Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles

Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles

By Aubrey Williams

Book Review

Rating: 3/5 or 6/10

*spoiler alert if you haven’t read Book One

Him, Known as Awakened: Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles continues the story of Daniel and Emma who found out that they were mages in The Knight in Shining Armor (Book One). At the end of Book One, Daniel and Emma lose their powers and are forced to leave Sulex for their own safety. Him, Known as Awakened picks up the story a few months later. Daniel has returned to his childhood home in Earth Realm with his brother Derrick posing as his uncle, and a rumor that Daniel’s sister and parents died in an accident. In reality, Emma is across the country living with her sister Emily who is also posing as Emma’s guardian.

New to Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles is Bert, a school friend of Daniel’s who recently met his father for the first time and lost him all in three weeks due to a car crash. Although Bert comes out of it with minor scrapes, his father is fatally wounded. On his deathbed, Bert’s father reveals to him a family folk tale that foretells of events that will change Bert’s life.

As the story progresses, Bert meets with Daniel and rekindles their friendship, but dark forces from Sulex intervene to try to end Bert’s life because he is the Awakened One as told of in Sulex prophecy. As the Awakened One, he has great but unstable powers which can be used for good or evil. Bert’s inner struggle dominates his character in the book. With Emma’s help, Daniel is able to flee back to Sulex with Bert in tow. In Book One, Daniel was very self-conscious and had not much confidence in himself. Book Two develops him into a leader as he, Emma, and Bert are reunited with many of their friends and some enemies from Book One, all while preparing to face a new threat: Lurion, the Destroyer.

Because Daniel and Emma as The Knight in Shining Armor and the Grand Summoner respectively, defeated the great evil Amethyst (in Book One), they have upset the balance of good and evil in Sulex and lost their powers. Now Daniel, Emma and the rest of their old (and some new) friends must help Bert as the Awakened One, to pass trials so that he can restore the Knight and the Summoner powers. They must also succeed in these trials to receive the prophecy that will aid them in restoring the balance of good and evil and bring Sulex back to peace. But again, it all depends on Bert and if he will give in to the evil side of his powers.

With sequels, it’s the author’s job to help the reader remember all the characters from previous books, especially if it’s been a while since the first book was released. (It has been a year since I read Book One.) The author does allude to Book One a great deal. Although I could have done with a more detailed refresher of the characters, their powers and relationship dynamics, it did not take away from my enjoyment of Book Two.

Book Two of the Sulexian Chronicles moves along quickly, although it seemed a bit choppy and didn’t flow as well as Book One. There are places where I got lost as to what is going on, mostly during pop-up fight scenes. The flow does get better as the plot unfolds, but transitions are a bit weak. Again, there is a huge cast of characters and they have an array of personalities and talents that make them unique. But there are still a lot of them. The author breaks this down somewhat by only having a few characters go on certain missions throughout the book. Still, I forgot about a few characters because we had not heard from them for thirty or so pages.

The imagination and creativity is still pretty cool as it was in Book One. The creatures, the magic, and the history of Sulex and its many gods and goddesses still made me say wow. The trials that Bert had to face were creative as well. We’re shown early on through Bert’s error that his has great power as the Awakened One, but as the plot continues we find that it’s dangerous for him to use this power and instead he must rely on his mage abilities. This was an excellent device because Bert must find inner strength and his own skills and knowledge to accomplish his goals rather than relying on this unstable yet awesome power within him.

The ending, although exciting, just ended for me with minimal work on the part of our heroes. But it was done in such a way as to lead in to Book Three. I was left with some questions about the villain and Bert’s father, but I’m sure they will be answered in the next book.

I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars or 6 out of 10. I received this book as an advanced reader copy.

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