Book Review: Awakened by Moni Boyce

Awakened

A young woman learns about her mother’s magical past from a group of supernaturals who’ve sworn to protect her. She must learn to defend herself against powerful evil and protect her heart from a forbidden love all while being plunged into a new world.

⚠️Not for young readers⚠️

Favorites:

  • I enjoyed the authenticity of the relationships between most of the characters, especially between the family members. As for the primary romantic relationship, it was predictable, but I at least appreciated that Willow and Eli weren’t abusive (Of Poseidon) or rude, brooding and then immediately in inexplicable love strangers (Mermaid’s Song).
  • I also like that the other romantic relationships normalized desire, and much of the sexual relations were muted and meaningful (except for at the end of the book).
  • I really enjoyed the lore and magical creatures. Willow’s background was well-woven into these details. In particular, the fact that Willow was descended from ancient Greeks and Egyptians was an intriguing detail that challenged the all-white Greek pantheon.
  • ⚠️SPOILER⚠️ Willow’s powers and fae blood were intriguing. During the ambush it made more sense that she was able to protect herself a bit despite little training.

Least Favorites:

  • I listened to the audiobook, and while I enjoyed the convenience, I didn’t like the female narrator. I found her news-like tone and cadence distracting.
  • While it might be lack of attention on my part, I was confused by how old Willow was. I believe it was mentioned that she was 17 in the beginning of the book but then I recall mention of her mother having died 26 years ago. Please correct me, if I’m mistaken, but given that there was no real discussion of school but several scenes discussing her job, I imagined her as an adult.
  • I forgot this was a romance until the end which included a painfully long and descriptive sex scene while Willow was poorly healed from being stabbed. For readers who enjoy graphic details, it was well-written.
  • I have no problem with cursing, but the copious swearing during the sex scene was jarring after a sprinkling of cuss words in the rest of the book.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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