Awakening is the story of a young girl who goes, or gets carried along more to the point, on a journey of transformation from her identity as a Healer to a wielder of death magic, abandoning just about everything she’s known and believed before.
Colina seeks out a guide in learning the death arts. How she goes about this seems completely arbitrary and illogical – showing up at your local magic shop, asking to see the wizened old guy who runs the place, and when he is unavailable, settling for the next best thing – a young man of unknown talents. Luke takes her through a series of rituals, each stranger and less rational than the preceding one.
While I found this an interesting book, I felt like there are many clunky elements that seemed rushed. Luke goes from “Nope nope nope, not going to train you” to “Sure yeah, I’ll strangle you to enhance your powers” with the swift wave of his ‘magic wand’ (if you know what I mean). The speed at which the relationship between Colina and Luke feels like it happens way too quickly. She finds her way into his arms only a few short chapters after she finds her way into his shop, and although it is unresolved for the purposes of tension for most of the novel, I just didn’t buy it.
I felt like there was a serious lack of world building going on. On the one hand I felt like it was set in modern times, with references to cars, and hospitals and other modern conveniences, but I didn’t get the logic of how magic, and magic users fit into this larger world. On the other hand, the magic itself seemed relatively simple, and reasonably consistent.
In saying all of that, I did actually enjoy the novel, and I think it’s a solid beginning.
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.