Sunday, December 19, 2021

Review - The Awakening by Nora Roberts

by Nora Roberts
Release Date: November 24, 2020
2020 St. Martin's Press
Kindle Edition; 435 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250272614
ASIN: B082RS9D42
Audiobook: B083LMBNFL
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…
My Thoughts
The Awakening is the first book in a planned trilogy, and while it was a fun and interesting read, I really felt like nothing really happened.  Yes, the main character discovered a lot about herself and her heritage, and definitely grew as a person, but that was really the main focus of the story.  The plot, other than Breen discovering more about herself, was barely non-existent.
Breen Kelly is an anxious twenty something teacher who has to save for every penny she earns due to huge student debt loans.  Growing up without a father has left her struggling to understand the reasons why he left when she was young, and the toxic relationship she has with her mother has given her few answers over the years.  When Breen unexpectedly discovers some information that will help her situation, I like how she takes charge of her life and begins to explore who she really is and who she wants to be. I like how Breen goes from meek schoolteacher to confidant woman as she learns to fight and fend for herself.  It is still unclear as to her mother's motives for treating Breen the way that she did, but I liked the way it was handled in this book.
Breen did have a lot of help along the way, and one of my favourite characters was Marco.  Her best friend is so cool and sweet and I loved it when he made an appearance.  Now, before you go thinking the author has set up a love triangle, no way, as Marco is part of the LGBTQ community and I love the inclusiveness.  He is such an amazing character, to the point where I almost wished he was the main character. 
Then, there is Keegan  Keegan is the leader of the world in which Breen found herself and I think he was supposed to come off as the brooding type, you know the kind who is annoying, but who supposedly has this tender side underneath?  Unfortunately, it didn't work with his character.  He came across as more ruthless, which is fine, as he is protecting his realm, but where I had the issue was his sudden revelation that he adored Breen and loved her.  I was like, what? How did this happen? Nope, didn't work for me at all. I even had to reread the scene to see if I missed something important, but nope. There was simply no chemistry between the two of them so the forced romance felt tropey at best, almost like the author realized she didn't have a sex scene in her book and needed to throw one in.
I did really like the folklore, the magic, and the dragons.  I would have loved more about the dragons.  However, this book could have been shorter as some of the parts did have a tendency to drag and were somewhat repetitive. And really, when it comes down to it, there was no plot other than Breen's character development and her discovery of this other world in which she was born.  There was talk about preparations for war, about war council, but we have no idea what is happening, the politics behind it, the others worlds involved, or anything else political that would be important to know.  But we did get pages and pages of Breen writing her children's book and drinking tea.  I kept waiting for something to happen, but I was doomed in that regard.

The Awakening is one of those books where nothing really happens, but definitely has a lot of potential. I really feel like the author focused too much on fluffy information rather than on information in which a reader would be interested, such as more info on grandpa and Keegan, and the real nitty-gritty stuff  on the political situation, the threats to the realm, the other worlds involved, and why and how. I also wonder if this book would have worked better using different POV as it would have fleshed out the story, and the characters, a lot more.  I will read the next book in this trilogy, but I won't be in a rush to do so.



  1. It doesn't sound like something I would go for. Good review though.