Saturday 13 August 2011

Book Review - Oriana's Eyes

Title: Oriana's Eyes
Author: Celeste Simone
Series: Great Oak Trilogy (book 1)
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: 24 Feb 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1440187247

As a pure-blood Winglet, Oriana isn't supposed to look at a half-blood much less speak to one. Half-bloods are the lowest of all races at Odon's University, because they are half Winglet and half Finlet. But when a half-blood, Dorian, locks eyes with her in the hallway, Oriana can't help but be intrigued by his daring nature. After sneaking out to the garden in the middle of the night to talk to him, Oriana knows she can't let her feelings go. She fears not following Odon's rules, but the more she sees Dorian the more she wants to break them all. When Oriana's idea of perfection crumbles she seeks a way out of the imprisoning University that threatens not only her happiness, but her very life. Dorian promises he has a plan to take her far away, but Oriana doubts they can escape Odon's all-seeing eye. Oriana isn't sure what she fears more, being stuck in the University or finding out what lies beyond its walls. 

My Review
I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Oriana is a pure-blood, a Winglet and lives in the University, a place of white walls, structure and order. Everyone learns to follows Odon's rules, to stay quiet and focused. But Oriana is different, she has never really believed in Odon's rules, so when a half-blood (Dorian) smiles at her, instead of reporting him, she meets him in the gardens after dark. He introduces her to a new way of life, and although scared of breaking the rules, she feels a pull towards another life.
I got into this book really quickly, the structure sounds complicated with pure bloods, half bloods, part bloods, winglets and finlets, but it is well explained and easily structured so I had no problem keeping up.
The world of the university created a vivid image in my head, It was cold and scary and sent chills up my spine. The world of the Great Oak however was like coming home, again I could picture every branch, ladder and field along with the characters. It created the image of a beautiful fortress built within the trees that I would love to visit. It sounded so magical and I loved being swept away. 
Oriana is a great character and I felt like I was going on the journey of discovery with her. She isn't the stuck up rebel, she isn't the little lost girl, she comes across as a real person, finding out who she is and growing as a person. She laughs, she cries, she feels lost and makes friends. She makes mistakes and fights for what she believes in, she is very well written and is very realistic. 
I love Dorian, slightly mysterious at first but fiercely loyal. Complex, good looking, strong and smart, but prone to rash behaviour he also seems very 3D. 
Azura is my favourite character - she is sassy, smart and not afraid to speak her mind. Hard to break the ice with, but once you're in, she looks out for you and sticks with you.
The story is fast paced, packed with action, but also deals with the background of the world and characters making it feel more believable. 
At one point I thought the bad guy gave up a little too easily and I was disappointed, but then something else happened and the situation was explained more and I felt like it worked. 
I'm glad I accepted this book and will be looking out for the next part.
A cross between Dystopian and Fantasy, this book will take your breath away.

My Rating
I would give this book 9.5/10 - captivating and exciting, this book will take you into a whole new world and sweep you off your feet. 


Getting Your Read On said...

Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the review.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I love the sound of this. Fantastic review!

barmybex said...

Thanks - it's definitely worth a read. :D