Written by Edward Lazellari, Awakenings, the first of the Guardians of Aandor series, is written from multiple perspectives as our world and one with more… specialties… collides. Perhaps the best introduction for this novel comes from the book itself:
Cal MacDonnell and Seth Raincrest seem to have nothing in common. Cal’s a happily married New York City cop with a loving family. Seth’s a washed-up photographer who has alienated everyone close to him. However, they both suffer from retrograde amnesia, and nothing has been able to restore the memories.
Now that forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance. Cal and Seth find themselves stalked by otherworldly beings intent on killing them and anyone who gets in their way. With no clue why they’re being hunted, Cal and Seth must accept the aid of a mysterious woman whose efforts to unlock their hidden pasts is their only chance to stay alive. Cal and Seth must fight to recover their true identities – and save two worlds from tyranny and destruction.
That is a great set-up without needing to bring in the spoiler alerts right away. Those will be discussed farther down.
This novel is a truly great blend of high fantasy writing and modern, urban style. Every character that is brought onto the pages has depth, and not shallow we-know-a-few-interests depth, but the depth of character that not a lot of writers can maintain with all of their characters. Everyone in this has a purpose, even if that purpose doesn’t last long.
So, as for the audience, before I sell this any more. I would say this isn’t appropriate for young audiences unless you screen it first and think they can handle it. There are very adult scenes and this is a very graphic novel when it comes to injuries etc. If you like high fantasy, GIVE THIS NOVEL A SHOT. It is set in our world, but, again, just give this a shot. Lazellari will likely surprise you with this book.
Back to the book; the characters are well written, how the different worlds are handled is interesting, as is the number of perspectives that this novel is written from. Now a days there are a number, a good portion, all right, a lot of novels written from multiple perspectives. Some times it works. Some times it doesn’t. This novel it works for very well. Part of it is the fact that, through multiple perspectives and the memory loss, the reader learns about their world in a very natural not-in-your-face way that doesn’t take you out of what is happening in the story. There is no mass back-ground filler that feels awkward and is a trek to finish. For a first novel with mythical mystical magical things, this is a great way to introduce your readers to your world.
Not a huge romance novel, this book does have love and some romance… just not the traditional romance. It is an action lovers kind of romance. Overall, this is a novel of action. Fantasy, some gore, action, lots of fighting, and the kind of quick pace that doesn’t make me annoyed because there is the right amount of description and movement through the novel. Now, the rate of recovery for the characters is a bit unrealistic, however we can over look that considering the level of magic in this book.
Now, this is the first in a series, and the third book, The Blood of Three Kings, will be out at the start of December. So be on the lookout for a few more posts related to this series.
NOW, TIME FOR SPOILERS. SPOILERS BELOW. YE HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The centaur guy who was gone already. Time for me to admit something, I read this book five years ago. And it all felt new until I got to this scene. This scene is one of the truly unique scenes in this novel. Just, it is so stark and so… scary and believable. Horrifyingly believable.
The other thing that I forgot about that does … bother me, not on a writing level, more on a I-don’t-like-this level is the fact that Cal has two loves. And that he won’t leave his wife for the old. Which is good, but also… he clearly remembers his duties. He remembers his family. He remembers her. And, if they didn’t have a child (children), I don’t know if there would be as much of a debate. As this series progresses (being that I don’t remember the second novel) I think that Cat is going to have more and more issues dealing with who Cal really is. Just… just a thought.