Review ||| Awaken, by Michelle Bryan

What You Need To Know:

Title: Awaken
Author: Michelle Bryan
Number of Pages: 194
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult, Fantasy
Series/Standalone: First Book in the New Bloods Series
Publisher: Smashwords
Publication Date: 22nd July, 2015
Rating: Three Stars

The Plot:
Tara is a teenager in a broken world, searching for answers and a future. The Shift has destroyed the world. All that remains is the harsh and unforgiving sand lands. Food is scarce; water even more so. And Tara has just discovered that she has been lied to her entire life. The world as she knows it does not exist. She is not the ordinary girl she thought herself to be. Instead, she is one of a unique breed known as new Bloods, revered by some and hunted by others. And so Tara must learn how much of a fight she is when she goes on a long and dangerous journey. A journey that will change her destiny and perhaps the world.

My Thoughts:
I was sent this book in exchange of an honest review from Netgalley. And there were some things that I really enjoyed about it and with a bit of work it could be an amazing book.

The plot was interesting but cliche – following a girl who learns she has strange powers just after losing her entire family; it sounds familiar right. But it was made up for it through the rather interesting world that was created. In some ways it reminded me of ‘Mad Max’ with the strange machines that came to Tara’s village and the endless deserts. It does make me curious to know what actually happened in the shift which is something i’m sure will be explained in the rest of the series. The different cultures that we saw were interesting and it is clear that Michelle Bryan has a vivid imagination to be able to create such interesting places.

At the start, despite the cliches, I was drawn into this world and I waited with batted breath to find out what Tara was going to do. And the ending was strong as well, though perhaps a little bit rushed. But at times, everything seemed to be lost in the middle of the book. It kind of makes me think that she created some centrepieces that she knew needed to happen. The mysterious wasteland town, being kidnapped in the mountains, finding Ben. All of these events felt like they were planned out before hand whilst everything that happened around them was just there for the sakes of being there. Dialogue especially was carelessly thrown about when it could have been used to further the plot along.

The characters were … interesting. Okay, they were believable and I did find myself caring for them but there was so little character development for everyone except for Tara. Some of them just seemed to be there to fill out the word count instead of allowing us to get to know them as people. Of course they could be developed later on but I just didn’t feel like I was getting to know them as the plot played out, something that usually occurs in book.

One thing that really irked me was the dialogue. Several authors attempt to show the dialect of the area through the language and for me that can either really expand the world or almost destroy it. In the case of this book, it was the latter. The phrasing was inconsistent and at times Tara would just drop this accent before randomly picking it up again. With a bit of editing this could have been fixed and would have immediately made the book better. Of course this could be a plot point to suggest that she was losing her old self as she began to understand who she actually was but I highly doubt it since it wasn’t addressed.

Overall, this could have been a really good book but there were just a few things that let it down. It wasn’t awful but it still wasn’t brilliant.
Have you read this book? What do you think of it? Let me know.


Book Total of 2017 – 41



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