Awoken: The Lucidites, Book One

awoken

By: Sarah Noffke

Narrated By: Elizabeth Klett

GoodReads Summary: Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.

In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.

And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.

Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?

(I received a free audible copy in exchange for an honest review.)

I find it interesting that the beginning of the story drops the reader directly into the story, so much so that it doesn’t feel like the first book. I think I even did a bit of googling to make sure this was the first in the series, that I hadn’t missed something vital. (I hate reading things out of turn.)

After listening to the story from beginning to end, I am thankful that Noffke did not take us through the often overdone mysterious and usually unbelievable origin story. I’m glad we simply learned through reflection Roya’s immediate past. Of course, I still think that opening should throw off most readers, but judging by the majority of the reviews, it simply doesn’t. (Just browsing, I notice there are very few reviews rating lower than three stars.)

I also notice the comparison to The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay and Divergent (Divergent Series). It is only comparable in the sense that we’re seeing many of the same tropes that occur in every other “young adult” novel. So definitely expect that. But don’t expect the drama and bloodshed from Hunger Games. Don’t expect the secondary characters to ostracize the main character until the MC proves herself like Divergent tends to do.

Noffke creates a unique blend of characters. The ones that make up Roya’s team are more understanding and welcoming than most. The characters we are supposed to either hate or write off as “bad” for whatever reason are extreme. For instance, Roya’s “family” is of a kind I’ve never had the displeasure to meet or read of before, (excepting the way Harry Potter’s family treated him.) Goat girl is the extreme kind of entitled bitch we expect to dislike but she takes it to a completely new level.

Sarah Noffke has a unique turn of phrase. Descriptions from setting to character movement and emotion are interesting and keep you listening.

The villain is a nominal character entering the stage at not quite the end making this story’s focus on Roya’s characterization. This story is about Roya learning about herself, about her past, her powers and what is expected of her.

It is not one of those books where the ending is not really an ending but a cliffhanger intended to generate books sales for the sequel. It actually has an ending with the whisper of a promise for future books. (Of course, I say that now, even knowing there are two more books in the Lucidite series.)

There are certain things I look for with female narrators. I’m beginning to think that makes me a little picky, especially since there are tons of audiophiles out there who don’t care who narrates as long as they are good and the production quality is good.

I pick male narrators for nighttime listening. Not that I expect the book to be bad enough to bore me to sleep, but something about a deep voice is calming and sometimes keeps insomnia at bay. (I mean, James Marsters reading the Dresden Files (15 books)….aaahhhhh.)

Female narrators are for daytime. Their voices are of a higher pitch, enough to keep me awake, focused and attentive.

These narrators have to create distinct voices for each character, create believable accents that don’t grate on the nerves like nails on a chalkboard, and for those females, they have to lack that whiny quality most females put into their main character (especially, those poor melancholy teenagers with an overabundance of angst.)

Elizabeth Klett does a good job fulfilling my requirements which makes me wonder why she doesn’t feel right in the role of Roya. I’d be hard pressed to find a better female narrator who fit into my pickiest of standards, but Elizabeth just does not sound like Roya.

Of course, everyone has their opinion and I keep browsing through other reviews to find one like mine (there are none as of yet, if you wanted to know).

As for the series of books…even though I have only read two of Noffke’s dream walking worlds, I would recommend them simply for their considerable entertainment.

Click here to go to Amazon

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