will add a little later. A lot of popular YA sci fi novels these days had elements that are already present in the Obernewtyn Series, which, has been around for sooooo long. ------- Update 23 Dec 2015--4.5 stars. Omg I can't believe it's finished.....the feels...the ending ......it's been so long!! (loss of half a star for length, the time it took to come out on shelves, and slow parts!!! All other stars are for everything, nostalgia, the characters, the ENDING.) A better review later! ------- Update 15/11/2015 THIS BOOK THIS BOOK I CAN"T BELIEVE IT"S OUT NOW. FINALLY AFTER SO MANY YEARS. ------- Okay so I finally decided to check when it's out--apparently November 2015, which makes me excited because damn it this is one of the best damn series I've ever read and I started the craze late too!! I NEED RESOLUTION. Waiting ever so impatiently, Nina {Words and Water}

  20. 4 out of 5

    Allyce Cameron

    It's done. It's finally done. What am I going to do with my life now?! Ten years of becoming attached to characters and somehow now I'm meant to let them go? Elspeth and Rushton? Dragon, Matthew, Dameon, Gahltha and Maruman? Countless others? Never! I both loved and loathed how this ended. Everything was tied up nicely and yet I have more questions than answers! Maybe I just wanted to know too much! So she (view spoiler)[ completes her quest, saves the world, ends up in Eden with Rushton (althoug It's done. It's finally done. What am I going to do with my life now?! Ten years of becoming attached to characters and somehow now I'm meant to let them go? Elspeth and Rushton? Dragon, Matthew, Dameon, Gahltha and Maruman? Countless others? Never! I both loved and loathed how this ended. Everything was tied up nicely and yet I have more questions than answers! Maybe I just wanted to know too much! So she (view spoiler)[ completes her quest, saves the world, ends up in Eden with Rushton (although that's a whole other conversation) and everyone's happy. But what about everyone back in the land? And in Midland? Miryum, Ahmedri and Tash? I was so invested and there's just nothing at the end! Dragon and Matthew? And Dameon. All I wanted was for him to have a happy ending and we're left hanging! On the other hand, I kind of liked how their stories would go on and we wouldn't know because Elspeth's story and her quest had finished. I'm just so conflicted! And taking her away from almost everyone she loves as a reward? I think I was shaking the book at that point, I'm sure she could have been very happy in the Red Land. Arghh! (hide spoiler)] It sorta seemed like everything happened in the last 200 pages or so, however when I think back to the start a ridiculous amount of everything was happening the rest of the time as well, it was just a bit more spaced out. And they spent a fair bit of time in Habitat. There were a few niggling things for me, like they never connected the whole Hannah/Hannah thing, although I really liked finding out where Maruman came from! My only other complaint is that there was too little Rushton in this novel. Far too little! A few true-dreams and then everything at the end was just not enough for me haha! The writing of course was beautiful and really drew me in, it's so descriptive but not so much that you lose the flow of the novel. There were some parts that I thought had been repeated a few times which grated a little, not enough to really annoy me. Plus I feel like when you get towards the end and are (view spoiler)[ getting a little teary over the death of a computer you know it's a good book. Oh my god, when I though Gahltha had died it was not ok. There were going to be ugly tears if that happened. And poor Swallow, that was a bad time as well. He and Ana deserved to be happy after everything they had been through... (hide spoiler)] So I'm well satisfied with the final chapter that is the grand legend of the Obernewtyn Chronicles. I probably would have been happier with more closure on my beloved characters, but maybe it would never have been enough for me. Vale.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Renee V

    3.5 stars... Bittersweet ending. It can be Pre-ordered from Dymocks so I think this is really it! Woot Woot finally the last book. It has been 18 years since I read the first one. *** May 2013 = The Red Queen will not be available until 1/9/14 (from Penguin / united book distributors) *** Dec 2014 = Big surprise its still not out. *** 4/12/14 = At the moment, release date is August 2015. (from Penguin / united book distributors) *** 23/3/15 = Yes at this stage the Pub Date for Red Queen is still Augu 3.5 stars... Bittersweet ending. It can be Pre-ordered from Dymocks so I think this is really it! Woot Woot finally the last book. It has been 18 years since I read the first one. *** May 2013 = The Red Queen will not be available until 1/9/14 (from Penguin / united book distributors) *** Dec 2014 = Big surprise its still not out. *** 4/12/14 = At the moment, release date is August 2015. (from Penguin / united book distributors) *** 23/3/15 = Yes at this stage the Pub Date for Red Queen is still August 2015.