The Dread Witch Chronicles: Awakening by Dreck Sonnier Jr.
Kallista is a 27-year-old antique storeowner who works when she wants thanks to her trusty employee Moira, and her boyfriend who owns the space. Well, things are going great until her boyfriend tells her he’s selling the shop and closing her store, not to mention the fact that he’s going to reconcile with his wife. And to top it all off, a hideous otherworldly creature chases Kallista home and breaks down her door. Fortunately, Kallista loses consciousness as the creature bares its razor-sharp teeth. It is the beginning of the awakening of her powers.
Rhavi is a knight in a covert organization sworn to eliminate all witches and all those who wield magic. She is the best of the best and the leader of her unit until her superior Andrei talks her into using a magical object. Against her better judgment she does use it and loses everything: her honor, her post and she may lose her life.
Solara is an accomplished witch with faithful followers. She is on a quest to obtain the scrolls that will take her to Avalon, a realm of pure magic. Her quest pits her against the knights and eventually Kallista.
The heroine is Kallista. However, the book enters into the minds of multiple characters. We follow Rhavi and Solara for a good length of time. For a heroine Kallista beats herself up way too much and her transformation is slow and minimal. She has low self-esteem and it doesn’t get better when she gains power. Rhavi was just stupid. Sorry, but true. I don’t think it was the writing of her that was stupid because she was a formidable fighter. It was her character and how she behaved and reacted. She had an unshakeable faith in her knights and the organization and its beliefs. It made her do the dumbest things despite solid evidence against it. Solara was supposed to be this badass powerful witch, but she didn’t show much of her “great” powers throughout the book. She left the “heavy lifting” to her minions. We’re just supposed to assume she’s powerful from the way people bow and scrape at her feet.
The story relied on the King Arthur legend and Avalon for set up. But if you’re like me and haven’t read the legends or know much about the characters surrounding King Arthur, some of the story’s significance is lost. But things are not black and white, good versus evil. By the end of the book, one conflict is seemingly resolved while the completion of Solara’s goal is still to be discovered. Looks like a sequel/series.
This book, although exciting, was hard to read. It really seemed like a first draft. Anyway I waded through the grammar and awkward dialogue because a good story with good action was under there. It had a satisfying ending. I just hope that in future books, the author actually reads the manuscript aloud for flow and logic. And don’t read the chapter titles, they give away plot points. I gave Awakening 2 out of 5 stars.
The work has been pulled from multiple sites (as of the posting of this review), I don’t know if anyone will be able to read this work and discuss it with me.
Those were my big issues. For more on my pet peeves about the book, check out my book reviews page.