The universe of Orberana is a place of great wonder and peril, a dizzying landscape filled with clouds that can talk, clockwork beings that mark their own time, and painted animals that awake in the night.
Shiewo Morose is the captain of a flying ship powered by music. She is also a determined young woman on a mission: a quest to find the Wishing Fish that created Orberana.
Sailing above the clouds, Shiewo and her crew (Erduu the bamboo, Theo the cloud, Livingston the goldfish, and Felix the painter) are headed for worlds of crazed clockwork bureaucrats, tyrannic kings, and tornado children–worlds that will test not only the crew’s bravery… but their very understanding of adventure.
Theirs is the odyssey of a lifetime…
I love Alice inspired fiction. It’s great to be able to enjoy work influenced by such a timeless tale. Shiewo: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure definitely has a wow factor to it and stimulates the imagination. The story is quite colourful, reminding me of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. There are aspects from both of those well known stories present, the journey taken in hopes of improving or changing something you weren’t happy about, working together to achieve what seems like an out of reach goal, discovering the world is bigger than your personal universe, looking for answers, and of course that quirkiness that goes with this type of fiction.
I love the characters Ciye Cho has created. I’m not sure if I care about them individually as yet, I don’t feel I’ve been given enough of a chance to get to know all of them as much as I would have liked, but there are glimpses there of who these characters are. So far what I love about them is their uniqueness.
There’s a bamboo man, yes he is a plant that talks, who likes to get his Zen on and has almost a childlike fascination for certain subjects. The adorable little cloud who is a stronger character than he truly believes he is and adds the playful child element to the story. There’s the strong and determined captain, Shiewo, who has an almost otherworldly savant quality when it comes to machinery. The grumpy fish who you know has a soft spot, but will never admit to it. And then there’s the painter from an isolated society who dreams of colours and adventure.
I believe that’s a great mix in a story, especially a young adult novel, and so far I love the bamboo man and the cloud. One of the reasons I think I haven’t been given a chance to get to know them all is I feel Shiewo is not only a dominant character, which makes sense seeing as it is her odyssey, but she has a tendency to overshadow the other characters quite a lot. I’m hoping this will change as the story progresses and the rest of the crew will become more prominent, especially when it comes to the action scenes.
There are certain details of Shiewo that did make reading it not as pleasant as I would have liked at times. The author has a tendency to favour terms like yet, however, alas, with that, soon, gasped, gawked, and still. The last several are the ones I could look over and ignore to a degree, but yet, however, and alas got to a point where I’d re-read the sentence without the word whenever I came across it. This happened quite often before I reached half way through.
I think if it weren’t for starting so many sentences with a conjunction I would have found the reading so much smoother and enjoyed the story all the more. As it is, I would prefer less use of conjunctions with starting a sentence, but I am looking forward to the rest of the story. I love such a great imagination, the world Ciye Cho has created, and I do want to discover where their journey takes them.