(from Penguin / united book distributors)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    rambling rambling rambling and unedited. same thing repeating over and over with so many tangents and unnecessary story lines. the big finale after so many years resolved in about 100 pages. terrible writing, terrible nonexistent editing of dribble. relieved is over but unsatisfied and disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I received this from Penguin this week so it's motivation to finally read the first book. I bought a used copy years ago oops.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    Well, it's done. It's over. Finito. I think, after all this time, there was a part of me that never expected this series to actually end, and a part of me is in shock that it finally has. This is, after all, my absolute favourite series, a series that I have been reading since I was in primary school (the first book came out in 1988, and I read it two or three years later). Each book has required a lengthy, patient wait (George R R Martin fans think they have to wait a long time - he's got nothi Well, it's done. It's over. Finito. I think, after all this time, there was a part of me that never expected this series to actually end, and a part of me is in shock that it finally has. This is, after all, my absolute favourite series, a series that I have been reading since I was in primary school (the first book came out in 1988, and I read it two or three years later). Each book has required a lengthy, patient wait (George R R Martin fans think they have to wait a long time - he's got nothing on Carmody!!), and each time I have been well-rewarded for it. Because I began this series as a story-hungry, imaginative child, Carmody's words and ideas have had a long-lasting impact on me. Such is the way with childhood favourites, against which nothing negative can be said. Others I have talked to have Tolkien, To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women or some other novel that they read as a child and absorbed into their soul. For me, it was Obernewtyn and Jane Eyre. Such stories stay with you as formative parts of your childhood, woven into your DNA, there to stay. I don't know that it's possible to write a summary of this book or discuss it without spoilers, so I will simply say that I won't give out any spoilers for this final volume, but if you haven't read the first six books, there may be spoilers. The sixth book, The Sending , ended with Elspeth Gordie and her companions finding the Beforetime city in the desert, and being rendered unconscious by a man in a silver suit. The Red Queen begins with Elspeth rising to consciousness, and discovering that someone - the man - is trying to put her into a cryopod, for a frozen sleep. Her Talent enables her to resist it, as she is deemed an anomaly. When next she wakes, it is to find herself reunited with four of her companions inside a place called Habitat, a strange, inescapable place inhabited by a passive, highly-regulated population of people who believe everything beyond its walls is gone. They speak to God, who grants wishes, and have a unique punishment for transgressions, of which there are few. What seems at first to be a dangerous delay in the fulfilment of Elspeth's quest, turns out to be an important step: Habitat was begun by Hannah Seraphim, one of the two women from the Beforetime who left messages, clues and artefacts that Elspeth needs in order to find and destroy Sentinel, the computermachine that controls the Balance of Terror weaponmachines that caused the first Cataclysm - or Great White as it's known. A second one, triggered by Sentinel, would destroy absolutely everything and everyone, with no chance of recovery. Elspeth was tasked with this quest at the end of the second book, The Farseekers, by the giant Agyllian birds that saved her and healed her, and have since been watching over her. Her nemesis is Ariel, a mad boy from she knew when she first arrived at Obernewtyn, now a man hungry for power working closely with anyone who can further it. While Elspeth's quest as the Seeker is the ultimate goal, she has been closely involved in other plots along the way; in The Red Queen, it is the return of the rightful queen of the Redport, a city far from Elspeth's Land which has long been ruled by Gadfian slavetraders. As with Habitat, Elspeth isn't sure if getting involved in an uprising in Redport is a distraction, a delay or a necessary part of her quest, but as everything seems to converge there - Ariel's presence, the location of Sentinel, the final message or clue left for her by the other Beforetime woman, Cassandra - helping her friend Dragon reclaim her throne is yet another piece of the puzzle. I was worried about the gap between this book