The Water of Awakening (Eternal Dream) Paperback – June 22, 2017
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- Publisher : Independently published (June 22, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 378 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1521563373
- ISBN-13 : 978-1521563373
- Item Weight : 1.22 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.95 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,538,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It is rare for me to write a review of a book I have not completed but I am only 30% into this one and feel compelled to tell people that they should read this book.
The story flows well and I am really enjoying the style. The standard creatures of fantasy are present - orcs, trolls, elves - and there are other creatures about whom we know much less to include speaking ravens and seer-like witches called volvas.
Somewhat jarring is that the individuals the protagonist, Helga, meets tend not to be malevolent, at least not in the main. People, elves, and orcs are helpful even moral. Helga herself relies on the kindness of strangers since her forestry and combat skills are subpar, at least at the outset of her adventure.
There are some editing errors. They do not detract from the story. At the price, for those minor issues, no complaints.
I am now 60% in and am really enjoying the story more. Stewart has dipped into Norse mythology to create and, I think, explain the supernatural in this world. Some interesting things have happened. Helga has been trapped in a place that passes through worlds as time does. She has also been throughly demoralized and betrayed. All bracing.
Small editing problems persist. Still, the story and the writing style are worth the money and time to read this book.
In fact, let me draw a quick comparison with The 'Kingkiller Chronicles.' In 'Water' Helga's love for her ailing husband is clear and palpable when described by Stewart. In 'Kingkiller' the protagonists' love for his muse is vacuous, shallow, and unrequited - she is a prostitute! In 'Water' Helga is lucky, escaping faerie lands with help and luck. In 'Kingkiller' the protagonist beds a faerie who kills men with pleasure or keeps them as play things. The protagonist, uniquely, survives the lusty throes then again, uniquely, outsmarts the ancient faerie and gets a magic cloak to boot!
I like 'Water' much more, much more reasonable.
The conclusion of 'Water' was enjoyable. Tension was built and maintained well, I think. The characters were developed nicely. Overall an enjoyable read which I consumed rapidly.
Of note, people and animals tend to be good and helpful in this tale. Frequently, fantasy works are populated with malevolence - a Dungeons and Dragons approach to fantasy where the only avenue of experience and growth is through killing enemies. Not so in 'Water.' People are helpful, animals are generally helpful, and eternal beings are helpful. The only real enemies are the undead and those creatures seeking to steal human traits from the living.
I'm certain there is an excellent message there.
I’m a casual reader and don’t do it as often as I used to. Listening to David inspired me to pick up reading again so, thank you David for the inspiration and a great stack of books for getting back into it.
There are also a couple of apparent contradictions in the way magic works in the story, and a ton of deus ex machina to save the heroine, who is blindingly stupid and needs all that divine intervention to save her...repeatedly...because she ignores all the excellent advice given to her throughout the book.
One reviewer said it has poor world building, but I have to disagree a lot on this one. The author spends a lot of time explaining in a fairy tale way the world, what magic is, how it roughly works, and so on. Furthermore, this is a Tolkien style modern fairy tale adventure, and as such, it will not be a series of lectures about world history and the mechanics of magic and everything else, fortunately. There's nothing worst in a fiction story than getting lectured for a hundred or more pages, which a lot of writers these days seem to confuse with story telling. The only problem with the world building is that magic's limitations are not at all defined. We know using it is exhausting after a while, and that some people are stronger in it that others, but that's about it. To say that this alone is poor world building is just not true.
Finally, the ending is very unsatisfying and just seems to fall off, as if the author ran out of things to say, or as if he wants to leave it a bit open for a sequel. The homecoming itself is a bit confusing, because we learn all sorts of rather amazing things about Helga and her husband that would have been useful beforehand, as if the author just made this up just right now. It's almost as if the author did not know how we was going to end the book until he got there, and changed around a couple ideas he had previously entertained.
Despite its problems, and its desperate need of editing, the book is actually well written, when it's not a mess. The prose is poetic at times, the author can make a great turn of phrase on occasion when describing the world. If you can forgive editing slip ups (because the editing issues is less about grammatical problems and more about repeated phrases, missing words and a few inconsistencies), and enjoy this style of book, then it's an enjoyable read.