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on 13 May 2014
The first two chapters of the book form a sort of prologue to the story, setting the scene and introducing us to characters that come into play later on in the novel. This introduction to the novel works really well, serving to spark questions in the reader’s mind and piquing their curiosity. The history of the planet and the natives is quickly skimmed over in these opening chapters, and is elaborated upon at points throughout the novel. Through this gradual method of unravelling, Cooke lets the history of her world develop in the reader’s imagination, revealing little snippets of the story piece by piece.

The novel’s setting, an unfamiliar planet occupied by inhuman, almost robotic invaders, really appealed to me. Not only was the way in which Cooke portrays the setting particularly masterful – her descriptions allow your mind’s eye to create an almost perfect picture – but the harsh summers and harsher winters made me think of an exaggerated version of our own world. It almost seemed plausible to me that Cooke’s dystopia could be a future version of Earth, a world where the natural environment has been irreversibly damaged to such an extent that people are forced to live in tunnels to escape the searing heat, unable to spend even a short amount of time in the sun, in the heat of the day without fear of burning. Needless to say I was intrigued enough by the book from the onset that I didn’t want to put it down.

There are several central themes running through the novel, the most important of which is love. Love emerges in Cooke’s work in many different ways, but ultimately, there is a love which is central to the Veniche’s existence that the Adveni seem incapable of feeling. The Veniche are described as a very sentimental people – they have a strong allegiance to their kind, their tribes and ultimately their family. Georgianna herself works alongside the Adveni so that she can treat those of her people who are trapped away from the ones they love. Above and beyond this allegiance, is the love the Veniche develop for the one person they choose to ‘join’ themselves with. Being joined is described as something very final, which you can never distance yourself from. The topic is first approached in reference to a relationship between Georgianna’s brother and the man to whom he was joined. Georgianna first learns what it means to love by witnessing the love the two men share.

The Adveni, on the other hand, are clinical in the very sense of the word. Cooke creates an army of invaders akin to the Nazi’s Master Race. The allegiance that the Adveni have to their group goes beyond the heartfelt commitment of the Veniche; they have an ingrained herd mentality, going about their lives in favour of the greater good.

The Adveni mating ritual is an example of survival of the fittest at its most horrifying – a greater force deliberately manipulating breeding patterns to create an indestructible army. Tactics frighteningly similar to those used by the Nazi’s during World War II. The Adveni do not have that one person who they feel they cannot live without; rather, they are matched up with the person best suited to their genetic makeup. For the Adveni, love exists only for the greater collective good.

I found Georgianna to be an incredibly genuine and relatable character. In Georgianna, Cooke has created a fantastically well-rounded vessel to convey her story. The reader learns about the planet, the people, and the struggle almost exclusively through Georgianna, but they also get to know the heroine on a very personal level. In time it becomes apparent just how normal Georgianna is. Despite her situation, her allegiance with the rebels, the things that she does, and even the fact that she is from another world, there is an aspect of her personality that a lot of people can relate to.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cooke’s work. The story has some fantastic plot twists and enough unanswered questions to have me eagerly anticipating the next in the series. Cooke’s writing style is smooth and fluid, maintaining a unity throughout the flow of the story. I am not an enormous Sci-Fi reader, and I can be easily put off by the random and incessant introduction of unnecessarily complicated devices, but I found Cooke to be very accessible. While new terminology is introduced to the reader, it is done so easily, and with explanation, so as to avoid over complication. Dead and Buryd gets a resounding ‘would recommend’ from me.
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on 2 June 2014
This was a great start to a series I will definitely be following as it develops. Chele manages the difficult balancing act of introducing a whole new world and a variety of complex characters at the same time as writing a cracking story with aplomb. A lot of thought has obviously gone into the setting and the technology but this always supports the story and never overwhelms it. I was entirely drawn into Georgianna's world and the tough decisions she has to make about whether to help her friend at great risk to herself. She and all the characters around her feel totally real and I needed to keep turning the pages to find out what happens to them. I seriously enjoyed this book and the only problem is having to wait for the next one!
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on 18 October 2013
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a well-written, interesting story and I was eager to find out what happened at the end. The pace picks up when the story finally gets moving but it didn't for quite some time to the point where I questioned what the story actually was. There was a strong emphasis on backstory and exposition for the first 15% of the book, which I feel could put some readers off. At the beginning, I found it tough to work out who everyone was and to keep up with the different groups; Belsa, Adveni etc. Who they were became clearer to me as the story kicked off.