and the previous one which, while not as lengthy as such gaps usually are in this series, was still long enough for me to feel like I'd forgotten too many details. But even though I couldn't recall every character mentioned in The Red Queen, or every plot detail in full, Elspeth provides her usual introspection and exposition, as she strives to piece things together and come to understand all the new things she's learned about her world and its past, so that I was soon refreshed and caught up. The story might be slow for some, but I find the discussion and mulling necessary - it contributes to the solid and deep world-building and adds realism, for Elspeth is truly from a place and time in which everything from Before is gone, especially knowledge, yet she is dealing with things from the past which require understanding. The divide between her and the time of the Great White is so vast, she would never be able to succeed as the Seeker without puzzling everything out. And she is the Seeker, after all. It makes the story feel less like a fast-paced action film and more like a true story, putting you right there in her head, figuring things out with her - because her Beforetime is our future, or a possible one, and certainly a plausible one. One of the things I absolutely love about Carmody's writing is her skilful way of incorporating philosophical insights regarding humanity, our place in the world, and human interactions. In The Red Queen, the slow buildup and intensely vivid world-building takes its next and final stage in some philosophical musings on the nature of humanity's dependence on technology, and the concept of intelligent, and even feeling, technology. For the most part, Elspeth is wary of the Beforetime technology they encounter, such as God, the impressive computermachine that runs Habitat, and its two 'andrones', the silver men. (Maybe that's a slight spoiler, but this is where the reader is a step ahead of the Misfits in figuring things out - it was an easy guess that God and the 'tumen' were artificial lifeforms from the Beforetime.) With their post-apocalyptic perspective, Elspeth and her companions discuss and raise questions around the seemingly infallible nature of computer programs - never more relevant than now, it seems, as computers become such an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. As Elspeth cynically but rightly points out (and I've lost the quote, sorry), computer programs are only as good as the humans that write them - mistakes and flaws can be written in, and since humans are inherently flawed, it's to be expected. The naming of the computer 'God' at Midland seems deeply ironic. The story is not a treatise against technology, but a cautionary one reminding us that the true nature of humanity is one rich in flaws. Another element of this story that I love is the embracing of other and diverse life forms, from the Misfits strange and wonderful Talents - including empathy, farseeking (telepathy), coercion, beastspeeking, futuretelling and healing - to the range of intelligent and feeling beasts they work alongside. Animals are drawn to Elspeth not because she's also a beastspeaker, but because she is the Elspeth Innle of a beastlegend in which she leads them to freedom from humans. A deep sense of compassion and respect for animals and the land pervades the Obernewtyn Chronicles, weaving in animal characters into the story who become just as important as the human ones. And really, ultimately, nothing beats the sheer pleasure of watching it all come together. It's an impressive weave of story threads, as small details, foretellings, dreams, characters, chance comments and all come together and are woven in. It rather boggles my mind, the amount of planning that must go into it! It's an exciting adventure, at its heart, and an utter joy to discover how it plays out. Especially with a heroine like Elspeth, who doesn't recognise her own charisma or charm, but comes across as quite serious and blind to the deeper emotions of those around her. She is without affectation or pretension, and has the right characteristics to be able to put her own desires aside in order to save the world. She's a lonely girl/woman, and I think that's another quality that drew me to her from a young age, as an introvert myself. For the longest time, Elspeth has been like a larger-than-life figure for me, a mythological heroine, a close relative about whose exploits you hear, wide-eyed and in awe. Reaching the end of this series is harder than finishing Harry Potter, say, because of how young I was when I began, and how long it's taken to write the series. But the best thing? I can keep re-reading. I've re-read earlier books in the series several times, and they never grow old. There's so much detail in them, and the writing is so riveting, for me, that it's always like reading them fresh, even when my mind can picture where it's going next. The tension is still there, the revelations, the excitement, the joy. If there's one series you should start that you have yet to, it's this one. It might technically be a Young Adult series, but it's only a marketing technicality. There's plenty here for all ages. Read, enjoy, and tell me what you think. Mostly I just sharing the stories I love!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ella Optical

