The Awakening – M. J Hawkins

My favourite genre is fantasy. Humans, elves, dwarves, quests and mysterious happenings… The Awakening is your classic adventure fantasy romp.

Special thanks to the author M.J Hawkins for sending me a free physical copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

What is The Awakening about?

The Awakening is the first book of the Phase of Existence series. The debut novel of M J Hawkins it follows Baiden Lockwood, the one chosen by fate to defeat the evil that grips his homeland of Galvoria.

An alliance of humans and magical races must form if Galvoria is to stand a chance of winning this war, and Baiden must lead.

But there are things about Baiden’s fate that people don’t seem to be telling him…

What I liked about The Awakening?

I enjoyed the classic adventure camaraderie that formed between characters on their quest as they overcame danger. The dynamic between the different magical races was oftentimes amusing.

A fast paced read, there was no dull moments in this book. Plenty of great action that served a purpose in the overall plot of the novel.

Speaking of action..\Hawkins does a great job in particular with the writing of action scenes. Crisp, clear prose with a building sense of urgency throughout. These were my favourite scenes within The Awakening.

As a reader you want to know where the character’s quest will take them, and The Awakening delivers. This is a vital element in an adventure fantasy.

There were some unexpected magical races such as minotaur featured in The Awakening that don’t usually feature as commonly in the fantasy genre. This was refreshing. Even magical races such as elves that commonly feature in fantasy were distinct enough from other fantasy novels.

I was able to enter into and be enchanted by the world of Galvoria.

What I liked least about The Awakening?

Unfortunately there were times when the tone and prose of the novel were inconsistent in their approach.

Rapidly changing from a formal to a casual tone from the same character at unexpectedly meant I struggled at times to fully engage because of confusion.

I found I wanted to know more about how the magic system worked. This is a good thing on one hand because it shows the world was fascinating and drew me in. However, I wasn’t provided the answers I was seeking. Perhaps this will be more fully explained in later novels in the series, we’ll have to wait and see.

At other times, a few things were a little over explained. For example the story of how the characters came together was repeated several times within the novel.

While this isn’t unusual in novels, particularly fantasy, it seems somewhat unnecessary in a novel this length (340 pages).

Hawkins has let me know that the book is due to be revised soon, so I expect that many of these issues will be resolved. So don’t let them stop you checking out what is a great story overall!

My Recommendation

Fantasy fans who are looking for a lighter read, fast pacing with an enjoyable plot line, check this one out.

Final Thoughts

M J Hawkins has self-published The Awakening which I am in awe of. One of my favourite things about starting this blog is the opportunity it has given me to work with authors who I may not have discovered otherwise.

This is Hawkins debut novel, and it’s a great break into the fantasy genre. It’s suitable for younger readers, so if you have a budding fantasy lover aged ten plus in your home consider this one for the whole family.

Let’s chat!

What is your favourite fantasy book? Tell me about it by commenting on this page!

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‘Till next week, happy reading!

Hi! I'm Steph, a freelance writer for hire based in Australia. I'm an avid reader and love all things bookish! My blog is all about the written word.

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