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Ciye Cho lives in Australia and works as a graphic designer. He writes YA novels in his free time--and his head is often lost in the clouds or some place far from reality...
on Sep. 04, 2011 :
I was emailed by the author about possibly reviewing this book, while this happens quite often, I usually unfamiliar with both the author and the book. But this request was unlike any other that I have received. The author sent me the synopsis above and a link to his website. I was elated when I say a book trailer and then the best discovery yet…there is a soundtrack to this book!! The trailer is awesome, but how many books have a specific soundtrack? I also was looking on the about the author page and found this little blurb: “Inspired by the oddness of Alice In Wonderland, the subversiveness of Roald Dahl, and the epic journey of The Wizard of Oz, Shiewo is both familiar and unique: a modern imagining of our age-old quest for something more from life." That sealed the deal for me.
Okay, this book will blow your mind! I’m kind of relieved that there are no pictures in this book, and even though having looked around the author’s website I knew what most of the characters looked like, there was still a lot left up to my own imagination. I love that the story isn’t just centered on the one goal of finding the Wishing Fish. While that is the ultimate goal, there are other problems and instances that occur in the process. It was funny, thrilling and at times even a little sad. I love when books make me feel different emotions.
I also love that the characters are all a little flawed and they grow throughout the course of the book. My favorite character so far is Erduu. I love how he always means well but is a little oblivious to his surroundings. He was the character that made me smile the most. Although when it comes to being oblivious, I guess the scene with Felix and the pinball machine takes the cake.
This book has an amazing beginning scene that really sets up how wonderfully odd this story is. It’s something that I would expect to see Tim Burton make a movie out of, and that is very high praise. It’s quirky and unexpected but a joy to read. It’s easy to read in just a few sittings because the chapters are short and the story is very face paced. My only complaint is that I have a feeling I will have to wait awhile for book two to be released.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
on Aug. 28, 2011 :
When approached by author Ciye Cho to review his book, Shiewo - A Fantasy Flight to Adventure, I was somewhat reluctant. This was definitely a book out of my normal reading realm. After taking a peak at the author's website, I realized that this was definitely an individual with loads of imagination and drive. I also decided that sometimes it's good to go outside our comfort zones and expand our minds.
During the first 50 pages of this adventure I will admit to questioning my decision. I was definitely in for one wild ride. However, around that 50 page mark things started to fall into place and I really started to understand the world of Orberana and it's fantastical characters.
Captain Shiewo Morose is a great female character. She is a strong, smart no-nonsense girl trying to find the Wishing Fish to save her man. All the while surrounded by her...well...intereesting crew. Let's see. There is Theo, the cloud/runaway tornado cadet. There's Erduu, the walking, talking bamboo man. Also, along for the journey is, Livingston, the black goldfish...oops, sorry. He does not like to be called a goldfish! Livingston provided many laughs. He's loud, demanding and super snarky. Gotta love him! Lastly is Felix Dabblezapp. The human castaway who discovers that what he thought was a strange and wondrous dream is all very real.
Many times throughout this story it felt very much like I was list in a strange Wizard of Oz adventure. I'm not saying that was bad or good, just an observation.
In the end, Shiewo - A Fantasy Flight to Adventure, was a strange and wondrous tale filled with a cast of fun and fantastical characters. This story would definitely appeal to YA and Adult readers who enjoy fantasy/sci-fi with highly imaginative characters. While this is not something you would normally find on my bookshelf? I definitely plan to read the next installment to see where the journey takes these wonderful characters next and to see if they ever find the Wishing Fish.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on Aug. 27, 2011 :
**I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**
I have to start out by saying that this is quite a fantasy adventure. Usually when I read any recent fantasy, there are the usual characters which can include fairies, elves, goblins and what have you, but this is unlike anything else I have ever read and for that, I take my hat off to Cho.
The book begins in the universe of Oberana and we join Captain Shiewo Morose and her other companions on a quest to find the wishing fish that created their entire universe. On a giant vessel that is powered by music, the captain and crew explore the universe on their search and find many interesting things along the way.
I was a little unsure about how I felt about Shiewo at first. She seemed a little standoffish and a little rude at times. However, as the story went on and more was revealed about her and why she was making her quest, I started to warm up to her.
I loved her companions. Felix the painter was a clever youth who joins the voyage on accident. And though he messes things up, he is still likable. I absolutely loved Theo. Theo is a cloud, which kind of blew my mind a little bit. He had a sweet innocence to him that I loved. Erduu is probably the strangest creature I've ever heard of and I have no idea how Cho managed to think of him or several of the other characters.
I know this this is the first book in the series but my biggest complaint is that there is so little background on all of the characters. You gradually come to find things out about Theo and Erduu but the Captain Morose is very mysterious and I hated not knowing her situation or how she came to be there.
Overall, I liked this book. I recommend it for older children though because some of the adventures are pretty intense. But I liked it and I give it a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars!
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Aug. 04, 2011 :
I just finished reading Ciye Cho’s, Shiewo: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure. It is for the 13 and up group, and I must say that I would definitely let my pre-teen and early teen cousins read it. The story seemed truly youthful and vibrant; full of colorful characters, wild adventures, and dangers. It is a good read to get the imagination going. There are a few missed edits, but not many, so it doesn’t distract from the story.
Ciye Cho is very talented. If you get a chance, visit her website that goes along with this book series and see what I mean. Cho’s hands were everywhere in the creation of this series, it’s soundtrack, and it’s interactive site. Before I received this book, I was very anxious to read it because of the website and book trailer, which I’ve included at the bottom. So let your pre-teen/early teens delve into Shiewo’s world full of adventure and fun. The book itself I gave 3 1/2 Stars, but with everything else that comes with it, I have to round it out to an even 4 Stars.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
on July 27, 2011 :
Felix is a painter living a rather drab existence in the colourless city of Galvanary. One evening he is awoken by voices outside his apartment and a pair of thieves make off with his roof. Felix chases after them and soon learns that they are a rather unusual crew of a flying ship called the Odyssey who need the roof to complete the ship. The ship is Captained by a young woman named Shiweo who, along with a talking cloud named Theo, a giant bamboo man and a foul tempered goldfish, is on a quest to find the Wishing Fish the being who created the universe of Orberana and will grant one wish to whoever finds it. Felix unwittingly accompanies them and his life quickly gets a whole lot more interesting.
Remember that old saying about not judging a book by its cover? While I think that ought to be expanded to include not judging a book by it's blurb or title. Neither of these really caught my interest and I decided to read this book more on a whim. I'm Glad I did.
Cho's world building is absolutely fantastic and it is obvious he has invested a great deal of time and energy into it. The world above the clouds is an intriguing one and I look forward to seeing more of it. The characters are all fully realized and fulled with a child-like charm that has the reader rooting for them in the first few pages.
An impressive debut from Cho and one of the better YA novels I've read in some time. 8.5/10.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)