Awakening (Commune’s Curse Book 1) by Lucy McLaren

4 stars

The cover of Awakening by Lucy A. McLaren.

This well-written fantasy novel by Lucy McLaren centers on the story of Evelyn, a teen-aged orphan, and Raif and Rose, two young siblings who end up in her care.

One of the things that made this multi-point-of-view book so interesting is the central role that two children play in the story. It’s unusual for young characters to have such complex backstories, and deep relationships and to be portrayed with layered emotions. In most of the fantasy books I’ve read, the children are background characters who are mentioned briefly. It was refreshing to see them have a lead role. 

The pacing was a little slow in this book, especially toward the middle. What it lacked in action, it made up for in strong characters and appealing themes. I love books with strong female characters and sibling relationships, and this book has both. The strong-willed Evelyn was easy to connect with – I couldn’t help but root for her to overcome her inner battle with herself and gain more self-confidence. I also appreciated the found family theme and the bonds that develop between Evelyn, Raif, and Rose. The 14-year-old Raif’s fierce sense of responsibility and protectiveness over his 6-year-old sister made him an appealing character.

The book ends in a way that is both satisfying and leaves you wanting more, setting readers up perfectly for book 2 in the Commune’s Curse series.

Thank you to the author and the Santa Fe Writers Project for providing me with a free e-ARC of the book. The opinions expressed in the story are my own.

Awakening is available on Amazon and a variety of other outlets. Visit McLaren’s website for a full list of places to purchase the book.

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