Audiobook, Fantasy

The Awakening by Nora Roberts @MacmillanAudio #BarrieKreinik

The Awakening
Breen Kelly is a middle school language arts teacher in Philadelphia not really living her best life. She’s insecure about herself, reinforced by her mother who constantly confirms she’s just average, and struggles to make ends meet. Despite her lack of confidence, Breen has managed to make some terrific friends, one who is her roommate. During one fortuitous afternoon where she was tending to her mother’s plants while she was away, Breen discovers documents that reveal not only had her father not abandoned her when she was eleven years old but had regularly sent money on her behalf. Hurt and furious at her mother’s duplicity, she decides to visit Ireland, her father’s home, and discovers family and the magical Otherworld of the Fey. She also meets the warrior Keegan O’Broin, the fearless and fierce leader of Talamh in that realm who changes her life.

The world created in this story is fantastical…mermaids, elves, demons, faeries, witches and more. It was a lot for me to absorb and it overwhelmed Breen. Her resistance was believable as she had to slowly evolve in understanding her own true identity as well as accept the weight of her ancestry. It wouldn’t have rung true to the character if she’d suddenly transformed and embraced this new world and all that it means.

While the world building was slow moving, the excitement certainly wasn’t. There are threats everywhere and Breen’s inexperience places her at even greater risk. Her relationship with Keegan brings even more tension as he doesn’t fully trust her but devotes himself to her training…to a fault. I loved everything about this story as it lays the foundation for what’s to come while creating an imaginative world with lots of interesting and intriguing characters. The narrator was absolutely wonderful, managing a host of roles, genders and accents effortlessly and believably. I hope she continues the series as I plan to listen to all of the books. The ending left my own imagination running amok. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Book Info

  • Release Date: November 24, 2020
  • Series: The Dragon Heart Legacy #1
  • Narrator: Barrie Kreinik
  • Audio Length: 15 hours, 27 minutes
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

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(Thanks to Macmillan Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

29 thoughts on “The Awakening by Nora Roberts @MacmillanAudio #BarrieKreinik”

    1. Okay…you know I love audio. But I only listen to fantasy because the narrators generally help me understand the world building better. And, there’s a LOT of Gaelic names and terms here that she handles masterfully. I never even considered reading this one and the narrator surpassed my expectations, especially after the setting moves to Ireland.

      Hope that’s helpful.

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    1. She’s dabbled in the paranormal for awhile but then she visited Ireland and stayed for an extended period. Her writing shifted when she immersed herself in Celtic lore and seemed to get energized. Then she wrote a dystopian series, Chronicles of The One, which was just outstanding. She forewarned her readers that she was evolving as a writer. Even her standalones, all traditionally in the romantic suspense genre, is slowly moving more towards contemporary fiction with romantic elements. I’m loving the transformation. The writing is imaginative and explores the human condition pretty eloquently.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, really? I never knew this of her, so thanks for the background. And for the life of me, I always thought of her as a romance writer. But now? Well, I really need to check out some of her more recent work and stop skipping her in favour of others. Thanks again! 😀

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        1. She started as a category romance writer for Silhouette, gradually writing herself to independence. One of the things I like about Roberts is how she seems to continually grow as a writer. She bravely introduced the In Death series under the pseudonym J. D. Robb in 1995 when women weren’t accepted in the mystery genre. Her true identity wasn’t revealed until about the third or fourth book (or even later) and by that time, the series was a hit. The publisher had only committed to a trilogy. There are now more than 50 books in that series and she has no plans to end it. I wouldn’t read her books under her real name (or any other romance writer) until I got up to date in the series. I had no idea she was this good. I’ve only been reading romance for about ten years now and am pretty picky with my authors.

          In my opinion? That series succeeds because the characters evolve as does the writer. In the meantime, she’s branched out into several sub genres of romance and is now stretching into others outside of the genre. She’ll always have romantic elements but she’s the #1 romance writer in the world and being in charge of her own destiny allows her to work without limits. She left Penguin a few years ago because she felt they were taking her for granted. She’s now with St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan) and they work hard to keep her.

          Do I sound like a fan? You bet. Her work discipline is incredible and she’s earned my respect. Roberts is unilaterally responsible for getting me to read romance.

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