Nora Roberts always brings that good shit, especially when magic comes along for the ride. All of my favorite Nora Roberts books/trilogies/series are her fantasy ones, so when I saw The Awakening pop up on the “most requested” list at my local library I joined the ebook holds list at spot 125 and waited patiently like a good girl. Let me tell you that I was rewarded.
Usually with these kinds of books there is a trio of people who pair up one at a time in each book of the trilogy/series. In this series it looks like the eventual pairing up of the MAIN main character Breen Kelly and the taosenaich (leader) of the alternate realm Talamh (in Ireland) Keegan is going to take the whole series. Breen’s gay best friend Marco gets dragged into Talamh at the end of this book, so I can only assume he’ll find someone in Talamh too in the next one.
Nora Roberts really got me with this one. Breen is a twenty-something who is broke, teaching middle school (she hates it!), and drowning in student loan debt. She thrifts all her clothes, shares an apartment with her friend Marco and takes extra shifts at Sally’s, the local drag queen bar (Sally is fantastic btw, a perfect alt mom for Breen). Her actual mother is an absolute douche and Breen believes her father has run off and left them for his home in Ireland. She finds out that her mom has been hiding a trust fund from her, one that her dad set up and is now worth FOUR MILLION DOLLARS??? so she tells her mom to fuck off, quits her job, and jaunts away to Ireland to discover where her father went, relax, and begin to see if she can be a writer. Like are you fucking kidding me with this Nora? My entire dream just out here for everyone to see? RUDE.
But here’s the thing, her father was the prior leader of this alternate realm, and he left them to defend it, as was his duty. Her bloodline is a mix of all the bloodlines including human because of her parentage (you learn them all, I won’t list them here) so she’s destined to do something that is not revealed in this book. It’s a “if you tell her it won’t happen” kind of situation. A real Endgame Dr. Strange move that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how she’s going to solve the problems of Talamh and defeat her grandfather, an actual god named Odran, before he drains her life essence and destroys all the known worlds.
This book couldn’t be more of what the kids say is “extremely my shit” if I had written it myself. A single woman, finding herself and realizing she’s actually stronger than she thinks. A male protagonist that is patient and doesn’t force himself on the female protagonist. Honestly as I was reading this book I thought of A Court of Mist and Fury by Maas because it was just constant empowerment all the time. Empowerment, discovery, and acceptance. Only here Roberts is her usual GOAT self while I am still convinced that Maas may have had something happen in her personal life to have her books descend into the unreadable state that they are today. But I digress.
I highly recommend this book. I’ve been off romance novels for a bit and this was a welcome return. I’m just sad because I have to wait until The Becoming comes out in November to be hold #125 for the ebook. It’s okay though – Nora Roberts is always worth the wait.
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