Something a Little Different – Daniel Shares

I thought that I would do something different as a little ‘break’ between Obernewtyn and the next book in the series ‘The Farseekers’, because, why not? What I want to do is share a few things that I have found on the internet, that I think are really interesting and great, and that others might be interested in, but have not found themselves. I don’t know if this will become a thing, but it might, depending on how this goes. So have a look at what I’m sharing, because I found them interesting, and you might too.

Ike Kūʻokoʻa Project (http://www.awaiaulu.org/main/index.php)

Edit (16/09/12):Unfortunately this Project has now been completed, unless you already have an account, you can no longer assist with the project (checking and ranking pages). If you have a Hawaiian language background, you may be able to assist the project by reviewing the pages, but you will have to contact the project via their website.

I found this project, after hearing about it on a trip to Hawaii, and I thought it would be great to get involved. The project is all about transcribing thousands of pages of Hawaii newspapers, so they can be complied into something like a search engine, so people can easily find information that is ‘trapped’ on the page. All of the newspapers are in Hawaiian and were published between 1834 and 1948. But don’t worry if you don’t know a word of Hawaiian, as all you are required to do is type the words, which are all written in the ‘Latin Alphabet’ so you just have to type what you read. The project wants to complete the 60,000 pages by 31 July, 2012. Currently only 8% of the pages have been completed, so they really need more volunteers to help out. Depending on how fast you can type, a page can be completed within 4 hours. You don’t have to worry about formatting or fonts, just type the words, and then go through and check it, and submit it. Once you submit it, you can dedicate the page to someone. It’s really not that hard, and can be really fun and you can start to see common words. You might even be inclined to look up some words, and learn some Hawaiian. For more information check out their website, and get involved.

Freerice (http://freerice.com/)

Freerice is an interesting and clever website that rewards you for learning. That might not sound that interesting, but trust me it can be quite addictive. The website contains a series of different quizzes which are on a multitude of subjects. The subjects include, human anatomy, English Vocabulary, Maths, Chemical symbols, Famous Paintings, Flags of the World, World Landmarks and more. Each subject has a number of different levels of difficulty, some have 3 levels whilst others have 60. The system is designed that you start at level one, and once you get three questions correct in a row, you progress a level. If you get a question wrong, you go back to the previous level, and that question will pop up again soon. There are levels for everyone, at all intelligence levels, and if you get bored with one subject, there are plenty more to keep you interested. But the really amazing thing is, that as you are learning (and you might not think you are at the time) you are actually helping feed the world’s hungriest people. That’s right, for every question you get correct, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme, which is run by the United Nations. It might not sound like much, but within a matter of minutes you can easily accumulate hundreds of grains of rice, and to feed one person for one day they need 19,200 grains of rice. The total amount of grains that Freerice have donated over the 4-5 years it has been around, is approaching 100 billion! There are two questions you are probably asking, how is this possible, and can we be sure that the hungry are getting the food? Well firstly, it is possible because of advertising. Each page has a couple of advertisements, like almost every webpage, and those ads pay for the 10 grains of rice. Secondly the program, as mentioned before, is supported and promoted by the World Food Programme, which is run by the United Nations. So why not ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and start expanding your vocabulary and knowledge in a variety of subjects (you can even test your language skills in French, Italian, German and Spanish) and help feed hungry people. Don’t worry if English isn’t your first language, as there are Korean, French, Italian and Spanish versions available as well. Have a look at their website for more information, and start testing your knowledge.

Foldit (http://fold.it/portal/)

One final thing to share, this time it is a game. ‘Foldit’ is a free, downloadable game. The main feature of this game, is that you are (by playing) helping scientific research and development. The game involves ‘folding proteins’ into the most efficient and stable shape. You also have to make sure all ‘hydrophobic’ chains away from the outside, and have no overlapping chains. It might sound a little complicated, but there are helpful tutorial levels and there is a forum and chat-room where you can ask questions, and find answers to your problems. The aim of the game overall, is to help scientists better predict what proteins structures (like amino acids) will look like. It will also assist scientists in designing new proteins that can cure diseases. In fact, Foldit gamers, were able to find the structure of an AIDS related enzyme in a matter of 10 days, whereas the scientists had been trying to solve it for FIFTEEN YEARS. So finally, gaming is helping solve problems in the world, and you can finally tell your mum or girlfriend, that gaming has a purpose! You can find out more about the science of protein folding and ‘Foldit’ here.

