Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: Awakened


David John Wellman's "Awakened" is a science-fiction novel based on a rather realistic look at society crumbling from a global disaster. Themes of survival and unique abilities and their philosophical meanings, attributes, and differences are explored.

The Good:
An atypical narrative. The first and second half are both distinct in their objectives, and they transition quite well. Uncommon occurrences and events help differentiate this story from all the others about dystopias/survival/end of the world.
An engaging cast of characters. The way the main characters act and interact is very engaging.
Conflict is built well. Trouble rises in scope as the novel progresses, making the reader worried/interested in what happens to the main characters.
Good world building. The United States after Perses is compelling to read by how probable the series of events are.
Professionally written. Very little errors and mistakes. Rarely is a word written twice or the beginning of a sentence not capitalized. I would say less than one percent of errors throughout the entire novel. There are about two or three I caught, and I am susceptible to them. Good job here.

The Not-so Good:
This world is very uncommon, but it is very David John Wellman. While reading I can see his own interests ride the story. This is also a positive, since this world any other way would be uninteresting. In short bursts I can see DJW overtly make a point on a topic. Nothing egregious and I don't think anyone will be too turned off, but it is there.
The prose can be a little distracting when a chapter opens in an abstract sense, unrelated to the events prior, and slowly transitioning back into the flow. This would feel like a speed bump to me when I'm trying to read what's going to happen next.
The first half is weaker than the second half. When reaching 50% through the novel, there is a clear focus on what is happening and where the story is going to take place. The beginning feels as if there is a lack of focus until the main narrative with the powers is established.
The ends in a satisfying way, but the final conflict happens with a rough transition.

In conclusion, Awakened is a novel that kept me reading from start to finish. A few writing aspects stop me from giving it a full five stars. A fantastic first novel, check it out!