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Reviewed by Astrid M. Arzu for Readers' Favorite
Emily Jones is a 12-year-old girl born with the ability to command the water, air, and earth elements. To develop her skills, she is invited to attend the peculiar North Shore Academy. There she meets other kids and teachers with elemental talents, some who seem oddly familiar to her. But Emily endures a frustrating start since she has skills in three elements, not just in one like all the rest at the Academy. People are also a bit frightened of her after the rather impulsive girl uses her powers to right some wrongs she or her friends endure. As an old soul, Emily is also able to get glimpses of her many past lives. This brings new awareness into her current one, especially helping her to understand the romantic relationships she forms at school. But things start to get very dangerous when Emily and the Academy face forces that want to use elemental talents to gain power over others. Will Emily succumb to this, or will she be able to stop it?
Very well written, The Awakening by Anne Williams delivers an extremely engaging, coming of age story of a girl with magical talents. The protagonist, Emily, could be considered a typical pre-teen, except that her life once she enters the Academy is far from normal. On her extraordinary journey, Emily not only starts gaining mastery over her skills but also over her emotions, becoming much wiser. She begins to understand the truth and beauty in the biggest teaching that the Academy offers: that the four elements, as well as everything in the Universe, need to always achieve balance. The pace is good, and the characters in this story have great depth and power to intrigue the reader. This is an extraordinary story that I hope reaches many readers. With such a good book as this first one, the second one in the series is definitely something to look forward to.