I just realised that this is my 200 post! This has gone really fast, and it won’t be long until I’ve been blogging for a year. Thank you for being involved in whatever way, I appreciate it all!

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Obernewtyn

Obernewtyn is done, and The Farseekers is waiting. Before we start book two in the Obernewtyn Chronicles, I thought it might be a good idea to ‘wrap up’ the first book. This is actually the first series I’ve reviewed before, so this makes things a little different, to just having a single standalone book.

Obernewtyn is not a perfect book, and as much as I love the Chronicles as a whole, I have to admit that it is not the best book. But, having said that, when you think about Harry Potter basically no one says that they love the first book, and compared to the later few, it is terrible. But ‘Obernewtyn’ (and ‘HP:PS/SS) are the stepping stones and introduction into a brand new world. You can’t just be dropped into the world with no explanation, otherwise you would have no idea what was going on and why someone can do something different, and as humans we are curious and would have too many questions about the world. So as an introduction into the Obernewtyn world, it is a good book.

However, there are still flaws. The continuity and time-line are quite poor, as it is hard to know when things happen in relation to other things. Sure this is a hard thing to do, and Elspeth herself (as it is first person) might not exactly have a grasp on the timing of things, but I thought it made things a little confusing at times. Also, there seem to be many places that in one sentence Elspeth is thinking, then randomly she is already at the farm. Granted, I don’t really want boring, pointless scenes of Elspeth’s journey to the farm, but it seems to me that it is a little jumpy. Perfection is something impossible to achieve, and some come close, but Obernewtyn (book #1) is not one of them and if it were just a single book (obviously it would be different) but I would say it is not very good, but considering there are many questions left unanswered and things have been set up for future books, I would say it is good. It is doing the job of the first book in a series, as it is introducing the world, explaining how the world works, introducing some characters and setting up future events both closer and further away, so looking it in this way, it is pretty good.

Though I think, after coming out of most of my recent books (that I have read personally) they have been in short time frames, either 24 hours, or a couple of days and going into a book which deals with at least 8 months, doesn’t help. Having to spread out scenes over multiple months, does make things difficult, but if I’m going to compare it to Harry Potter (which isn’t exactly fair, both are a phenomenon and approaching perfection)  I never recall having these sorts of feelings, maybe it is because I was reading for pleasure and not analysing it and thinking about it as much, but I suspect that it has to do with the style. And comparing a third person with a first person point of view, is like comparing apples and oranges on its taste of banana, it is verging on ridiculous. And I can’t compare it with Hunger Games or another first person book (that I have recently read) because HG has lots of fast paced action, that allows first person to shine. Possibly Isobelle Carmody (I wonder if all her other books are in first person?) has chosen first person for later events that requires first person so that the action can be understood, as obviously she cannot change her writing style over the series, so dramatically.

I am hoping that in future books, a few kinks are ironed out. I have to admit for a book that was started when she was 16 and was published 26 years ago (and that does make a difference, as many of the books I read have been written recently, and I haven’t read many (or any other?) books from the 70s/80s) it is good. I would bet that if she wrote this book now, after all her experiences and gained knowledge, it would be a whole different book. But I have to applaud the fact that Isobelle has set up a storyline for the next six books, and has been able to keep the story going for over 2 decades, most people would give up, and that would have meant no Obernewtyn.

I quite like where this can go, as there is so much to be explored, and obviously with six more books, there is a lot that is going to happen. I would not even like to guess how it is all going to end. But first thing is first, I have to read book two!

