I was given an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of The Awakening, by Morgan Franklin, in exchange for my thoughts as I read it. (I love beta reading, by the way!) This book is so well written and well edited that it could easily be a book that I had bought on Kindle, not a prepublication draft. This book has religion with angels and demons, but don’t get distracted by the concept of religion. This is a contemporary fantasy of the age-old war of good vs evil, not focused on religion. In fact, the premise of the book is balance and acknowledges that good and evil must coexist. I love this concept. Light cannot exist without the dark and vice versa.
The character development is awesome. Immediately, we experience the personalities and slowly build up their character through a variety of scenes. I love how realistic each character is, not fake or a placeholder in the slightest. As the characters learn about each other, so do we, in a way that is natural and easy to understand. There aren’t any pauses in the story for backstory, it is all artfully woven in. There are some surprises, and a couple twists that add to the emotional load. The only gap I feel, and I’m sure it is intentional, is I want to know more about Nessa’s mom.
This story plays to the heartstrings. The reader is invested in the characters and we want for them to be happily ever after, or at least get a break for a day or two. There is a happy scene with Ethan and Nessa having a break. Without a doubt, my most favorite minor character is Dion, I would love to go to his restaurant! I wouldn’t say their daily challenges are much we can relate to, I mean I have neither supernatural powers, nor the ability to hop on a jet at a whim. The teleporting and telepathy would be so handy though! Despite the extremes in the story, the characters who are sarcastic, scared, spontaneously foolhardy, are extremely easy to relate to.
I absolutely recommend reading this book as soon as you can! Since I was beta reading, I could directly contact the author. As soon as I read the last line, I hopped online to ask Ms. Franklin when Book 2 is coming out. I’m happy to report she is currently working on it. I can’t wait to continue reading the story!