Review of Amoura Awakened

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Alida Spies
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Review of Amoura Awakened

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[Following is an official review of "Amoura Awakened" by Meg Kramer.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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Amoura’s story unfolds in a world different from the one we know. Witches walk among humans, and some live in the human world. Amoura lives in Portland with her dads, who adopted her as a baby. Their neighbor, Mrs. Mulgarden, is a witch but keeps a low profile. Amoura performs well in school academically, but her social life is disastrous. The star of the school’s soccer team bullies Amoura relentlessly, and not even the teacher can control him. Amoura usually stays calm during these episodes, but when he starts tearing pages out of her journal, she loses control and causes havoc in the classroom. Thus begins her journey as a witch.
“Amoura Awakened” by Meg Kramer introduces us to the world of witches, as experienced at the Elderwood School for the Magically Inclined (ESMI) in San Francisco. Amoura’s best friend, Finn, and his mother, Aleisha, live in San Francisco. Amoura is invited to take the entrance exams at the ESMI and is accepted as a student. She meets Kjell, the mentor to the first years and a very handsome and helpful young man—or is he? She also meets June and Beatriz, who soon become her friends and coven mates. In her quest to uncover and control her connection to magic, Amoura uncovers dark secrets that endanger her life. Who are the Purity Champions in reality, and will Amoura and her friends be safe?

I enjoyed how the author let the characters unfold. As the story progresses, we gradually become acquainted with their insecurities, personalities and fears. I could sympathize with characters who appeared heartless and mean after learning what they endured in the past. I loved the vivid descriptions of the characters' experiences, e.g., when Amoura described a drink she consumed in a restaurant in San Francisco by saying, “It’s like liquid summer dreams!”

The themes of friendship, loyalty, identity and acceptance leave the reader with food for thought. I experienced the witches as normal people with exceptional talents, not a separate species. The author is also a great proponent of human rights and an LGBTQIA ally, as evidenced by her reference to Professor Rei as "they," because the term is gender-neutral.

With this in mind, I found it strange that Meg used the term “queer” concerning Amoura’s dads. My understanding is that gay people find the term offensive, but I could be mistaken. I also wondered why the author introduced a dog at the beginning of the book and then never referred to it again. When Amoura went home from school, their dog would have been ecstatic to see her, but nothing was mentioned. It would have been preferable not to mention a dog at all. I did not enjoy these two aspects.

I discovered some errors in the book, but they did not affect my reading experience. In my opinion, the book was professionally edited.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. The items I did not enjoy are minor and do not warrant removing a star. The book was thrilling, fast-paced, sensitive and action-packed. Young adults will love it.
The book contains profanity and sexual content, and sensitive readers may want to avoid reading it. The Bible strongly condemns witchcraft, but it refers to the supernatural powers obtained from dealing with Satan. This book is definitely not about that kind of witchcraft. The Bible does not condemn fiction. Therefore, I believe the book is suitable for all readers.

Amoura Awakened
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