When I was living in Australia I really wanted to read some authentic-type Aussie YA and report back. Which I did–but it just took me like six months to get around to posting it. SORRY.
The Obernewtyn Chronicles have pretty much all you need in post-apocolyptic fantasy fiction—talking animals, psychic mind powers, evil overlords, etc. etc.
I’m going to give you a pretty comprehensive run-down, because the books just get more and more complicated, and you’re going to need this later. For the test.
Major spoilers ahead:
So, after the Great White, a radiation-laced explosion that decimated and poisoned all of the cities and most of the land, people moved out to the most rural areas seeking untainted water and food. The farmers that lived there set up a Council to control the newcomers and impose rules and regulations on their behavior. Any person or animal suffering from radiation mutations is ritualistically burned by the Herder Faction—the ‘priests’ of the community. Gradually, it became noticeable that some mutations weren’t physical but mental, and everyone lives in fear that they will be labeled a Misfit.
Elspeth (hint—main character) and her brother Jes are orphans—their parents burned as Seditioners by the Herders. While Jes has garnered favor with the Herders and community leaders, Elspeth lives in fear of being exposed as a Misfit. Besides being able to read and change people’s minds, Elspeth can talk to animals, most notably the wild cat that follows her, Maruman. Maruman is prone to wandering around in the poisoned mountains, so Elspeth doesn’t take him to seriously when he raves about her destiny. Continue reading