By: Philippa Ballantine
Publish Date: March 2, 2014
Publisher: Imagine That! Studios
Format: eBook, 307pg
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy Legend
Series: 1st book in The Awakened series
Recommendation: WOW! A legend of magic within those of the first born and a story of mystery to find the one who eludes all.
From the writer of Books of the Order and the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences comes a new historical fantasy about two lovers separated by magic and circumstance. Never alone. Never apart. They are the Awakened, a unique breed of people in a remote corner of the world. Faith is one of these gifted carriers of the Seraphim; and in return of her unconditional love, her Seraphim grants her powers of incredible potential. But not all carriers embrace their blessing. Jack loathes being an Awakened. He never asked for it, his Seraphim keeping him alive even in spite of his desire to die. Not even a great war could rid him of this curse. Now a magician of incredible ability and a walking dead man must find a way to work together to save the Seraphim. Someone covets the power of the Awakened, and will not stop until that power belongs to him.
Sergeant Jack Cunningham sat in the mud at the bottom of the trench and knew for certain his death was a mere five feet away.
Amazon / Barnes & Nobles
**I read this book for my own enjoyment.
Not only does New Zealands residents have to worry about fighting the war over seas for England but also the war in their own lands - the loss of their own protectors, the seraphim and their hosts. Three people are drawn together when what appears as a serial killer first with the many Awakened soldiers that are caught off guard in their home land, thrilled to be home, then takes children, who are first children and could host seraph. Faith goes in search of her missing cousin. Lily has lost her mother, and the name of her seraph before completely awakening. Jack, home from the war where his seraph awakened, struggles with the curse he lives with and the isolation he feels from the loss of his loved ones. All three are drawn together over years as they are drawn for personal reasons to the troubles and murders.
Wow. Philippa Ballantine has awakened a rare legend in the vibrant world of New Zealand. Drawing to the forefront a seraphim and magic, in first generations born into the land, that many Urban Fantasy fans will fall for. A serial killer is on the lose and seraphim and their hosts are not safe. Fresh and traces of old blended together for our enjoyment.
Seraphim are the magic in the oldest child of a New Zealand child. They always want to please their hosts so the temptation of the power they offer is easily accessed, and can be dangerous with feeling the power they have. Many feel the seraph are a curse as usually the hosts don't live to middle age, let alone old. The constant connection driving the host mad. Yet there are many who enjoy having the friend to never feel alone. The seraph awakened by severe pain and trauma to the host.
In the Prelude we meet Jack, three years prior to the story starting, while in the war in Turkey. We witness his awakening and how he has survived when so many are lost. I really like that we are introduced to the magics of being an Awakened from page one. Into the story we meet Lily and witness her awakening, and this is when the mystery takes off.
This story also brings to life the wars fought, for the country and personal. We are set us in a time that many loved ones are lost due to war, personal reasons with those lost at war, and the deadly fever that has spread through the land. So many battles to fight here. These all affect the characters and the world they are living in.
There was a mystery to the magic the seraph gave their host from early on. I was curious of it along with drawn into the lives of Faith, Jack, and Lily and those around them. I found I was hoping and wanting them all to meet up again, loving the time they spend together. There is chemistry between them each time they are together, bringing action and emotions to a heightening. I love them all for different reasons.
There are breaks in the story by years, but each section is a story of what has happened to bring us to a point in each characters lives. They are almost like short stories with arcs and endings, yet we know there is something not finished yet. In the end, we get our answers.
The story is set in New Zealand, an old yet new and exciting world. As much as it's described in all it's glory, it feels like home to me. The legend Philippa draws on is new and exciting. Pip briefly touches on a few dark topics. We are aware of it happening, and pull through it. Amazing talent with words on Pip's behalf for leaving the hints of what's happening without drawing us through the actual events.
I can't wait for more of this world and creation Philippa has brought to life for us.