    After starting this series twenty years ago (yeah TWENTY YEARS) I have to say I'm disappointed. For a finale, it was full of filler that made no sense at all and did not move the plot forward in a cohesive and entertaining way. Two thirds of this book should have been cut. It felt like words for the sake of filling up pages to match the previous books. There should have been so much action and mystery! I mean, Elspeth was FINALLY going on her mission to find Sentinel. That was the part I was mos After starting this series twenty years ago (yeah TWENTY YEARS) I have to say I'm disappointed. For a finale, it was full of filler that made no sense at all and did not move the plot forward in a cohesive and entertaining way. Two thirds of this book should have been cut. It felt like words for the sake of filling up pages to match the previous books. There should have been so much action and mystery! I mean, Elspeth was FINALLY going on her mission to find Sentinel. That was the part I was most looking forward to and it just fizzed and died! UGH. So disappointed. I. Can't. Even.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm quite sad, While Carmodys' completely awe-inspiring imagination continued to delight me at points in this novel, I felt as if the book was full of insignificant words and sometimes, pages. I did not think the habitat/dome place with the cryogenic sleepers was interesting enough or important enough to warrant 483 pages ( The amount could have easily been cut in half and contain the same amount of VALUABLE content) I was irritated that Elspeth (Being the intelligent Seeker we all know her to be) I'm quite sad, While Carmodys' completely awe-inspiring imagination continued to delight me at points in this novel, I felt as if the book was full of insignificant words and sometimes, pages. I did not think the habitat/dome place with the cryogenic sleepers was interesting enough or important enough to warrant 483 pages ( The amount could have easily been cut in half and contain the same amount of VALUABLE content) I was irritated that Elspeth (Being the intelligent Seeker we all know her to be) often, could not draw conclusions from obvious clues and also seemed to take a long time to ponder things. Whilst her 'gnawing' is a cherished and somewhat vital aspect of her character I felt that it was used as a way to put more words and less content into the story. I enjoyed Daemons, Swallow and Ana's character development thoroughly, though I thought that Dragons' character development took a backwards twist, I felt that I got more development from Tash (the speci character we met in habitat) than from the Red Queen herself. The exciting part of the book.....the conclusion also felt drawn out in all the wrong areas! It seems it takes Elspeth forever wandering around looking for Dragon, meeting new people...falling asleep... and doing all sorts of boring things before being catapulted into action, this part ran smoothly and I was intrigued by Carmodys' construction of Sentinal (and machines in general) being conscious and of having feelings. I felt extremely disgruntled at the conclusion which left me with a sort of empty feeling - partially from the fact that this fantastic series has finished - but also because there was absolutely no reason for Elspeth to leave her friends and home behind!! I found it almost rude that she would be taken to Eden (thinking that she HAD to go) when her being there served no purpose to freeing the beasts, as to it being a gift........WHYYYYYYYY... what exactly made this a gift? Not all of the animals went to Eden and therefore Gahltha and Maruman could have easily stayed behind aswell? I would have much more enjoyed the prophesy to be 'wrong' or even better!!! : That in order to complete her mission as the seeker Elspeth simply had to 'think' that she would never return (another reason for her to dislike futuretellers!) and if she had to leave, why not make her vital to freeing the beasts? or maybe Ruston was bitten by an animal that had the same disease as Miryum and he thus had to be taken with them to Eden?? I don't know, it simply felt way too long in places that didn't need to be long and then rushed in areas that I was genuinely drawn into. I can't help but wonder if Elspeth is angry at being taken to Eden in this manner and is cursing Maryon and her prophesies. I hate that this sounds like a rant because although there are many aspects of this book that bored me and made me feel really really irritated, I do absolutely love Carmodys' stories and endlessly love