Dawn of Wonder (The Wakening #1)

25451852“It came from the east, from the mountain wilderness of DinEilan. It was like a swelling of the air, a flexing of the ground, as if some enormous power had been hurled into the earth hundreds of miles away…Somewhere, many miles distant, something was stirring, changing…awakening.”

Author: Jonathan Renshaw
Category: High Fantasy
Pages: 712
Publication Date: May 1st, 2015

Aedan is a young boy that lives in a small, quiet village pretty much in the middle of nowhere. He is kind of a genius and brilliant at tracking and survival situations. Tragedy strikes his village leading to the loss of someone that Aedan is very close to and he and his family are forced to leave the village to find a new home.

The first part of the book was easily my favorite part. This part that laid down the overall plot for the series had the most cohesive and the least episodic plot was the most enjoyable for me and really hooked me in. Honestly, this section is pretty much what carried the rest of the book for me.

The rest was okay. If you read it like different sections are separate “episodes” of a TV series, it is really good. The plot, while simple, is spread out and can move rather slowly at times. Trying to read this book as a single, cohesive plot would probably lead to frustration because it does meander around so much. Thinking of it like the first season of a TV series makes it more enjoyable.

I think a lot of this meandering around was meant help with laying groundwork for world building but it was insanely overdone. There were so many sections that either didn’t need to be there at all or could have been cut down to be more concise and readable.

There were pages and pages of whole passages that were about things like horse care. Kind of cool to know about but ultimately not important to the story. There was a whole section about a potential love interest that really went no where other than to conclude that the love interest was a total brat.

Things like this really only served to bog down the story overall and it kind of took away from the better parts. When there was some action going on, it was good. I really enjoyed seeing Aedan’s genius and mischievousness at work

One theme that this book kind of explored that I did really like was physical abuse and how the victim is effected even after the abuse has stopped. I really didn’t expect that going into this story but really enjoyed that aspect of it and how it explored that recovery from being abused is a long road and is not something you magically get better from as soon as the abuse stops.

Although the ending was a tad predictable, it does leave me hopeful that the next installment will be more like the first part of the book and stick to main story line rather than kinda going all over the place.

I can easily recommend this to fans of high fantasy that enjoy or are at least okay with long books that take their time getting to where they are going.


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