I feel that some of the description could have been weaved into the main story so that readers get a stronger sense that something is happening much earlier on. However (and it is a big however), if you stick with the story, you will quickly get into it and rush to its cliffhanger conclusion. There was also an interesting relationship between Georgianna and an Adveni soldier, which was only touched upon in the first book in a series, that I hope the author will explore more.

Overall, an excellent debut and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
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on 16 October 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. For a debut novel I am very impressed with this authors writing. It amazes me where ideas come from and how you can be drawn in to a world so different from ones own. When you are reading a book as good as this and you become part of the story it is disappointing to finish and leaves a hole in your life so I am eagerly awaiting book 2 in the Out of Orbit Series.

The characters in this book are so believable I felt like I know them.

I encourage anyone to give this book a try. I am not a fan of sci-fi but this book has made me think that I should give the genre a try.

I wish Chele Cooke all the best with her writing career and cannot wait for her next book to be released.
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on 12 October 2013
I'm devastated that I've finished this book, and all I can do is beg Chele Cooke to hurry up and publish the next one!!!

I'm not going to use this review to tell you about the story line - you need to read it yourself for that but.......

I feel like Georgianna is a friend, I have got to know her so well. Chele Cooke has taken me on a journey, getting to know George, her family, her friends and others who I quite frankly would avoid at all costs. I was on the edge of my seat in places with my heart racing. I would highly recommend this book, whether or not you're interest is sci-fi or not.

Chele Cooke - you are up there with my favourite authors!!
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on 27 August 2014
Chele Cooke’s Dead and Buryd opens with a young boy being told a bedtime story, immediately giving the reader a basic knowledge of the world in which the book is set, without a tedious and drawn-out explanation.

The world is Os-Veruh, it’s people: the Veniche. Ten years prior to the events in Dead and Buryd, the race known as the Adveni returned to reclaim the planet they left many years before - and when I say ‘reclaim’, I mean conquer and enslave - ruling through a combination of fear and superior technology.

One of the Adveni’s tools of the trade is the Lindbury Compound, a huge, sprawling prison complex where those who are perceived to be criminals are incarcerated until they’re sold into slavery, publicly executed, or quite simply, until they die within its walls. To the Veniche, being ‘buryd’ (taken to Lindbury), is a fate worse than death; murderers, rapists, and petty thieves, men and women, all left to their own devices other than a twice-daily roll-call when the Adveni guards come to round up the prisoners and dispose of the latest bodies.

Georgianna Lennox makes for a compelling main character. A spunky female heroine through and through, Gianna is not the sort to roll with the punches and hit back hard, instead her spunkiness comes from her unwavering honesty, and her desire to do what is right, regardless of the consequences. Throughout Dead and Buryd, her hopes and fears are laid bare - making her a character that readers can relate to as the storyline unfolds.

Due to her work as a Medic, Gianna sees parts of Lindbury reserved solely for it’s inmates and the Adveni guards - so when a childhood friend’s lover is taken, Gianna is the obvious person to keep an eye on her… until she disappears.

Rallying a handful of Veniche rebels known as the Belsa to help them, Gianna and her friend Taye send out a covert search party to find the missing woman. Drawing on their combined resources, and aided by information from an unlikely source, the group soon discover that they may well be in over their heads.

When their search uncovers more than they bargained for, and tension between the Veniche and the Adveni builds, Georgianna begins to wonder who she can really trust - even those closest to her heart...

