Monday, August 15, 2016

The Awakening [Book Review]

Today is the day - 'The Awakening' is finally being released for your consumption! (I received an advance copy of this book, back in June, flew through it, and have been waiting ever since to post this review!)

Trust me on this one - just buy this book - you will not be disappointed! It is absolutely phenomenal!

In case you are unfamiliar with the backstory, here is some history:

Back in 2014, I read Pete Kahle​'s debut novel 'The Specimen', and it ended up being my favorite book of that year. Since then, Kahle has entered the publishing field and established 'Bloodshot Books'. Underneath the 'Bloodshot Books' banner, Kahle has a "Second Sight Imprint" where he is currently seeking out authors whose published works have gone out of print and republishing them under 'Bloodshot Books'. Brett McBean's 'The Awakening' (which was originally published in 2012) is the first book to be released under this imprint.

Now that the history lesson has concluded, on with my review:

Genre - "Coming of Age"
Year Published - 2016 (a 2012 reprinting)
Published by Bloodshot Books/Second Sight Imprint
Length - 441 (digital) pages
Written by Brett McBean

Rating: 5+ Skulls

I have to start this review off with a WARNING: Do not attempt to read/start this book until you definitely have some free time on your hands - otherwise, things might not get done! ;-)

Also, if you noticed, I have bypassed the plot summary for this book. (I will post it after the review, for inquiring minds, though I highly suggest skipping it this time around!) The reason for this is that when I read this book, I knew absolutely nothing about it, and I was the better for it.

If you missed my Google+ post yesterday, I posted this quote, "A good book makes you want to live in the story. A great book gives you no choice." This applies perfectly to 'The Awakening' - it is a great book, and you are given no choice but to live it out, consequences and all!

This is a book that allows you to relive your childhood - your early teenage years, where it is the start of summer, being able to camp out with friends, watch late night creature-features, get into mischief, and if you were lucky enough, to also have that "creepy neighbor". . .

This is, by far, the absolute best "coming of age" story that I have read! This is the first book that I have read by McBean (a phenomenal storyteller!), and I can guarantee that it will not be the last. (McBean is an author whose entire library I plan on reading!)

I cannot/will not give anything else away at this point. I will tell you this though - I was amazed to discover that I was already 150 or so pages into this book, when I realized that nothing of significance had even happened, yet the story is still fantastic! It is also, right around this time, that the story takes a climactic turn, time jumps, and shifts gears. All I can say is hold on tight and enjoy the ride!


Oh yeah, I almost forgot, for those of you wanting a plot summary - read at your own risk!

Plot Summary:
For as long as he can remember, fourteen-year-old Toby Fairchild has been afraid of the strange old man living across the street. Along with the rest of the kids in the small midwestern town of Belford, he sees the reclusive Mr. Joseph as the local bogeyman.

Mr. Joseph's life is an unhappy one. The memories of his past fill him with deep sorrow, and the kids of Belford have long been afraid of him, what with his unusual features and awkward gait.

However, when Toby accidentally discovers the remarkable truth about Mr. Joseph, an unlikely friendship develops. Over the course of the summer, Toby will come to know about pain and death; loss and the meaning of freedom, as Mr. Joseph recounts the incredible story of his past back in Haiti.

***I implore you not to read any further, if you want to be surprised - Spoilers Below***

This is a story laced with voodoo spirits, slave plantations, evil sorcerers... and zombis.

Toby will learn that monsters do exist - though not always where you expect to find them.

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