ARC review: Awakenings by C.E. Sundstrom

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Original Title: Awakenings 

Year Published: 2014

Published by: Carl Sundstrom (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley)

Number of Pages: 368

First Sentence: Monsters!

Goodreads Rating: 2/5

Plot:

“Awakenings” is the first of six science fiction/ fantasy novels in the “Grave Misgivings” series. Hope Is A Waking Dream-Aristotle. In a world too busy for imagination to thrive, Julie Mahoney walks briskly in blissful ignorance. She leads what could be described as a perfect life until the day she accidentally kills a pedestrian in a tragic hit run accident. Little does she know that this freak incident will be the catalyst which leads her to discover a whole new reality. She stumbles onward, down an uncertain road as her life becomes dominated by ghosts, bizarre visions and endless unanswered questions. She soon discovers that there is a darker truth within her ‘waking dreams’ that has been hidden to her blinkered eyes. Unwittingly she is led into a world of danger, confusion and mistrust; a world in which everyone (including herself) begins to question her sanity. As she valiantly tries pull her shattered life together and work it all out, she encounters many dubious characters whose intentions are unclear, though highly questionable. If she is to survive in this brave new world, she must open her heart and mind as she wakes to what her future is destined to be.

My thoughts:

I did not like this book. The premise seemed so promising, and by reading the blurb I got really excited and requested both books, which I know regret because I have to try and read book number 2.

The backstory and the first few chapters concerning Julie are just confusing and for a while I did not even realise it was the Julie we later got to know as a main character. It did not even compute when I went back to read the same chapter after I had the “aha-moment” half way through the book. There is also literally a chapter that makes absolutely no sense. I’m not sure if it was missed in editing, but it happens to a completely random character, and it is never referred back to again during the rest of the book. It is just randomly inserted into the rest of the story and makes no sense (but like I said, it could have been missed in editing).

It is also a very boring story. For about 90% of it, I was just waiting for it to get properly started. Even when things were happening, they were not what I wanted from the story. The blurb made it sound like this action-filled story but honestly, the worst that happened was that she is locked in a mental ward. That’s it.

Was there anything positive? Well, for a story that I did not like, I can still say that it was well written. The language was good and I wish more writers could write similarly. However, that doesn’t really help when the rest was a disaster (in my eyes at least)

Do I recommend it? 

No, not really. Although, it might have been improved and the actual published book makes more sense.

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