Obernewtyn – Chapter 29

 Chapter Twenty-Nine

We return to Matthew talking to Elspeth, actually he was commanding Elspeth to stay in bed, as she is still unwell. Dameon too believes it might be best if she continues resting, but Elspeth will not stay lying down, when there is an important meeting to attend. Elspeth had been unconscious for days after the incident, and is still quite weak, so the machine and the killing power really drained her. Matthew comments that she looks different, and Elspeth feels that she is stronger now, and the power is waiting if she ever needs to use it again. Elspeth had not seen Rushton since the cavern, and both Madam Vega and Alexi are dead. Ariel on the other hand ran out into the blizzard and is believed to be dead. Rushton is now the Master of Obernewtyn, and will officially register it as such when he gets a chance to go to the Councilcourt. I wonder what happened to the councilmen who were sent up for Elspeth?

In Rushton’s friends, there was a variety of mental skills, and Rushton seems to accept all of them, which is probably rare, as most would be afraid. Rushton wants to get Obernewtyn in order, before making his claim after winter, and the meeting is about his plans. Elspeth is quite annoyed that Rushton has not spoken to her since the incident, and she wants to go to the meeting just to see him. Rushton is going to make Obernewtyn a secret refuge for Misfits. Elspeth has now come to the conclusion that it is immoral to read other Misfit’s minds, and that any Misfit community will take some time to actually work smoothly.

Apparently Rushton met the Druid whilst coming to Obernewtyn, and befriended the man. He came to Obernewtyn because his mother told him to, but had given no details or reason. Rushton, with the help of Louis, began to understand the story and that he was the true Master of Obernewtyn, but instead of going to the Council he made a deal with the Druid. In exchange for taking over Obernewtyn, he would allow the Druid to establish himself at Obernewtyn. To be honest that would be a bad thing, as the Druid sounds to be exactly like Alexi and co. Elspeth vowed to never let anyone know about the map or what it leads to, as too many people would try to find it.

Elspeth concedes that she doesn’t really want to go to the meeting, which pleases Matthew and Dameon. Elspeth considers what she will do once she recovers, and thinks that she won’t stay. She wants to be free, and explore the world a bit, and also deal with her destiny. Matthew asks Elspeth as much, and reveals that Rushton wants to build up his own Council, and Elspeth would be a valued member. Dameon explains that Rushton wants to govern Obernewtyn with the help of elected Misfits. They will work on their abilities, and train others, in groups. These groups are called guilds each with their ‘special abilities’. The Council, will be a ‘guild merge’ as all the leaders come together.

We even learn what happened to those councilmen. Alexi had drugged them with wine, and threw them into a underground storage chamber. When they awoke, everything was over and Rushton told them what had happened, with a few changes to the story. He told them that Madam Vega was plotting against the council, and had knocked them out to hide her plans. The whole overthrow, was to ‘free the councilmen’. In their minds, Elspeth ran away and was killed by the wolves.

Rushton arrives, and Matthew and Dameon leave them alone. The pair are quite awkward together, and Rushton reveals that he thought she would be dead or wake up like Selmar did. He too asks if she will stay, and Elspeth again says that she wants freedom. Rushton wants her to stay and help set up the guilds. Once they were all strong enough, they will make the council accept them, which will be a big task, and probably lead to bloodshed. He convinces her to stay, at least for a while. He leaves to go to the meeting, and Elspeth is left to her thoughts. She thinks Rushton will be a good leader, someone who was born to lead. Elspeth thinks about her destiny and how Cameo, Maruman and Sharna all believe in her, and how she ‘will not fail them’

Tomorrow I’ll do a wrap up of Obernewtyn, then we shall begin ‘Farseekers’.

Obernewtyn – Chapter 28

Chapter Twenty-Eight

The cave was hidden from plain sight behind a rockfall, making it a very good place for a lair. It is possible that the rockfall was not natural though, and was designed to hid it from prying eyes. The cave is ‘too smooth’ and is clearly not natural, which indicates that it was probably made by Oldtimers with their machines. Elspeth decides to send out a small, delicate probe to make sure she isn’t going to walk into a trap, and possibly have a few vital seconds to get away. Elspeth came upon a strange pool of multicoloured liquid, which she kept far away from, with good reason. The cave could well be under the Blacklands.

