These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Review: Ren: Awakened

Ren: Awakened Ren: Awakened by Brittany Quagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ren: Awakened is a super fun read. As soon as I started reading, I was pulled in. Putting the book down for any extended period of time was extremely difficult. Now that I’m finished, I cannot wait to see what the next book brings. It is safe to say, I’ll certainly be giving book two a read when it comes out.

Despite all the praise I have for the book, it isn’t a perfect read. It’s one of those books that upon finishing you realise there was something missing. Whilst reading the story, you’re addicted; upon finishing, you want that something more that you weren’t quite given. Hence the four star rating.

I’ll start with the good.

As I’ve already stated, this is one super addictive read. From the first page, you’re pulled in by many aspects: interesting characters, mystery, how accessible the book is, the fantasy element, and more. Each page adds a little more, constantly feeding you information whilst allowing more questions to blossom. I could say so much about each of the elements that made the book addictive, but such would leave me writing thousands of words. Such is not what you want, so I’ll limit myself to simply speaking about the characters and the fantasy element. They’re not the only wonderful aspects of the book; they’re simply my favourite parts.

At first, our main character seemed like a bit of a young adult novel cliché. She’s an outcast. She isn’t understood. She appears to be some kind of special snowflake. Such seems to be the norm for young adult novels, but as our story progresses she slowly develops into something much more. Throughout, you can see the changes in our main character. Not only through her thought processes, but also through her actions. What our main character does at the end of the book would not have been possible without the development that took place throughout the story. Thus, whilst the start may have you thinking she is much like many other young adult leading ladies, keep in mind that as the story progresses it comes to light how individual she truly is.

It’s not simply the main character who is wonderful, though. Our side characters are a lot of fun, too. We have a rather small cast in this, with each side character adding something important to the story. You’ll have some questions about the characters at first, but as we progress things slowly develop and we start to understand them better. They really are a lot of fun.

Then there is the fantasy element, which is really enjoyable. It’s something unique, a different twist to what we so often see in this genre. I really don’t want to say too much, but know the fantasy will really pull you in. It takes a while for things to be explain, and you still have many questions by the end of the story, but it really is a wonderful tale. I really cannot wait to find out more about the fantasy aspect of the world: there is so much I cannot wait to find out.

Then there’s the things that I realised were lacking, upon finishing.

The first is action. Whilst things are constantly progressing, I feel as though there wasn’t as much action as there could have been. There were a number of scenes where big things happened, but I didn’t feel as though they were as heart stopping as they should have been. These were over rather quickly, and we didn’t get quite the emotional reaction as we could have. In short, I wanted a little bit more by way of action. When I was reading the story, I was interested as things were constantly moving; yet when I finished I realised that at no point did I experience the high point that most books seem to have. We came close at the end of the book, yet it wasn’t quite at the level it should have been.

My second is how the book seemed to take too many of the young adult tropes and rolled them into one tale. Whilst I have no qualms with authors using these things – they’re used so often for a reason – I do feel as too many were thrown into this one, with some seeming unnecessary. Namely, the love triangle that made an attempt at formation. It felt unnecessary, a bit too much. Perhaps if it had developed later in the series I would have been happy, yet it felt like too many non-central aspects of the storyline were brought together too soon.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful read. It was a great introduction to the series, and it’s certainly left me wanting to read more, yet it wasn’t quite what it could have been. It was little things here and there, things that I realised were lacking upon finishing, but such leaves me with the belief that the next book will be wonderful.

As a final note, I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read this in exchange for a review.

View all my reviews

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