the world that began with Obernewtyn, but I hope desperately that this isn't the last we see of our characters because I would love to see how the rest of their lives played out! Do Matthew/Dragon reconcile and maybe even state their feelings to one another?? Dragon in general!! I want to hear more of her time as Queen!! What does Miryum do after she is cured? Does Dameon find someone? What does he end up doing? He's my favourite character and I feel as if he was burdened constantly not only by the emotions of others, his own feeling of inadequacy due to his blindness and his passionate unrequited love for Elspeth who leaves and is never to return!? I want him to have a life that he deserves! Does Lidge recover? What happens to Brydda? Does sentinel recover communication with Ines thus making it possible to communicate (haha Skype??) with Dell and the others? I also want to know Ruston and Elspeths' story, what kind of place do they live in now? Do they have children? Do they learn how to contact their friends via the dream trails more efficiently now that the destroyer no longer seeks them? What was the reaction of the freed beasts in Eden? I love this world. I am sad that it feels so incomplete and pray to Lud that there will be a spinoff to satisfy the endless turmoil of questions that we were left with at the end of this series!!!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    naptimenow

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In many ways I enjoyed this book immensely, but unfortunately I can't pretend it was wonderful either. However, I will grant that it was surprisingly not a disappointment. While I have always and probably always will love this series with a passion, the quality went remarkably downhill from book five onward. It was a pleasure then to see the quality tick back up a bit for the conclusion. If you managed to slog through the previous few books, you'll definitely be able to get through this one. The In many ways I enjoyed this book immensely, but unfortunately I can't pretend it was wonderful either. However, I will grant that it was surprisingly not a disappointment. While I have always and probably always will love this series with a passion, the quality went remarkably downhill from book five onward. It was a pleasure then to see the quality tick back up a bit for the conclusion. If you managed to slog through the previous few books, you'll definitely be able to get through this one. There's still some areas of extreme and unnecessary repetition of past information, but I found them to be fewer and less distracting then the previous book (which verged on awful at times.) Removing Rushton from much of the story also seemed to help things immensely and helped propel Elspeth into more action - though there's definitely still moments of unnecessary angst and introspection to slow things back down. In fact, I spent much of the book remembering what I loved so much about the first few books. Elspeth herself thinks on how it feels more like being on a guild quest at points, and I felt that as the reader. It made for a better story. The ending was largely disappointing, personally. I most definitely did not feel that dragging Elspeth needlessly away from the people she loved yet again was any sort of reward, and it was so horrendously rushed even for an epilogue. But it wasn't impossible to stomach, and didn't stop me joyfully finishing the book. Overall, as with the last few installments since The Keeping Place, there are definitely some pacing issues and right up until the very last hundred or so pages I couldn't see how there was enough space to wrap it up. It came together surprisingly well given those constraints, but does feel a bit ridiculous. As another reviewer said, Dragon is indeed almost a whole other character but it was nice to get Dameon and Swallow properly fleshed out and I loved having more time with Analivia. Seeing Matthew again was hollow, as again there pacing issues and not enough time or space. I was sad to find I had no emotional pay off from them reuniting with their various longed for old friends, and Lidgebaby's arc was disappointingly flat as well. While Ariel's ending was satisfying and deserved, there was also no menace left in his role by the time they arrived at the city. It was also disappointing (and somewhat confusing) that Cassie and Hannah and the Agyllians largely faded into the background once more when they'd been such touchstones before. The intersection of Eden and God and all the various bits of Beforetimer lore held me in the same thrill as it once did, however. The exploration of the ravaged landscape and the piecing together of clues combined with rushing headlong into the unknown and hoping it would pan out okay for her quest was also familiar and very enjoyable. While it would have been nice to have more space to really explore these various new lands and people mentioned after they got to the Red Land, there was enough there to prick ones interest and piece it together against our current world. While I will always wish that Isobelle had a firmer editor or whatever it was that allowed her first three-four Obernewtyn installments to be so much better than the last few, I still closed the final pages with a massive smile on my face and I'll never regret slogging through the rough bits for the good bits. Elspeth remains a dear character, and her world continues to grasp at me. I just wish she'd been done slightly more justice in the telling.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anni (Tea in the Treetops)

