Book Review: Awakened

Title: Awakened

Author: Ciara Duggan

Pub. Date: September 7, 2021

Pages: 288

Pub: Parliament House

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️.5


After losing her parents in an accident only she survived, Hannah is desperate for answers. Haunted by the events of that tragic night, she struggles to move on, yearning for some deeper truth about her loss.

But when it comes time to turn a new page and move cross country for college, she vows to leave the past behind. After all, Bellcliff University is a thousand miles away from the ghosts nipping at her heels.

Yet when Hannah accidentally awakens a handsome witch from a hidden cave near campus, she realizes he isn’t the only thing stirring out of slumber. Hannah has roused all magic…including the devil herself.

As if spells, curses, and college jitters weren’t enough, this witch claims to know Hannah from four centuries prior—and their connection is more than casual.

Thrust into a world of sorcery and monsters, Hannah must fight to keep the magic she’d unleashed from claiming a price far too steep for her to pay. 

This will be a short spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and Parliament House for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to really love it. Part of me did, since I threw me back to the kind of YA I read while in high school. It gave me LJ Smith (Vampire Diaries), Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl vibes. But my biggest complaint is that it wasn’t long enough.

While I can appreciate a short book – since the fantasy I tend to read now is super long – 288 pages is really short and it doesn’t give much time for tension and feelings to build. It wasn’t a bad book, but I didn’t really care about what was happening. Too much was happening too quickly for me to feel much of anything.

I have a feeling I would have loved this book if it had been longer, if the MC hadn’t been so quick to accept her “truth” or if the relationship between her and the love interest hadn’t been instantaneous. Yes, I know it’s because of reincarnation – which by the way, is another trope I love – but, like, Hannah was so damn quick to just accept her new lot in life. And I just didn’t enjoy that. Callan seems nice, but again, we don’t really get much, and therefore I don’t really care about him.

I was so looking forward to this book from the minute I saw the first ad for it on my Insta feed. I’m bummed it didn’t live up to my expectations, but I am curious to see what Duggan writes next.

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