Have you ever looked at your family and thought you were not a part of them? Everything you are and do feels foreign. Do you feel as though you are treated differently and wonder if you just don’t belong in some way?
In Awoken by Sarah Noffke, we follow Roya Stark who is an outcast in her own family. Abused by her parents and threatened by her own brother, she feels the presence of a shadowy manifestation that carries an evil taint. Every night she dreams she is drowning and has strange premonitions. And always there is that burning question offered during her sleep by strangers she does not know. Who is she? Not sure where life is headed she hears a story about herself she finds hard to believe. Yet as the presence of the shadow comes ever closer she takes an offer of protection, knowing that her life is about to change.
The presence of the evil infiltrates at all levels. Her dreaming has prepared her for her true task, and the water is a conduit for her to travel outside her body. The world is in danger and the Lucidites, those who have been whispering to her in dreams, are looking for the one from their prophecies. When she is chosen to be tested she is given very little direction. Only that there is only one that can save the world, and that one is her. Yet when she reaches the compound, she finds it filled with others who are also testing. Confused, she is both angry and aggrieved.
It is written that in a certain place at a certain time, the meeting and fight will take place. To eradicate Zhuang’s presence the Lucidites must be in concurrence on their champion. Yet there is more, and as the training continues she finds and sees what others don’t. Each has a special gift, and hers seems to be clairvoyance. Finally chosen as the leader, the rest become her backups. The gifts together make them strong, but can they truly beat the evil that is even now causing heartache and death in the mundane world? As the day of reckoning comes, she learns more of who she is and why she is chosen. As the discoveries keep coming, she has to channel her hurt and anger and use it where it will do the most good. Can she protect her friends and be the destruction of Zhuang when all others have failed?
Noffke has given us a wonderful story of courage. It is powerful and well thought out once you get past the initial confusion of how Roya initially connects with the Lucidites. The characters are an eclectic mix of trembling and fear, to the bold and humorous, much as teens are everywhere. There is a certain bonding and binding that occurs as you move forward and come to care for the characters.
The Lucidite teachers are either very strict, indecipherable, or just plain mean. Yet each has their own part of the agenda and the necessity of seeing it through. Knowing that they may be sending these students to their death may be a part of what they show themselves to be.
This is a great paranormal adventure for your young adult and would make a great Christmas gift. The young at heart would also find this a notable book for their library. The first book in the series, it will have you searching for more so you can keep up with these characters who have captured your imagination.