    Okay, what to write about this book, and the ending of a series I've been reading for most of my life? I first read Obernewtyn and the Farseekers in 1991, when The Farseekers was recommended in my primary school library after winning the Children's Book Council of Australia award. Those early books in the series were a major part of my falling in love with fantasy and I have enjoyed each as they have been released. More than anything to do with Elspeth's quest, it's the world created around Obern Okay, what to write about this book, and the ending of a series I've been reading for most of my life? I first read Obernewtyn and the Farseekers in 1991, when The Farseekers was recommended in my primary school library after winning the Children's Book Council of Australia award. Those early books in the series were a major part of my falling in love with fantasy and I have enjoyed each as they have been released. More than anything to do with Elspeth's quest, it's the world created around Obernewtyn, the Land, Sador and the mysterious Red Land that has kept me enthralled all these years - the idea of a safe haven in Obernewtyn and the gradual revelations about the enigmatic Beforetime, the characters like Rushton, Matthew, Daemon and Dragon, not to mention the rest of the misfits and all the wonderful beasts that are part of the story. So was this final book worthy of the epic conclusion promised by Elspeth's quest to save the world? Yes and no. I couldn't help feeling slightly disappointed by some parts of the story, and I'll list those behind a spoiler tag below. But overall, I am glad that it is finally finished and happy with the way all the tiny pieces drew together in the end. Well done, Isobelle! It's been a long, hard road and I shed a tear or two that it was all over. There were a few things that frustrated me: - Elspeth does a lot of thinking over every little detail, or what Maruman calls "gnawing". The gnawing would be fine now and then, but seriously, the book is like, 70% gnawing and 30% actual story. It slows the flow of the story right down, especially when she is thinking over the same thing over and over (which I suppose is quite a realistic way of describing a natural worrier's thought process, but it's pretty annoying to read). - I realise that this story is entirely from Elspeth's point of view, but for all the detail we get on her journey, the journeys and stories of the other characters we've loved for years is almost non-existent. (view spoiler)[ eg. Matthew and Rushton in particular. Also, some major story events basically didn't happen, like the Masked Ball, the showdown with Ariel (although that did have me biting my fingernails), or the Raising of the Dragon. Too much gnawing! (hide spoiler)] - For such a long-awaited final book, I hesitate to say that the editing was badly done, but there were some typos and general repetitive sections that I thought could have been better managed. Negative stuff aside, I did enjoy reading this story. I feel the need to go back to read the earlier books now!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    These books truly have been a labour of love. Those first 3 books were amazing. Beautifully written, great characters and the anticipation of what fate held for The Seeker lasted well over 2 decades but the author lost interest in her own story. She left it too long and it faded from her imagination. You can tell she did not have the ending organised before she finished writing it and it was finished in a mad rush to get it done. The text is long-winded and badly edited. There were typos through These books truly have been a labour of love. Those first 3 books were amazing. Beautifully written, great characters and the anticipation of what fate held for The Seeker lasted well over 2 decades but the author lost interest in her own story. She left it too long and it faded from her imagination. You can tell she did not have the ending organised before she finished writing it and it was finished in a mad rush to get it done. The text is long-winded and badly edited. There were typos throughout the last 3 books and a couple of times the wrong character name was used. It's like the publishers gave up too. It's all a bit sad really but I'm glad it's over. I still love this story and the characters. I did cry