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Orphans of Chaos by John C. Wright

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Book Information  
AuthorJohn C. Wright
TitleOrphans of Chaos
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Avi_Stetto 
(Jun 24, 2010)

ORPHANS OF CHAOS is the beginning book in a trilogy. It is about five children who live together as the only students in a remote British boarding school. They've lived there for their entire lives and have never been beyond the nearby village. As they grow older, the children begin manifesting odd powers. They begin to suspect that they aren't exactly human. And neither are their teachers.

I found a lot to like about ORPHANS OF CHAOS. It has several really neat magical powers. For example, one of the children is able to will secret passsages into existance. It also plays alot with Greek and Norse mythology, which is fun.

The book does have some flaws, though. Wright does not have a lot of compassion on his readers. There isn't any kind of glossary to provide the unititiated reader with background info about the various gods and mythological creatures. He also feels free to combine science with the mythology, so there's talk of Greek gods on the same page as discussions of singularities, the Big Bang, and multiple dimensions.

One of the biggest disappointments in the story was in its delivery. A lot of the story's action happens about two thirds of the way through the book, and then there's a very tedious multi-chapter portion of exposition. Part of it is a character relating prior events to the narrating character. That's a big pet peeve of mine in novels. The other, and significantly longer portion of this section described a lengthy period of the narrator's imprisonment. Reading about how bored a person is while they sit in a dungeon cell was definitely boring.

That being said, ORPHANS OF CHAOS was a fairly entertaining opening chapter in a trilogy. It ends on a cliffhanger, so I'm interested in seeing what happens to the characters next.

This book is recommended to fans of slipstream who are looking for a new series to read. This isn't a book that stands on its own.

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