4 out of 4 stars
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The Awakening by Suzanne Boisvert is an action novel about aliens who were reborn as humans. It follows three main characters: Lanie, a washed-up pop star, Suki, her therapist, and James, a conspiracy theory investigator. This cast must search for three discs that will fully unlock their powers and protect the Earth from attack by aliens as dramatic events shake humanity to its core.
The book is certainly more plot-based than character-based, though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The characters are still distinct and memorable, just don't expect dramatic and sweeping character arcs, as this would certainly bog down the narrative. There's a lot going on, and any more might make the book feel cluttered. Despite the heavy action and numerous plot threads, though, the story remains focused on the three main players' journeys and how they intersect. It reminded me in a lot of ways of a more fleshed-out action movie, complete with car chases, explosions, and kidnappings.
The author's prose only serves to emphasize this impression. It isn't beautifully poetic; it's clean and precise, with no overly flowery language or esoteric word choice, and the dialogue flows naturally. Each character's point of view is unique, providing an amount of depth that most thriller novels don't manage to capture, without feeling forced or distracting. It's also impressively well-edited, with only a single (admittedly nitpicky) typo in the entire book.
It didn't bother me too much, but the plot of The Awakening does border on over-the-top at several points. Enjoying the book requires readers to use their suspension of disbelief a great deal, and even then, I found myself rolling my eyes when Hitler was shoehorned in. Conspiracy theories are proven valid in the book's storyline, and I can see this turning off potential readers. After I committed to becoming immersed in the book's world, though, this point was fairly moot. It also helps that the characters are very easy to root for, and these points were always uncovered organically, rather than through clunky exposition.
Overall, I rate The Awakening 4 out of 4 stars. The characters and plot are memorable, the writing style is well-executed, and the editing is excellent. The book's messages are also quite positive, a breath of fresh air in the world of overly gritty thriller novels. I highly recommend it to fans of action books and movies who don't mind conspiracy theories and wildly dramatic plot points.
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