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553 of 598 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
I really like fiction/fantasy books like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Ranger's Apprentice, etc..., and I'm very loyal. The problem I've had in the past was there are too many copied fantasy series too similar to already established series (i.e. coming-of-age boy just finding out he's a wizard, or adventurers with a dwarf and elf, and all these books about vampire or werewolf sex - thanks to the Twilight series I suspect, etc...)

It takes me a while to warm up to a new book, so once I find a series, I stick with it. I downloaded this book to my kindle because it was free - I figured I had nothing to lose, and I'm happy I did. The Awakened is a very well written original story that kept me guessing throughout the entire book. I didn't know who the main protagonist was until I was well into the book, and just when I thought I was jaded to any plot-twist, the twist at the end - it made perfect sense! How could I have missed it!

I don't want to give away the story, all I'm saying is that if you like action packed fiction/ fantasy with a little political intrigue/conspiracy, then you will really like this book.
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117 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
I received The Awakened, Book One, free from Amazon for my Kindle. Thank You. I have not been able to put this book down - the story is new and fresh and exciting. I just purchased Books Two and Three and cannot wait for even more to be written. This author is new and I am very excited about his writing. It seems that so many of my favorite authors have sold out to Hollywood and their writings are never as good any more. It is wonderful to have a new author to read and follow. Keep up the GREAT work!!!!! I love your imagination.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
"The Awakened: Book One" is the first book in a fantasy adventure trilogy by Jason Tesar. This is a Kindle only e-edition and is a 929 Kb download. It was free at the time of this writing at the Amazon Kindle book store.

General theme *SPOILERS*

This story occurs in the Orudan Empire and follows the story of the Lorus family: Adair...husband, father and governor of the city of Bastul; Maeryn...Adair's wife: Kael...their son of about 8 years and finally Saba...Kael's tutor.
After Adair goes missing following some mysterious clues, the governorship is quickly awarded to a cruel man, Lemus, who forces himself on Maeryn and disposes (or so he thinks) of both Kael and Saba. Most of this first book details the hardships of Maeryn, Kael and Saga and their struggle to survive.

END *SPOILERS*

The Pros:
1.) this was a story with a good plot that grabbed your interest and kept you reading. Several twists and turns that opened up new avenues to provide depth and scope to the overall tale.

2.) simply written, in plain language; no need for a dictionary or thesaurus here.

3.) maps...several very good maps, each with an interactive link embedded into the text.

The Cons:
1.) while reading this book I began to notice that some areas seemed to be dragged out...i.e. Kael's training session with Ukiru. These extended areas of 'fill' accompanied by the 'plain language', made skimming of some sections almost a necessity.

2.) although not a Young Adult (YA) book, the tone of the writing had areas that had a definitive YA quality to it.

Conclusion:
I liked this first book. A good story, generally well told.
Would I read the follow-up books...yes.
3 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
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293 of 372 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
So I bought this book unsure of what to expect. I read the book description, thought, OK, not what I usually look for in a book, but I'll try it. Read the reviews (mostly 5 stars) and decided that maybe it's better than I was already starting to think.

I painstakingly managed to get all the way through the book, and am still struggling to figure out why it got such great reviews...

WRITING: The author's writing style isn't really all that great, it's not very engaging, I found that the huge amount of detail is just uninteresting and unnecessary, and that his use of vocabulary is simple and sometimes repetitive (maybe it's just me, but i don't like reading the same word 4 times within 3 sentences).

CHARACTERS: The characters in the story aren't interesting and they all act in a similar predictable manner. They don't set anything into motion and their individual personalities aren't well defined. Basically, they all just sit around and wait for the un-cataclysmic events in this book to happen.

PLOT: The plot of this book was downright boring...I kept waiting for something to happen that would throw everything off balance and create that "and the plot thickens..." moment, but it simply never happened. Mostly, I felt as if i were constantly reading about the character waking up, doing something like eating breakfast or rolling over, and thinking about something uninteresting, and then ghosting through the rest of his/her day. The most interesting pages were probably the last two, when something mildly suspenseful actually happened, and just when the book started to engage me for the first time, it abruptly ended.