The cave opened out into a wide cavern that is strangely warm, and is lit by a strange orb, which we would know as some sort of lightbulb, but probably freaks Elspeth out. The cavern has three more different entrances that could lead anywhere, how will Elspeth know which way to go? The cavern contained a number of machines, one of which has clearly been tampered with, and is probably the Zebkrahn machine that Alexi and co were using. Elspeth felt someone is on the edges of her mental area (is that what you would call it, or would it be range?) and it is oddly familiar, though Alexi and co, and Rushton’s minds have never been felt before by Elspeth. Elspeth cannot use her powers to find Rushton, as it would surely set off the machine, she will have to find him herself, and then she will be able to contact him safely. Though she could run out of luck and Rushton’s mind could have a mental shield, and that would make things more complicated.

Elspeth took a lantern and headed down the nearest tunnel. Her light reflects off two eyes, and to her disgust it is a stuffed Guanette bird. I wonder if the Guanette bird correlates to any of our animals we have now (as they are rumoured to be from the Beforetime) or if they are some sort of new species. She proclaims her disgust for the find, and nearby she hears a noise. She finds someone is in a bed, and that someone is Cameo. Cameo is clearly distraught and tells Elspeth that she is in danger and that Alexi wants her. Surprisingly whatever they have done to Cameo has increased her abilities and she is able to hear Elspeth’s thoughts. But she was not strong enough to do what they wanted, instead she true dreamed that Elspeth, and Elspeth alone needs to complete a task. A task that relates to what Alexi is searching for, which is a map to Oldtime machines. These machines were the ones that created the Great White. Fortunately Alexi and co are not aware of the power and true nature of the machine, but still it is a grim future if they ever were to find it, or if anyone found the machine. Cameo begins to weaken, but tells Elspeth that she is the Seeker, and her destiny will always draw her to the machine. After that, her hand in Elspeth, she died. Elspeth cried, but terribly for her, they have found her.

Ariel is a sick person, and she could hear his cruel laughter, sending Elspeth into a deep rage and vowing that they will pay for Cameo and Selmar’s deaths. Fortunately, she could only hear them, they weren’t in the same cave, but are nearby. Elspeth returned to the main cavern, and found the next tunnel which should surely lead to Rushton. She gets so close to the group, that she can hear Madam Vega interrogate Rushton.

We learn that Rushton’s mother sent him to Obernewtyn, hoping that Michael Seraphim would recognise him as his son. Everything begins to fall into place, and we were told ages ago that Rushton had a half-brother, who is the current Doctor. Madam Vega is as sadistic as Ariel (nearly) and proclaims that she will enjoy killing him, but after he answers her questions. Rushton however has no plans to give in. Elspeth creeps closer to try to talk to Rushton, however Alexi is right behind her! Not only that she is knocked out by a blow. To be honest that would have been a great place to end the chapter, but the chapter isn’t over.

When Elspeth woke, Madam Vega was complaining to Alexi that he could have killed her with such a hard blow. Elspeth’s head is really taking a beating, first her fall and now a blow to the head, hopefully she hasn’t got much of a concussion. I wonder how blows to the head affect her powers? It appears that they are planning on using Elspeth to make Rushton talk, but Alexi isn’t interested in him, he wants the map! The three villains plan to find the weapon and use it to force the Council under their rule, and if they don’t succeed they will unleash its power, which would probably lead to everyone’s doom.

Alexi, Ariel and Madam Vega are as bad as each other, all are sadistic and power hungry, and I would not be surprised if they would quickly double cross each other. Only Alexi understands the machines, and Ariel seems to have forgotten he is still just a Misfit. Too late, Elspeth thinks about Louis’s instructions to stay outside and wait, now she had given herself to them and they were going to use her. Elspeth knows that she will be able to find out where the machine is if Marisa was thinking about it when she wrote her diaries, and she knows that she will be forced to do it.

Elspeth is back in the main cavern, and is strapped to the machine mentioned earlier and she can just see Rushton (the size of the caves seems to have changed because I thought he was hidden within one of the caves, but maybe I thought it was bigger than what it really is). She talks to Rushton, and he is surprised that she is alive. They can’t talk for too long, as Alexi returns with the diaries. Alexi knows that she can read Marisa’s mind when she was writing the diaries, as Selmar could do it, but they didn’t have the correct papers at the time. He gives her one warning, if she cooperates he won’t have to use the Zebkrahn machine, and she ‘will be free to go’ (that never happens does it?). Elspeth realises that she will be useless once she gives them what they want, and tells Alexi as much.