The plot of Dead and Buryd is well thought out and solid, rife with subterfuge, intrigue, and treachery. Chele Cooke has done a magnificent job of creating a compelling tale which builds suspense, but at the same time is able to yank you onto the edge of your seat without warning.

As several storylines collide, Gianna finds herself caught in the middle of an intricate plot against the Adveni. Alone and conflicted, she realises that doing the right thing could be the death of her...

Reviewed for Bit'N Book Promoters
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 October 2013
I don't usually read fantasy, and most of the sci-fi I have read is the classic kind (Jules Verne, H G Wells, Ray Bradbury), but when I was offered a free copy in return for an honest review, the title intrigued me - why the strange spelling of the Buryd? - especially when it would make the book title harder to search for online!

The bleakly haunting cover is a good indication of the nature of this story, set on a blighted, post-apocalyptic planet. A natural disaster affecting the planet's orbit has disrupted its climate, which then ricochets between unbearably hot weather and freezing cold. To survive, its people must shelter during the heat in dark tunnels and shady buildings; during the chill they must migrate in search of warmth. This was a sobering and thought-provoking premise in the light of modern controversy about global warming.

Following the disaster, the planet's people form tribes who work together to survive. One brutal group dominates the rest, throwing into the anarchic Lyndbury penitentiary compound anyone who offends them. This punishment is deemed a fate worse than death, and the "Buryd" of the title is a contraction of Lyndbury.

The opening of the story, with a grandfather relating to his grandson how this situation came about, is a sensitive and effective overture to the novel's themes of loyalty and friendship in adversity. The tale's heroine is Georgianna, a young medic, who is doing all in her power to improve the lives of the downtrodden tribes, including the unfortunate "Buryd" inmates of Lyndbury. Although the setting is as grim as Orwell's "1984",the survival of Georgianna's compassion and her and her friends' humanitarian instincts also make it an uplifting story.

This is the first book in the proposed "Out of Orbit" series and its ending sets up a powerful link to the second instalment, which I look forward to reading.

Why not 5*? Sometimes the flow of the story was interrupted or slowed by slightly laborious writing, primarily when describing people's physical movements. Simple actions such as getting up from sitting down, or reaching out to touch someone, were described in excessive detail, to the point where the narrative almost felt like instructions to a puppeteer. I found this distracting. I also found the use of "ordinary" names (first names and surnames) alongside completely made-up alien names puzzling - why they weren't all either normal names or all alien names. A small, pernicketty point, but that sort of niggle is spell-breaking for this fussy reader who doesn't cope well with unusual names at the best of times.

But overall this is a very good debut novel, creating a convincing fantasy world, from a writer who I am sure will be well-received among fans of modern fantasy and sci-fi. Recommended.
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on 14 October 2013
I love to read and I love a story that completely immerses you in the world of the characters whether that be familiar cities or as in this case alien lands. Chele Cook introduces each character so well you feel you know them instantly and can understand the decisions they make even when you are silently pleading with them to take another road.
With authors all too often becoming lazy and churning out barely concealed fan fiction that has so little originality it is refreshing to find a young author who is treading her own path and creating something truly unique. I am eagerly awaiting the second part to the series and urge everyone to give this a try you won't be disappointed.
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on 29 July 2015
Watch this talented new author!
There are a lot of fantasy books about but not all work as well as this one does.
The world is credible , the science well thought through and most importantly the characters are believable. Often in books of this genre characterisation comes a poor second to plot, but this is certainly not the case in Dead and Buryd, and the story is well plotted.
I will definitely buy the rest of the books in the Out of Orbit series and will follow with interest this rising young star.
Jill Bingham Author of Trio.
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on 8 June 2014
Where to start! I really enjoyed this book, I was actually quite sad when it ended :( So I cannot wait for book 2. From the first chapter I was drawn in. The story flows so well and the characters and places are well thought out and explained, without being overly descriptive. I really felt the emotions and the relationships between the main characters. As well as the fear and hostility between the natives and the invaders.

I loved spending time getting to know Gorge and her family and I only hope that Chele Cooke is almost done with book 2... Please!
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