at the end, quite a bit, so I'm reluctant to admit outright how disappointed I am. I don't regret reading these books. *sigh*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've been reading this series for twenty years and randomly, a month ago, my copy of The Red Queen dropped onto my doormat - after having been pre-ordered about six years ago. In hindsight, that was a fittingly uneventful arrival. I actually re-read The Sending before starting The Red Queen because I literally couldn't remember what had happened in that book. Spoilers - nothing happened. A thousand pages of exposition, and Elspeth has basically gone on a bit of a hike. Except this terrible dark j I've been reading this series for twenty years and randomly, a month ago, my copy of The Red Queen dropped onto my doormat - after having been pre-ordered about six years ago. In hindsight, that was a fittingly uneventful arrival. I actually re-read The Sending before starting The Red Queen because I literally couldn't remember what had happened in that book. Spoilers - nothing happened. A thousand pages of exposition, and Elspeth has basically gone on a bit of a hike. Except this terrible dark journey she is supposed to be on alone is actually full of other characters, all of whom either already love her or come to love her, and is really super comfy. I'm glad I re-read it, though, as it set me up nicely for The Red Queen. Arguably it's not AS bad as The Sending, but god knows it's a close-run thing. My main objections, in no particular order: We didn't get the plot we were promised. So Elspeth doesn't have to head off alone to save the world - she has wolves and horses and other humans AND she's not heading off directly to disable Sentinal, she's gadding about with robots and walled communities on the way. WTF? I was expecting tortured loneliness and dedication (and maybe a last-minute deus ex machina, coz obviously I love Elspeth and want her to be OK) and got basically an extended picnic. What exactly is the point of Rushton? I liked their romance. But they get together in like Book 2 and they don't even SHAG until now!? SERIOUSLY?! They live in a post-apocalyptic society where anyone might die and any minute AND there's no telly, but we're supposed to believe they are both pure and virginal? Pffft. He's off screen for like 90% of the book and we are led to believe she will never see him again - but then Carmody chickens out on that too and just sort of shoves them off into the sunset together. Dameon deserved better. The only thing I like better than requited love is unrequited love. Poor Dames has to confess his love on a freaking PLANE RIDE - and then it is never mentioned again? THIS MAN HAS BEEN PINING FOR TWENTY FIVE YEARS HE DESERVES BETTER though he also deserved better than the frankly rape-y scene he did get, where he twisted someone's emotions and made them do what he wanted. That's fucked up, y'all. Get out of your head, Elf. Exposition - as several others have said, Elspeth spends literally pages and pages pondering possibilities, and theories, and revising her behavior around assumptions, all of which are obviously wrong - she is unbelievably dense for a woman who's supposed to be the literal saviour of the known world. I have absolutely no idea why Carmody sat down to write all of this tortured thought-experiment, but it was time she could have better spent writing some actual plot. Which brings me on to... Plot what plot. Seriously. Elspeth is ASLEEP during the literal revolution the book is named after. What. The main action point of the whole plot - the crowning of the Red Queen herself - happens OFF SCREEN. The most exciting bit of action in 1100 pages and we DON'T EVEN GET TO SEE IT. I'll add to this all the other pivotal moments in the plot. Disabling Sentinal? Takes like two pages and twenty minutes. Girl has been preparing for this her whole life and it wouldn't even fill a lunch hour. She actually spent longer agonising over why she'd been given a waterproof cloak. Saying goodbye to Matthew, her best friend who she accidentally sold into slavery four years ago? Happens off screen - "as we rode away I told him things in my mind." Explanation of the free-running barud? Two sentences at the end of the action. As an author, surely it's more fun to write about fighting and revolutions and suspenseful reveals than yet another treatise on whether some bird has managed to absorb the OldOnes' memories and whether it's Elspeth's fault if it hasn't. Attention to detail There was a whole paragraph where one character (I think it was Sharna?) switched gender at least six times. If the author literally can't be bothered to check her character notes, I don't see why I should. Also, did Galtha die or not? I am thinking about re-writing this novel myself and publishing it as fan-fiction. Everyone, both fans and characters, deserved more than we got from this.

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