Alexi goes to the machine and starts it up. Elspeth wonders what sort of people would create such a machine, and I wonder that too. At first all Elspeth feels is a faint buzzing in her head, and if that is all the machine can do, she would be safe. Alexi seems to be more unhinged that all of them, and threatens to kill Ariel or anyone else if they annoy him further. Alexi increases the power, and the buzzing is louder, but still bearable, but it must get a lot worse, if Selmar and Cameo were psychologically damaged by it. Alexi hands the diaries to Elspeth, and she tries to block out the incoming thoughts from Marisa. Elspeth is able to withstand another increase in the power, it is yet to be painful, but Alexi will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Elspeth tries to reach out to Rushton with her powers, and encounters a block like Jes, but she will find a weakness in it, and get in, even if it is painful for him. She breaks in, and an audible moan is heard from him, as his mind retreated inwards to ‘deal’ with Elspeth. Surprisingly Elspeth knew Rushton’s mind, it was the same as her rescuer who helped her escape from the machine. The thing is, Rushton has no farseeking abilities. He reveals that his friends worked together and were able to help. Elspeth quickly filled him in on all that had happened since they parted. It only took a moment, as she could use pictures instead of words (which would be really cool!).

The machine increased again in power, and Elspeth tried to leave, but Rushton keeps her where she is. Rushton allows Elspeth to draw on his strength to withstand the machine, even though he would feel what she felt. Ariel comments that it is taking too long, and the power increases dramatically. Even with Rushton, they won’t be able to withstand it forever. Alexi and Madam Vega realise that Rushton is helping her, and somehow Elspeth is able to do multiple things at once, and see Alexi in her face, withstand the machine and be in Rushton’s mind. It would be so strange to be able to do that. Alexi ups the stakes and tells Elspeth that he will kill Rushton unless she helps.

In that moment, Elspeth was no longer able to block out Marisa’s thoughts (I had forgotten that in the list) and saw that the map was on the front doors of Obernewtyn. Even worse, Elspeth was able to see the chasm in the ground where the machine was waiting. Elspeth pushes away from the thoughts, and Alexi continues to threaten Rushton’s life. A new voice was heard in Elspeth’s head, and tells her that ‘they are approaching’. I assume that is Louis and co, and I wonder what they can really do. Elspeth is in a tough situation as she just needs to delay them for a few more moments, as she cannot reveal the maps location to them, but they are just about to kill Rushton.

She could hear people running towards them, as the machine began to overheat and shoot out sparks. Madam Vega had raised her hand, and was ready to kill Rushton. Something inside Elspeth’s head came into action, and a power that she had not had before was at her fingertips. She now knew how Jes had killed the soliderguard, as she possesses the same power. The wild power surged through Elspeth, and she controlled it and sent it at Madam Vega, who crumpled. After such a large physical exhaustion, Elspeth drifted away into semi-consciousness then unconsciousness.

I wonder if her power has always been there, or if it just appeared at such a pivotal and stressful time where she needed it. What happens now, will the power always be there, can it be controlled enough to make everything strong, or is it really uncontrollable and will kill? How will Elspeth react knowing she KILLED someone? Even if it was someone as evil as Madam Vega she still killed her. What about Ariel and Alexi, what is going to happen to them, will they be killed in fighting, run away, be caught? What happens when they do catch them, because they would have to hold them prisoner forever, as they could never be released, as they would go to the Council and expose everyone. There is one more chapter, and I wonder how many of these questions will be answered.

Obernewtyn – Chapter 27

Chapter Twenty-Seven

We return to Elspeth who has woken up after falling in the snowstorm. She doesn’t know how long she was out for, but her body is starting to feel numb, like the onset of frostbite. Elspeth had walked and walked until she had to rest, and was going towards a clump of trees for some shelter, when she heard the sounds of wolves, which spurred her into a ‘run’ and led to her fall. She has a nasty bump on her head, and decides to try  and warm up her toes, before they get too damaged from frostbite. (I think I just noticed how inconsistent I am with tenses, and I’ll try to be more consistent with them in the future, but should they be past or present? Past seems to happen more naturally, but present makes sense as the story is always ‘happening’, what is your opinion?). She rubbed her entire body that felt numb, until they all felt normal again. She remembers that she actually had a task to do, and hopes that she isn’t too late.

