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Orphans of Chaos

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Orphans of Chaos Cover

ISBN13: 9780765349958
ISBN10: 0765349957
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

< div> < div> < b> What if your teachers taught you everything& #8211; except who you really are?< /b> < br> & nbsp; < br> For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school she lives in is all she has ever known.& nbsp; The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison.& nbsp; The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know what their real names are, or even how old they are.< br> & nbsp; < br> Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies.& nbsp; Amelia can see in four dimensions.& nbsp; Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter.& nbsp; Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before.& nbsp; Colin is a psychic.& nbsp; Quentin is a warlock.< br> & nbsp; < br> And, as time goes by, they& #8217; re starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human . . . < br> & nbsp; < br> John C. Wright previous fantasy novels, the Epic Chronicles of Everness, were lavishly praised by both readers and reviewers.& nbsp; Now he embarks on an ambitious new saga that explores the overlapping boundaries of science, mythology, and the imagination.< /div> < /div>

Synopsis:

What if your teachers taught you everything-except who you really are?

 

For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school she lives in is all she has ever known.  The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison.  The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know what their real names are, or even how old they are.

 

Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies.  Amelia can see in four dimensions.  Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter.  Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before.  Colin is a psychic.  Quentin is a warlock.

 

And, as time goes by, they're starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human . . .

 

John C. Wright previous fantasy novels, the Epic Chronicles of Everness, were lavishly praised by both readers and reviewers.  Now he embarks on an ambitious new saga that explores the overlapping boundaries of science, mythology, and the imagination.

Synopsis:

John C. Wright burst onto the SF scene with the Golden Age trilogy. His next project was the ambitious fantasy sequence, The Last Guardians of Everness.

Wright's new fantasy is a tale about five orphans raised in a strict British boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. The students at the school do not age, while the world around them does.

The children begin to make sinister discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter around him; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls where none had previously been; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the inexplicable universe: and they should not be able to co-exist under the same laws of nature. Why is it that they can?

The orphans have been kidnapped from their true parents, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings no more human than they are: pagan gods or fairy-queens, Cyclopes, sea-monsters, witches, or things even stranger than this. The children must experiment with, and learn to control, their strange abilities in order to escape their captors.

About the Author

JOHN C. WRIGHT lives in Centreville, Virginia.

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pixielate_com, October 31, 2007 (view all comments by pixielate_com)
Orphans of Chaos was described to me as Harry Potter for adults. Students have magical powers, but as a slant, the teachers are actually their enemies. I don’t think this comparison does an accurate job of portraying the mood of the book, but it comes close.

Orphans of Chaos - the first of a trilogy of fantasy books by John Charles Wright - takes place in an ambiguously old-fashioned boarding school in the UK, where five teenage students with no memory of their past start to realize their school is a jail, and their teachers are captors. The children stop taking their daily medicines, which awakens their dormant magical powers: each from a different and equally powerful paradigm. They slowly learn that they are hostages in a classic power play. All involved, including their teachers, are gods or servants of heaven. Narrated by one of the children - Amelia Windrose - they embark on a series of adventures to regain their memories, their powers, and escape their fate as political pawns.

The book is written in a somewhat florid style. I enjoyed the pace, which alternates between dialog and adventure. The language and plot elements are evocative of a pseudo-Victorian setting, though we later learn that the book takes place around modern day. All of the adventures and magic are entertaining. Though there may be an overload on the number of minor characters involved, all of the people (gods?) have intriguing backgrounds.

There are a few places where the book falls short. There’s not a great continuity on which of the five children are involved in adventures or conversations. The children that are part of the action seem to be selected arbitrarily. Some of the descriptions of magic start out as plausible and easy to follow, and morph into the ridiculous by the end of the paragraph - I think this is done on purpose for comic effect, but I didn’t find it very amusing, just annoying. In some places, we’re given exposition in a very dense and unlikely format.

But perhaps most of all, I felt the light sexuality too overt and a little disturbing. This may be a credit for some of my readers, but I’m violently opposed to any glorifications of pedophiles in books. We never learn the girls’ ages, but we know for sure that they’re not women, even if they have the necessary features. And yet, the girls are constantly seducing or are seduced by their teachers. I can handle overtones, but the scenarios - especially towards the end of the book - were constant and served little or no purpose for the story.

I think I will read the rest of the trilogy, just to see how the adventure proceeds. And there’s hope for the “bad guys” yet. I can’t put a book down until I know for sure whether or not the characters are dynamic. There’s a definite attachment for Amelia built up, and though the rest of the children sort of disappear towards the end of the book, I’d like to be reunited with them. The occasional flaws and annoyances are minor enough, and the concept entertaining enough that I’ll continue reading. I recommend this book to any fans of young adult fantasy who aren’t put off by wordy, moderately-paced stories.

Originally posted to pixielate.com/booksmovies
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780765349958
Author:
Wright, John C.
Publisher:
Tor Books
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Boarding schools
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Super Heroes
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20061031
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
6.71 x 4.2 x 0.915 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic

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Product details 336 pages Tor Books - English 9780765349958 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
What if your teachers taught you everything-except who you really are?

 

For Amelia and her friends, the strict English boarding school she lives in is all she has ever known.  The sprawling estate, bordered by unknown territory on all four sides, is both orphanage, academy, and prison.  The school has a large staff, but only five students, none of whom know what their real names are, or even how old they are.

 

Precocious and rebellious, all five teenagers are more than just prodigies.  Amelia can see in four dimensions.  Victor can control the molecular arrangement of matter.  Vanity can find secret passageways where none existed before.  Colin is a psychic.  Quentin is a warlock.

 

And, as time goes by, they're starting to suspect that none of them are entirely human . . .

 

John C. Wright previous fantasy novels, the Epic Chronicles of Everness, were lavishly praised by both readers and reviewers.  Now he embarks on an ambitious new saga that explores the overlapping boundaries of science, mythology, and the imagination.

"Synopsis" by , John C. Wright burst onto the SF scene with the Golden Age trilogy. His next project was the ambitious fantasy sequence, The Last Guardians of Everness.

Wright's new fantasy is a tale about five orphans raised in a strict British boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. The students at the school do not age, while the world around them does.

The children begin to make sinister discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter around him; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls where none had previously been; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the inexplicable universe: and they should not be able to co-exist under the same laws of nature. Why is it that they can?

The orphans have been kidnapped from their true parents, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings no more human than they are: pagan gods or fairy-queens, Cyclopes, sea-monsters, witches, or things even stranger than this. The children must experiment with, and learn to control, their strange abilities in order to escape their captors.

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