Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Awakening by Stuart Meczes

Title: The Awakening
Author: Stuart Meczes
Publisher: FeedARead
Published: 2012
ISBN: 978 178176 1977

Rating: 5/5 with merits!

The cover on this is fairly simple showing the two main characters in the book with their uniform and swords ready for battle.  Based on the cover, this is probably not a book that would jump out at me as a potential read from a store shelf…however the saying “never judge a book by its cover” is *very* apt!

Alexander is the boy everyone laughs at and bullies at school.  As a reader I had empathy for him…for his feeling of not being good enough and not feeling like he fits in.  I’m sure this will strike a cord with most teens who read this (and adults alike).  He feels like the odd one out, even at home, where his half brother is better at everything and his step dad is a sports fan, which is of course something Alexander fails completely at.

When Alexander miraculously survives a sever car crash and runs home with spectacular speed, he knows that within the last 24 hours something has changed.  He’s given the chance he’s always wanted to re-invent himself and become the person he’s always wanted to be.

A few times in the storyline I felt revolted by the sudden goryness…like when Alexander wakes from a nightmare and unexpectantly finds his eyes bleeding…not nice ! 

The storyline is fast paced.  I hung off every word like a leech as I was sucked into the storyline.  The Awakening is very well written, and I found it very surprising to find this was the author’s debut book.  I did predict a few of the characters, their motives and the storyline…but the creatures coupled with the in depth and vivid story telling meant that I felt as if I was inside the story.  I can’t choose a favourite character as I have several; Midnight for his dual character, he looks like a thug but if you get to know him he’s got a heart breaking story and is a gentle giant…Gabriella, who has a reason to be where she is, and her relationship with Alexander is totally unexpected, but very right….and lastly Alexander himself, who goes from being essentially a loser, to a reliable guy everyone looks up to and wants to be.

In summary, if I had a higher rating than 5/5 with merits then this would have achieved it, as it far exceeded any other books I’ve read this year to date.  It has everything…coming of age, acceptance of duty, romance (swoon), badass fight scenes, oodles of baddies, betrayal and a great ending in readiness for the second in the series….which I can’t wait for - if it’s anything like The Awakening it will be a hum dinger of a book.

Book synopsis:
The struggle of a socially awkward teenager, as he is thrown into a world of supernatural dangers.

Alexander Eden is unhappy. A geeky, social pariah, he is the victim of perpetual bullying at school. His home life isn't much better with a stepfather who resents him and a half brother who is better than him at everything.

However, that all changes the day the mysterious and beautiful Gabriella De Luca walks into his life. Everyone wants to know her, to be with her. But she is interested in Alex.
Because Alex is different.

Soon after he is thrown into a world he never thought possible. A world where he and others like him are the last line of defence. A world where an ancient unspeakable evil lurks. 
Evil which seeks to consume him.

Chosen we rise, allied we prevail)

Source – Many thanks to Authorite, a copy was received in return for an honest review.

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