She hears a noise, and looks up to find yellow eyes staring at her, maybe the wolves have found her after all. But, it is good news after all, it is none other than Maruman. He sees almost angry that Elspeth was never able to escape from Obernewtyn and find him, but he is a strange cat. Maruman was able to find Elspeth following her trail, so he is a very smart cat too. Elspeth tells Maruman that she needs to help a friend, that helped her, and Maruman seems to find loyalty admirable, and wants to help Elspeth. Maruman tells Elspeth, in his usual vague, mysterious way, that danger is in the mountains, but Elspeth will fulfil her prophecy there too. He tells her that she must ‘seek the darkness and destroy it forever, and everything else is less important’. Elspeth however cannot forever Rushton, and goes to help him.

‘Several hours later’? This journey is taking hours? I wouldn’t have thought there would be that much time, and why would it take so long for Alexi and co. to get to their cave, or is it just because it is snowing and Elspeth has no idea where they are going? Maruman is of great use, and allows Elspeth to avoid another fall or worse into a pool of water covered with thin ice. He also is able to tell Elspeth that they are entering wolf territory, and best be on their guard. Eventually they began to see the mountains.

It took another hour to reach the granite mountains, but they could not easily find any cave. Maruman unfortunately goes into one of his fits of delusion, and becomes of no further help for Elspeth, and probably scares her instead. She wraps Maruman up in her coat and leaves her in a small cave, she on the other hand contemplates using her Farseeking to find Rushton. That however would expose her to the machine, which she would not be able to escape from. She decides to try to find the cave for a little while longer, which pays off as she finds it in 5 minutes.

I wonder what she is going to find in the cave, and whether she will be able to save Rushton?

Obernewtyn – Chapter 26

Chapter Twenty-Six

When Elspeth awoke she was rested and healed. The storm had worsened, which means Elspeth continues to be safe, for the time being. There was a knock on the door, which Elspeth fears might be Ariel, having braved the storm to find her. But it is a boy named ‘Roland’, who Dominick must have been expecting or is a friend, because he let’s him in. Roland brings news of Elspeth’s escape, which Dominick is already aware of, but he brings news that Rushton has gone missing. Roland had been meeting with one of the Druid’s men, but Rushton never showed up, nor did Louis Larkin, who must be another ‘friend’ of the group. The two try to figure out what they should do about Rushton’s disappearance, and wonder why the Druid is considering helping them at all. Louis shows up, and reveals that ‘they’ have got Rushton.

It was then that Elspeth decided to make an entrance, and unlocked the door to the other room. Louis goes angry at the sight of Elspeth, and wants her to explain why the Council want her. Louis tells Dominick and Roland that two Coucilmen arrived to take Elspeth away, because both the Council and the Herders wanted to speak to her. The three are very suspicious of Elspeth, and want to tie her up and do something about Rushton’s capture. Elspeth however, offers her help to the group.

After much discussion, Elspeth reveals that she has an idea where Rushton has been taken, and recalls the passageway in the Doctor’s office that led outside. Louis thinks that Elspeth will be able to help the group, he wants her to speak to Rushton to find out what he wants them to do. And when he means speak, he is referring to Elspeth’s abilities, which somehow he knew about. Actually he wants her to go to Rushton, and find him, and talk to him in whatever way possible, whilst the rest of them ‘gather people’ to help them.

Louis takes Elspeth as close as possible back to Obernewtyn, so she can find the ‘Western Granite Mountains’ herself, where there should be a cave that Rushton has been taken to. Louis gave her some final warnings about the dangers of her journey, and then left. Elspeth was alone once again.

