Fragments of the Gods, Book One

Anaya Awakens

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
334 Pages
Reviewed on 01/16/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite

Fragments of the Gods: Anaya Awakens by JCR Paulino takes readers on a captivating journey across two continents in a fantasy world, intertwining the fates of four compelling characters. After surviving a devastating illness, Anaya, a six-year-old girl, discovers her extraordinary powers. This mysterious illness claims the lives of all children under seven, turning Anaya's world upside down. She was left as the only survivor. As she develops supernatural abilities, the once-peaceful village turns against her, accusing her mother of witchcraft. The young girl fled into the harsh Kasmanian forest after a violent attack. Meanwhile, Rayla, a high-ranking officer in the Kingdom of Kasmana, is introduced to readers. She becomes embroiled in a mission to stop a military coup while safeguarding Anaya from those who seek to exploit her abilities for their dark purposes. Kendar, who has kept his powers hidden for over ten years, embarks on a journey to Kasmana from a different continent. He wants to take Anaya's powers for himself. Danny, a rookie ranger from the hidden kingdom of Newisbel, must undertake a hazardous mission to recover Anaya before her powers put the world in danger.

JCR Paulino expertly intertwines several storylines in Fragments of the Gods: Anaya Awakens, unveiling a fantastical world yet one that is strangely familiar. The accessible writing style and easy-to-follow narrative structure ensure that readers are fully immersed in this gripping tale. The author's descriptions of the fantasy world are vivid and rich, offering a glimpse into diverse cultures, societies, and people that inhabit these vastly different realms. The range of unique personalities and abilities displayed by the characters is a testament to the author's ability to tell complex stories and weave together intricate dynamics in an accessible way. An enthralling blend of high fantasy and science fiction, this book will immerse readers in a world filled with adventure, mystery, and supernatural powers.

Rabia Tanveer

Anaya Awakens is the first book in the Fragments of the Gods series by JCR Paulino. Six-year-old Anaya was different from the other children her age in her village. The remote and resolute village in the heart of the Kasmanian mountains was plagued by an illness that killed all children under seven but Anaya. That made her a target of rage by the villagers, and before she knew it, her family was dead, and she was left to fend for herself in the Kasmanian forest. Little did she know, she wasn’t the only one with similar powers (and situation), and some people wanted her powers for themselves. Lucky for her, Rayla was looking for Anaya and trying to save her. As a high-ranking official of the Kasmana Kingdom, Rayla had the information and the resources to protect Anaya and keep her away from people who wanted to use her powers for the worse. But was she strong enough to do that?

A high-paced epic fantasy, Anaya Awakens: Fragments of the Gods, was precisely what I needed to kickstart my week and end it on a high note. The story opened with a bang. I love it when a novel starts with action, and the action then carries on until the end. You rarely find a protagonist like Anaya anymore. She was six years old yet commanded the story. I loved how she took hold of the situation she was thrust into. I loved Rayla as well. She was determined to help Anaya before she fell into the wrong hands, and she worked hard for it. Kendar was a character I loved to hate. His situation was similar to Anaya's, but instead of retaining his innocence, he chose to go down the dark path and let the powers consume his heart and mind. However, the true unsung hero of the story was Danny. Wicked smart, reliable, and entertaining, Danny understood what Anaya’s powers could do to the world. The narrative was broken into six episodes, maintaining the action and pace and heightening the sense of adventure. The narrative was fantastic and induced exhilaration. Author JCR Paulino worked his magic and I fell in love with his narrative style all over again.

K.C. Finn

Fragments of the Gods: Anaya Awakens is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and thriller subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author JCR Paulino. In this thrilling novel with plenty of supernatural suspense, warring nations, and high-stakes drama, we are introduced to the peculiar little Anaya when she is the sole survivor of a deadly illness that kills every child in her village except her. As Anaya develops strange powers that other bloody-minded figures want to get their hands on, a ranger from a hidden kingdom holds the key to the little girl’s strange transformation.

Author JCR Paulino offers a fantastic series-opening novel that really packs a punch, taking us to far-flung corners of exotic lands and really setting the scene for this adventure and many more to come. The ensemble of different characters lends itself to the thriller element as you never know who’s about to meet who and which of our heroes and villains will clash next. I personally really enjoyed the craftsmanship put into Kendar and his story, as I found his wicked motivations deeply interesting and his psychology oddly relatable in spite of his deeds. Paulino clearly has a talent for showcasing the best and worst of humanity through this unique fantasy lens, and I also found the descriptive talent for the different cultures, locations, and people to be cinematic and multi-sensory. Overall, Fragments of the Gods: Anaya Awakens is a fascinating work and a striking start to what promises to be a great new fantasy series for one and all.