As this is my first book review I thought I would explain a little more about why I’m doing it and the criteria I use to choose the books.
I am partly doing book reviews because I want to see what’s out there, and I enjoy reading! But, I am also doing it to open up anyone who comes across this blog to hopefully chance on a new book.
I am only choosing self-published e-books. This is because I am hoping to find new writers with their stories, but also to help encourage writers to self-publish and show everyone who is a bit unsure that there are GOOD self published books out there.
I have read some people’s book review blogs where they shy away from self published books citing things like bad spelling, obvious lack of editing etc, for their reasons. So, my reviews will be honest about every part of the book, but also show that not all self published books are the same. One bad read doesn’t mean they are all like that.
My plan is to review the books honestly, but without a lot of major spoilers so as I don’t ruin the book for whoever wants to buy it. I will provide a link to where I bought it (usually Amazon, as I read on a Kindle) at the bottom of the post.
So, onto the review!
Awakened by Shirley Bourget
The first thing this book does in drop you right into the middle of a scene. I liked that. I get bored very quickly if the action doesn’t start almost immediately so this was perfect. It set up the feeling of the book well and left a mystery so as when we moved on into the less mysterious next chapter and met the main character, I was already excited to learn how the beginning scene would work its way into her life and when she would learn some answers.
Awakened’s heroine comes in the form of Ivy Gillis, a red headed, beauty of Irish descent living in the US. As a character I liked Ivy, she wasn’t too feisty or strong but also wasn‘t weak or wall-flowery, she felt real. The other characters in the book were also very well written and developed. When you are introduced to the new characters I found Shirley Bourget managed to describe them so well I not only understood what they looked like but also the feeling Ivy got of them on first impression.
The book does feature a love triangle (or lust triangle it seems at times!), and I did like the two male love interests, though I did find them sort of similar, but that could have been because we didn’t get to learn or see very much of one compared to the other in this book.
The romance part of the story was written well, I loved some of the ways the author described the couple’s interactions and how it made Ivy feel. At times it was written so well I felt really into the scenes.
There were great moments of reality interspersed within the fantasy side of the story. Also there were awesomely funny parts at unexpected moments to break up some of the more serious sections (keep an eye out for the part with a Leprechaun in the Between! Had me laughing for a good while).
Whilst it is a fantasy book it is set in modern times. Yet the way it was written had me truly believing there was this whole other fantasy world that existed alongside our own that people were just oblivious too. When the fantasy aspects started to pop up I had no problem believing that it could happen.
Awakened is the first book in the Tangled Ivy series and I felt the ending left you wanting more, but wasn’t so much of a cliff hanger that it was frustrating. It was also a good sized book with short but well placed chapters. I’m a fan of shorter chapters because I like to feel I am progressing through the book quickly, so that could just be my biased opinion!
There were some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, I found them pop up more towards the end of the book. Yet there weren’t so many that it spoiled my reading or put me off continuing. It just needs someone with fresh eyes to glance over and correct the minor mistakes.
It is partly set in Ireland, with Irish characters who were, don’t get me wrong, great but it was just that they were written with Irish accents. On the page, I could understand the lilt and strength of the accent but found it very hard to understand what the meaning of some of the words or what the dialogue in general meant at times. Yet, that could have been done on purpose, because at one point it is mentioned that Ivy had a hard time understanding such a strong Irish accent in one character. So maybe that was the point all along, to give the feeling that Ivy was struggling to understand the accent as much as the reader?
Overall, Awakened was a fun and worthwhile read. It set up the next book well, but was in its own right a good stand alone read. The characters were well developed and likeable with great relationships between them all. It was full of magic, passion and fun but also had a great story that flowed well throughout the whole book. There wasn’t a moment when it went off on a weird tangent or felt like there was an unneeded chapter.
I would give it a 3.5 out of 5. Very enjoyable and worth a read.