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Reviewed by Amy Powers for Readers' Favorite
Dawn Rising is the first book of the Marked series by A.F.E. Smith. Alyssia Gale is an outcast with no memory of anything that happened to her prior to the car accident that killed her parents four years ago. Even her one and only friend deserted her once he found out about her visions – the visions that send her into another dimension to view the world through the eyes of four other people. Oddly enough, she feels closer to these people in her visions than she does to anyone in her real world. Then one day, a window is opened between the two worlds, and Alyssia finds herself on a mission with Fabithe, the tough warrior, to rescue Oriana, the lady of royalty being abused by her new husband. Alyssia knows that in order for her to get back home, she must meet up with Luthan and Toralé to bring the five of them from her visions together. But a darker force knows about Alyssia and what will happen if the five are together, and he will stop at nothing to make sure it doesn't happen.
Right from the beginning, Dawn Rising is a fast-paced, young adult adventure that dives right into the action and doesn't stop until the last page. A.F.E. Smith has managed to put together a tale with at least five different perspectives that weave together through Alyssia's eyes, and I've certainly never encountered another story like it. With so many perspectives, I thought it would be difficult to keep everything straight, but the writing flowed so smoothly that the perspective shifts seemed almost natural. I loved the way the story developed in this manner, as Alyssia discovered more about her own abilities and about the others she was connected to. I can't wait to read more of the Marked series to see what happens to Alyssia and her new friends.