In short, this book really was just one big, long, boring intro to the rest of the series. I wouldn't recommend it, and based on the quality of this first book, I probably won't read the 2nd and 3rd installments.
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84 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2011
The first book is pretty good, but it leaves you hanging so that you will want to read the other two, and the second is okay, but the third is pitiful. Too many things were left undone, too much was contrived, and the story eventually just rushed from battle to battle. I had a very hard time getting through the third book, and by the time I was done, I wished I hadn't bothered.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2012
This all the book is. It's a preview before anything good happens. Because trust me, nothing good or interesting happened. I understand world building and I have a really good visual of what this place is like. But that was all. I think that authors are afraid of losing an audience by making things too long. But Terry Brooks has me because, even though its long, we get the full idea of what is going on. I think the author wasted too much time describing and building, only to end the book before anything good or interesting happened. The last few pages were the only ones that I liked. but not enough to continue reading, ever again.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
There is no plot. The characters lack any personality. The story rambles without ever going anywhere. The climax happens in the first few chapters, and from that point on the book doesn't have a clue what direction to take. By the end of the book, I was using it instead a sleeping pill at night. 5 minutes of reading this garbage, and I was out like a light!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
This is, in a way, two books, as the first 40% is told from the perspective of one character, and the rest is from the perspective of three characters related to the first, now getting their own point of view sections. The first "book" is pretty bad. The main character of this "book" gets set in motion in a very unconvincing manner, and runs into some trouble. After a "cliff-hanger" WE DO NOT HEAR FROM THIS CHARACTER AGAIN throughout the entire book. The main character's story from the first book's story lasts ONE WEEK -- the other characters' stories SEVEN YEARS. So it really feels like the first 40% and the last 60% are disconnected, two separate books. I'm sure they will be linked up in later books, but I have just never seen things left so disconnected before. There is probably a reason for it (some difference in the flow of time perhaps) but reason or not, it makes for a bit of an odd read.

The second half of the book is much better. It doesnt feel quite as contrived, and is more interesting from a fantasy and character building perspective. As with the first part of the book, there is a cliff hanger ending to the second part, but at least things are interesting. By "interesting," I dont mean original -- the basic story has been done many many times, in books and - always a bad sign - in video games. Still, the second half of the book seems to work pretty well despite what appears to be a very familiar plot -- i.e. the author does a decent job building a story so that you dont so much mind that the central plot idea is an old one.

Just to give a few examples of where I felt things were contrived -- not spoilers (or at least not important ones): (1) The city magistrate gives a bar owner/informant a "bag of gold" for helping him think through what might have happened to someone that dissappeared -- a bag of gold for speculation based on publicly known facts, rather than actual intell. As magistrate, he cant get specualtion for free?; (2) In the first part of the book, the magistrate goes off to investigate a murder without telling anyone -- why? Isnt investigating murder part of his job? Given his senior position he didnt realize that there would be consequences if he dissappeared?; (3) why did he even start personally investigating the death of an informant he didnt know well in the first place? He runs a city after all -- dont people get killed regularly in his city?

[Minor Spoiler Alert] I also found it rather jarring that in the first part of the book, the magistrate is described as super-dedicated, devoted to bringing peace and justice to the city and treating all well. In the second part of the book, we learn that the Empire (of which the city is a part) treats women like cattle and slaves like dirt. In some books, this can work -- the fallen important person learns the true nature of the world, for example. Here though, I just found it very jarring because there was no real set-up for the revelation.

I had to up my score from 1 star to 2 stars after finally getting up the energy to read the second half of the book. The first part of the book is a "1" and the second part a "3".
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2012
There is a reason the first volume is free. This series is billed as a trilogy but there is no particular closure to the "conclusion" of books 1 and 2. Instead, the books are more like the ends of chapters, with an obvious "cliffhanger". The series is strung together so loosely that it is difficult to remember characters from previous parts. It is written in a juvenile style that should appeal to same. One of my favorite quotes is " he made a mental note in his mind" What a waste of time this has been.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Curse you Jason Tesar... Curse you and that constantly thinking and plotting and scheming and building and writing, brain of yours.... sob.... I.....I.... hiccup.... must read the second book. WAHHHHHHHHH

There are very few books that leave me with the "I MUST READ THE NEXT BOOK" feeling.

You know, most of the time I look forward to the second book.

Sometimes, I might even buy the second book with great anticipation...

"JASON TESAR! I have things to do today!"

I didn't plan on reading the second book ... and yet... How can I not?

This first book is a vast expanse of intertwined "happenings" and in the end... sigh...

As you know, I'm no spoiler. All I can say is. Even if you don't like the book... you are gonna feel like you have to read the second book. And like most books of this nature, I like some parts better then others. ALL parts were well written... and then... then... the book ended! (deep cleansing breath)

nuf said
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