Review: Awakened (The Legends Of Elyndia #1) by Kriston Johnson

I received this book for free from Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Awakened (The Legends Of Elyndia #1) by Kriston JohnsonAwakened by Kriston Johnson
Series: The Legends Of Elyndia #1
Published by Self-Published, Kriston Johnson on April 19th 2013
Pages: 274
Format: eARC
Source: Provided by the publisher

Book Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

Can fighting for the right side be the wrong thing to do?

Draven, the tyrant ruler of Elyndia for the last one thousand years, searches for the one who can fulfill his prophecy.

The Paladins, an elite band of warriors sworn to protect their way of life at all cost, search for the one with the ability to bring their world crumbling down.

An innocent girl, tormented by demons only she can see, lives on the brink of insanity and longs for a life of peace.

When seventeen-year-old Jade Rosenberg reads from an antique book, she has no idea she just read an incantation awaking her inherited power. But when opposing—and equally terrifying—groups invade her home, she learns she is descended from an enchanted realm and a member of a powerful race thought to have been hunted to extinction.

Ripped from her world, Jade is forced to seek refuge from those who want her dead. She is given one of two options and the time has come for her to make a choice: assassinate their sworn enemy…

Or sacrifice her soul.

I originally started reading this book more than a year and a half ago. The plan was to have it read and reviewed by April 1st, 2014, which was the requested review by date for this review copy. The obviously didn’t happen. I started this book about a dozen times and it just never happened for me. Even just now, I basically had to force myself to press on and it still took me more than two weeks to actually read it. I just couldn’t get into it. I can’t explain it. This book is everything that I generally like, but I couldn’t keep interested. For whatever reason, I found it dull and hard to follow. It was well into the third part of the book before I started caring at all. It’s not that the book was bad, it wasn’t, but it was hard for me to like.

The story is good. You are dropped right into the action, which can be hard to follow, but you are just as confused as the main character, Jade, so you really learn what is going on as she does. The world of Elyndia is crafted really well, and you find yourself very interested in the various zones and races of creatures living there. I found it really hard to get a mental map on what the world should look like in my head, but some of that might’ve had to do with the random teleporting that took place. The descriptions of the areas, namely the citadel where they spend the most time, are vivid and easy to picture.

The writing is well done, but often too much information is thrown out at once. This big new world needs explained and foundations laid and so the characters have to explain things to Jade so she can learn about the world. This leads to random explanations at inconvenient times. Things like “Oh, let us explain this very complex thing that will take a lot of time to do while we stand around calmly even though we were just attacked and the villain is a hundred yards away and will kill us all.” It’s like we were supposed to suspend reality and think that the villains would wait for you to understand what was going on while they killed you. Or maybe they were just waiting for their turn to spew their monologue. Manners, I guess they have them?

The characters are well written, and for the most part it feels like their motivations are taken care of properly, but there are so many of them that it’s hard to really keep track of them all. It felt like they were going the way of a love triangle for a good portion of the book, which had me cringing because it would’ve been a really awful one, but it deterred at the last moment and faded away. It took a long time for me to start really caring about them, but I don’t think that would be a general problem most people would face. The climax was written well, but I do feel like a plot point that came out as part of that was a bit too convenient. It could hold more significance in the second novel in the series, but for the current moment I feel like it was a poor mistake, or better yet, a cop out.

This book really was well written and entertaining, so I have no idea why I had such a hard time getting, and staying, into it. I do plan on reading the next in the series, hoping that I can get into it better.


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