Elspeth has a difficult journey up ahead, and must try to find a cave in the middle of a snow storm, hoping that she is going to the right place, and Rushton is actually there. Once at the cave she has to try and contact Rushton, and she might not be able to do that with her powers, because she will be close to that machine that caught her before. She has to avoid being caught by Alexi, Madam Vega and Ariel, and who knows what else, maybe the wolves are still out. If she can do all that she has to wait for the others to come, and then they will all try to find Rushton, and overthrow Obernewtyn from Alexi and Madam Vega in some sort of fight. Will she be able to do it, or will something else happen in the last three chapters?

Obernewtyn – Chapter 25

Chapter Twenty-Five

Elspeth has managed to get to the first ‘tunnel’ which is really a secret passageway behind a tapestry, which personally I think is one of the coolest things ever! I love the idea of secret passageways, and hidden rooms! The tunnel itself was covered in probably decades of cobwebs and dust, so hopefully Elspeth isn’t afraid of spiders! Elspeth wonders how Rushton’s mother would have known about the tunnel system, if she apparently was never at Obernewtyn? More questions, that are just going to have to wait. Because the tunnel was pitchblack, Elspeth actually walked into the next door, which was again behind a tapestry. She had to creep out into the open and quickly find the next tapestry, which luckily also had a door behind it, because it would have been all over if there were no more tunnels.

When she was hiding behind the tapestry, she heard a sneeze. She thought she was just about to be caught, when she heard a thought, whose owner was Sharna, the dog. He had dreamed that she was in danger, and needed his help, because the dream told him that she must be protected to fulfil her destiny. He like Maruman now calls her Innle, and is going to protect and help her on her journey. Sharna was able to help Elspeth find all the tunnels, some of which were better than others. Inside one of the tunnels, Elspeth heard Alexi, Madam Vega and Ariel all talking about trying to find Elspeth. They want her found alive, and believe that she is the right girl for their plans.

Soon they reached the final tunnel, and it opened to the outside. But the wolves were already at the entrance, waiting for them, having sensed their approach. Sharna tells Elspeth that these are wild wolves that have been maddened by men, and that they can’t think, so Elspeth won’t be able to control them, and that they should wait until they are gone. Elspeth has to go (though would they ever find her if she hid in the tunnel, or would they use the wolves to locate her?) and the drain is only a short distance away.

Sharna however launches into action, and attacks the wolves creating a distraction just long enough for Elspeth to escape. Elspeth was able to get into the drain, and crawled along, Sharna frequently telling her to ‘Go’. Sharna was weakening though, and Elspeth knew that he had sacrificed his life for Elspeth. Elspeth is saddened by Sharna’s death, and thinks that she should have fought the wolves, but she was too cowardly. Though she would have been killed too, and no one would ‘win’, this way she has a chance of survival. It is sad to see Sharna die, but he sacrificed his life for her, and Elspeth had best make it worth it.

Eventually the drain widened and Elspeth was at the farms, though they were covered by thick snow, making the next part of her journey dangerous. Obviously the wolves cannot get to the farms, otherwise this plan would be ruined. The snow made it very difficult for her to find the silo, and she was in danger of getting lost and freezing in the open. But someone was calling out, having heard someone, and was able to direct Elspeth in the direction she needed to go. It did not matter to her, if the person was friend or foe.

The person approached Elspeth, and it was a boy called Dominick, who Elspeth had seen with Rushton on many occasions. He took her to a ‘watch-hut’ and warmed her from her cold experience. Elspeth had frostbite on her feet, and was actually lucky that she didn’t lose a foot from it. Dominick wanted to know why Elspeth was here, and she told him that she ran away. He wants to report her, but the storm prevents him from doing that, so they will have to wait until the storm is over. Elspeth slept, planning to get to the silo Rushton wanted her to go in the morning.

Is there something in the silo, or is it just a place Rushton believes will be safest for her? Is Dominick the boy that was posted to look after the animals, or is that someone else? If he isn’t the boy, why is he out at the farms? There are only four chapters left, so things are heating up!

On another note, I’ve reached a total THOUSAND VIEWS, which is simply amazing! I’d like to thank everyone who has stumbled across my site, and those especially who have commented and subscribed! I really appreciate everything. I hope all of you can continue to join me in the future!