Bestseller Roberts (Shadows in Death) launches a fantasy trilogy with this heartwarming story of a woman finding her true self across parallel worlds. Philadelphia teacher Breen Kelly, 26, has lived under her mother’s thumb ever since her father disappeared more than 15 years ago. So when Breen unexpectedly comes into money, she quits her much-resented job and escapes her mother’s reach by traveling to Ireland. There she stumbles through a portal into a fantasy world, Talamh, where she discovers she is not the disappointing mouse she’s always believed herself to be, and that she may be the key to winning a forthcoming war between the faerie people of Talamh and an evil god. After learning the secret history of her family, including the truth of what happened to her father, Breen must decide whether to return to her world or stay in Talamh to fulfill her destiny. While Breen is well-shaded and empathetic, the characters around her are thinly sketched. The narrative feels lopsided as Roberts spends more time on Breen’s mundane achievements in Philadelphia and Ireland than her adventures in Talamh, leaving the political plot underdeveloped, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers equal parts frustrated and eager for more. This enjoyable installment has its flaws, but it also promises good things to come. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Bestseller Roberts launches a fantasy trilogy with this heartwarming story of a woman finding her true self across parallel worlds." Publishers Weekly
"This is a captivating novel, difficult to put down." School Library Journal
“If you are ready for one magickal and amazing ride then you have to get your hands on The Awakening. Hold on for dear life because when you open this book you are in for the most freaking amazing fantasy ever!” Fresh Fiction
Wildly popular in every genre, Roberts launches her next fantasy series (after the "Chronicles of the One" trilogy) with Breen Kelly finally realizing that she can no longer wait for the father who abandoned her when she was 12 years old, promising that he would return. Instead, on a trip to Ireland, she steps through a portal to discover that she has magical powers—and a call to battle evil. With a million-copy first printing and a one-day laydown on November 24.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Breen Kelly's mother had always told her she was "average" in every way. So Breen dyed her fiery red hair mousy brown, wore shapeless beige clothing, and unwillingly became a middle school teacher. Looking after her mother's plants while she's away, Breen stumbles upon a financial file indicating that she's a millionaire. After confirming the information, she quits her job and goes to Ireland to find her father, who'd left when she was 12. What Breen discovers there is lifechanging. Although her father has died, Breen finds an extended family, who live in a world called Talamh, accessible through a magical portal. She begins to understand the strange dreams she's always had, and discovers she is part of a line of powerful magical beings. This is a captivating novel, difficult to put down, and teens will identify with Breen's search for her true self. Please note, there are some descriptive (but not graphic) sex scenes in the book. Most characters are Irish, and many of Breen's American friends are Black. VERDICT Recommend to older teens who have enjoyed series like Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness and The Immortals.—Marlyn Beebe, Long Beach P.L., CA