Review: Awaken by Ashok Banker

Awaken by Ashok Banker

(A huge thanks to Pan Macmillan India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.)

The Haters are coming to destroy all life on Earth. It is not a question of if, but when.

The Brahmaand has already rung the warning bell and the awakening of the Preservers has begun. Kiara unexpectedly finds her skin covered with golden fur and her sense of smell extraordinarily enhanced; Saumya is suddenly able to go from Ahmedabad to New York in just a step; and Sia’s songs have the power to do things she had never imagined possible.

Kudos for all the diversity in the book! Saumya, Sia and Kiara are three pretty normal Indian girls. They have their own lives, interests, problems, friends and dreams. The author portrays each character so wonderfully and in their own way. I never got confused with the different voices of the character even though we kept alternating between their PoVs.

While one deals with stereotypes, the other deals with a furry problem (quite literally) and yet another deals with being ‘different’ in a society that is narrow minded.

Despite so many kinds of diversity being there, nothing ever feels forced. There is racial and religious diversity along with having a transgender main character. I loved how the the voices of so many diverse groups are captured quite beautifully in this novel.

The premise of the story is so intriguing and I love me some badassery! I enjoyed the way in which the author brought together our lead characters and the story behind it all. Unfortunately, I found the book too short! To me this felt more like a long preface than a full length novel. With Awaken, the author has basically just set the stage and introduced the players. While I’m excited for book 2 already, I wish book 1 had been longer and explored the characters more.

I really enjoyed the fast paced writing but at times the 'pop culture' references became a bit tiring to read again and again. While I enjoyed the descriptions, the dialogue at some points sounded very contrived.

- The Diversity
- The characters
- The plot

- Certain word choices
- The short length of the book

It's an wonderful first book despite being kind of short! Looking forward to knowing more in book 2!

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