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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“The howling wind always marks his arrival. Tonight I’m not sleeping when it shakes the trees and sends debris flying around outside. The recurring nightmare woke me an hour ago. I wipe away the sweat beading my hairline and steal a glance out my window. The figure lurks in the shadows. He’s never any closer than the old oak tree, but that’s near enough. A chill shakes my core. I can’t do this one single night more. Shaking fingers scroll through my phone contacts until I find the right one.”
With its chilling and captivating prologue, Awoken (The Lucidites, Book 1) by Sarah Noffke had me hooked from start to finish. Roya Stark is a Dream Traveler, a Lucidite. When an enemy named Zhuang steals her family’s consciousness, weakening them to eventually kill them like he did to other people, Roya unwillingly joins an ethereal battle where the fate of the world depends on her and her friends’ skill as Lucidites. The premise reminds me of the movie Inception, but with an ingenious spin on the lucid dreaming concept. Alternatively, Roya’s training at the Lucidite Institute, her mixed emotions about battling Zhuang, her relationships with the other candidates, and her feelings towards the senior Lucidites somewhat reminds me of Ender’s Game.
The story pace is fast and the narrative is clear-cut and has a great flow. Roya’s mixed sentiments about her mission, her family, and finding the truth about herself easily evoked my emotions as a reader, even though I didn’t empathize with all her mood swings. Awoken is an exceptional read and a great introduction to the series.