Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My review: Awakening

Awakening is a great new book from Tracy Higley!
Kallie Andreas is a mystery, even to herself.
Seven years ago Kallie woke up in a New York City museum, injured and traumatized.  Alone and unclaimed.
Despite her shattered memories, she's worked her way into a position as assistant curator in that very museum, and now she wants nothing more than to pursue funding for her project - assembling pieces from the ancient Minoans.
But then the blackouts start.  Lost time, stranded in terrifying danger, frantic visions that can't be real.  A threatening phone call may be nothing more than paranoia and madness.  Or perhaps not.  It's time to start seeing her psychiatrist more often. 
When a mysterious philanthropist invites Kallie to scour the black market with him for the most valuable of all Minoan treasures, the key to their lost language, Kallie can't resist.  Dimitri is wealthy, charming, and good-looking, but she's not interested - not in someone who's clearly hiding secrets of his own.
Together, the two embark on a global quest to find the Key, through some of the most exotic and beautiful locations in the world - unraveling clues, pursuing leads, and fighting their increasing attraction to each other.
Meanwhile, Kallie's memories are bleeding through and she's teetering on the verge of a breakthrough, but what devastating truth has she been suppressing?
When a strange woman who clearly knows Kallie's real identity tries to murder her, it's clear that Kallie's past and present worlds are colliding, in a deadly crisis that will finally reveal the truth of her past.
But will the truth leave room for love?
About the author:
Tracy Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since.  She has authored twelve novels, including The Queen's Handmaid and Chasing Babylon.  Tracy is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures.
See her travel journals and more at
(Cover photo from Deeper Shopping.  Description and about the author copied from back cover.)
My review: 4 stars
Unique, compelling storyline!
Awakening is Tracy Higley’s newest book. I confess that I haven’t read any of her works before, so when offered a chance to read this one, I jumped at it. I have to say that I really enjoyed it! 
I was aware that she is known for writing excellent historical novels, so I wasn’t sure how a modern one would be, but I believe she pulled it off wonderfully! The details and descriptions were wonderful; I could vividly picture each location and really enjoyed the history that was woven into them. Kallista Andreas is the main character and being that she is an assistant curator, there was a lot of historical facts and myths involved, which was interesting. I actually found the details a little confusing at first and struggled to get into the story, but after wading through the first couple chapters, I was quickly engrossed and found I didn’t want to put it down.
Kallista “Kallie” Andreas is a very unique main character. She has woken up every day for 7 years unsure of who she is or where she belongs. Her life revolves around the museum where she was found and now works. As she faces the 7-year anniversary of when she was found, she begins to experience blackouts and strange dreams. I fell in love with Kallie almost at once, because she is just so broken, for lack of a better word. She has hidden herself away in her research, blocking out the world and the questions she can’t answer. She is passionate about her research, and has an inner strength that she doesn’t see. When faced with the idea she may be going crazy, I was impressed that she continued to move forward. I loved watching her grow and become who she truly is throughout the story, even without any of the answers she desired.
Dimitri Andreas (no relation) is the hero of this story, though we don’t know as much about him as I would have liked. Despite the fact this book is written in the third person, we never get to see Dimitri’s point of view or know what he is thinking, which was disappointing for me. We do know that he is strong, kind, and a bit of a rogue. After he meets Kallie and learns they share a passion for all things Minoan, he offers her the chance of a lifetime - to travel the Middle East and Europe in search of a key that could unlock their lost language. I did enjoy getting to see him through Kallie’s eyes and falling in love with him right along with her. I loved how kind he was to her and how he continually pushed her out of her comfort zone. I also loved the realness found in him - I had wondered what he might be like, seeing as how he is rich. But he is definitely not stereotypical.

Their romance was sweet, if a little less involved than I had expected. Kallie struggles with knowing nothing of her past and is unwilling to enter a relationship while she is so unsure of her origins or where she belongs. Dimitri pushes her a little bit, but once he understands her reasons, allows her the distance she desires. I thought there might have been a little more romance, since they are traveling to exotic and interesting locations together, but I have to admit that I actually began to enjoy the lack. It allows the reader to focus on Kallie and the mystery there without being distracted by trying to keep up with anything else.
Speaking of keeping up, I had an interesting time remembering what had happened last, every time I had to put the book down. They was just so much going on and something was constantly happening that I had to refresh my memory fairly often. It also helps that for a while there appears to be two storylines happening at once and the reader is left wondering when they will ever connect. I really enjoyed the suspense of it all! Ms. Higley is great at ending a chapter at just the right place that ensures you have to continue reading, otherwise you’ll be completely useless, because you’re trying to guess what will happen next!
I found the spiritual side of the story to be very interesting. A lot of the plot focuses on the characters, Kallie in particular, searching for the truth. She has studied Greek, Egyptian, and Minoan mythology as part of her work at the museum, along with a multitude of other religions and is unsure which is truth and which is simply myth. She is also surrounded by a team that shares very different beliefs. I enjoyed her journey as she attempted to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies. A favorite quote of mine is this, “If there is no Truth, then the search for it is meaningless.” Chloe, page 348
I thought this summed up her search quite well and is also relevant to reality. So many people search for the truth, but give up, accepting the opinion that there isn’t an absolute Truth. In actuality, it simply has to be separated from all of the things that masquerade as truth. I also appreciated the honesty in the ending. We aren’t left with a confession of faith, which may have seemed unrealistic with everything else that was going on and considering the relatively short time span the story covers, but instead the characters continue to ask questions and search for the answers to them.
I believe I already managed to mention the couple complaints I had, so I won’t go over those again. I’ll just end by saying that I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking for more of Tracy’s stories!

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy adventure, mystery, and a surprise ending!
I received a copy of this book from the author through The Book Club Network for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thank you for coming by and checking out my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!
If you're interested in looking into the book some more, or perhaps purchasing a copy, here are a couple links to get you started:


Barnes & Noble

I hope you're having a lovely day!

No comments:

Post a Comment