Monday, February 15, 2016

Reader's Review: "ReAwaken" by Autumn Seigel

Synopsis from Amazon:
Arianna Montgomery has no recollection of her past life when she discovers she has a part to play in the new human race. As much as she tries to fight the cause, it may turn out she has a much bigger role to play than she realized. But can Arianna handle the responsibility that’s been thrust upon her?

The end of the world is near...will they be ready?
My Review: 
There is something to be said for a YA centered around the (often) trope-laden premise of "teens-with-superpowers-saving-the-world".... And even just in the last year, I witnessed it done exceptionally well (Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton) and also very, very badly (Sevara by Damian Wampler)

New author Autumn Seigel throws her hat into the ring, and shows great promise in this debut—though not the rousing triumph I may have been looking for.

The story itself was reasonable enough; it used shades of all the great sci-fi dystopian worlds to create a unique flavor: a group of select members intended to repopulate a dead earth also receive treatment that eliminates emotion and erases memories. The main character, however, gets stronger flashes of memory surges and sensations of feelings. She is destined for greater and deeper things than just preparing to live on this New Earth, so she and a group of other gifted friends plan on escaping the compound where they live to find the answers they need—but the ones who control them are willing to hunt and kill to keep the (not so) long-buried secrets from being exposed...

I can't say any more for fear of spoiling the entire book; therein lay the biggest flaw-that-really-isn't-much-of-a-flaw-really: The book was basic, simple, and succinct. There is something to be said for not over-complicating things so much that one needs to bring one's heroine back from the dead just once, not twice (here's looking at you, Mr. Wampler!), but the idea of "leave your audience wanting more" should not strike such fear that the author ends up "leaving the audience feeling gypped"! 
I did feel a little gypped; I wanted more of what life was like in the facility; things moved too fast, I felt like I wasn't able to get as emotionally invested in the characters as I probably should have been, or at least as much as the other characters were! I felt clueless most of the time; rather than being a participant engaged in the adventure, I was the character in the background watching the events and thinking, "Huh???" I wanted more about the special abilities of the kids instead of just a quick, on-the-run, see-it-in-action summary; most of all I wanted to understand Arianna's feelings for Mark, to know how conflicted she felt over Trey and Earth... But though she described her feelings in the narration, and it may have been stated openly so that I was informed of her feelings... I could never quite relate, myself. And the wrap-up at the end felt a little bit trope-ish... Some revelations were shocking and beautiful but passed so briefly they lacked the full emotional effect.

Not as strong an opening as I would have liked, but a very good start all the same. A solid ****4 STARS**** from the Upstream Writer, and I am looking forward to more from Ms. Seigel!