Hiyo to all who read my blog posts,
Ren Crown: The Awakening blog tour
From March 28 – April 1, 2016
I was asked to join it as a reviewer.
- Rafflecopter giveaway: This includes Amazon Gift Card, Special Edition poster and coloring book and pens!
- Anne Zoelle may be found on her website, Facebook and Twitter. An excerpt can be read on her website.
- All 3 books in the series are on Amazon. The Awakening sells for $0.99 during the tour.
Now to the fun stuff. Let’s review The Awakening.
The Awakening should appeal to people who are into interesting magic systems and worlds. Ren Crown’s world is the one we inhabit (Layer one). A suppression spell has been cast on our layer keeping people from remembering anything to do with real magic. At some point the Magic community had decided to split the mundane world from anything to do with magic. Unauthorized magic is immediately discovered and investigated.
The Awakening begins with a death. Florence (Ren) Cross and her brother Christian are breaking into the garage of the girl Christian is asking for a school dance. Just weeks are left of the school-year. Christian had been acting peculiarly a few weeks. This evening he keeps on rubbing his wrists. Even Ren had been feeling an itch under her skin and feels an urge to create her own paint.
Outside, the weather is acting strangely. As soon as the two leave the garage lightning begins a thunder-less dance. Christian is having cramps and sparks fall off his fingertips.
“A weird wave of electricity surged through my fingers where they touched him. I snatched my hand back, staring at the digits. The charged feeling dissipated within me, but increased in the air around us, swirling and darkening. I tentatively touched his arm again, and the energy shot into me once more. It was like focused euphoria.”
In the magic community Christian and Ren are what the call “ferals”. Ferals are children with innate magic who grow up outside of the influence of the magic world. While they are supposed to be protected by magic laws, having unregistered magic-users available is a dream come true for scruple-less magic users. Christian’s awakening works on them as bees to pollen. These magic-users have the tools to drain all magic from a person, killing them. And so Christian dies and we meet grief.
At this point, Ren is still not aware of her own magic. Her awakening happens a little later, in her classroom under the eyes of their new art-teacher, Mr. Verisetti. What was supposed to be a dangerous yet happy event, is instead one of anger, tears and fear.
Zoelle writes about Ren’s grief in a manner that I think could help those who, themselves, are grieving or affected by the choices of others who are grieving. A consequence of a loved one dying may, sometimes, be that we, intentionally or unintentionally, make stupid and/or dangerous choices. Ren does and is not exempt from their consequences. Nor are her surroundings. Zoelle does not preach or judge. She just shows.
Not everything in the story is about Ren and her sorrow. There are strifes in the magic community that she and we find out about as we go. The magic school has students from all over the wizard community. Without preconceptions about this new world she is entering, not knowing who belongs to which family, the class system (highly stratified community) or what is possible, Ren finds herself stepping across divides that were thought unbreachable.
Without Christian about, Ren discovers that people want to be her friend. She is highly suspicious of some motives, but accepts any person with the same level of nerd/geek as herself.
Until she accomplishes her goal, Ren’s greatest fear is that others discover she is feral. Once her goal is over and done with, Ren wants to get the hell out of an incredibly dangerous place. Who knows. Maybe she will.