Sunday, June 26, 2016

Haven Awakening by Gryffyn Phoenix

Haven Awakening
by Gryffyn Phoenix
Publication Date: July 11th 2014
Publisher: Avalerion Books, Inc.
Source: Author
Find This Book: Haven Awakening
Rating: 5/5

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This novel was set at the perfect pace with a character I could understand and relate to, on top of being told in a great writing style. The plot is about Verity/Very/Lucky Flower who was blinded in an accident at the age of 12. At the age of 16 her parents sign her up for an eye transplant where she doesn’t get normal eyes. Verity acquires magical eyes that see through all of the different dimensions. She can see the paranormal oogey bogeys and the creatures that go bump in the night. Naturally this freaks her out and a girl named Cass (who I thought was really cool at her first impression but slowly devolved into a terrible person) takes Verity to Haven to train her in how to use her eyes. The teens at Haven are all magical/paranormal in some way and use their abilities to fight evil creatures and maintain balance in the world. The only problem is that they need Verity’s eyes to see the monsters. So not only does Verity need to learn how to use her eyes, she needs to learn the lore to identify these creatures, and she needs to survive the fight in order to keep seeing for Haven. However, in these fights Haven’s enemy, a group named Shade, was doing the majority of the Verity-saving. Pretty unsettling if you ask me that this supposedly evil group is doing more of the honorable protecting than her ‘friends’. This kindles a romance between Verity and Haydn, a member of the Shade who wants her to change sides and live at Helm instead of Haven.

I was glued to the pages of this book while reading it. I was so involved that I almost forgot to give my dog is lunch! I can’t remember the last time I’ve read a book in less than 12 hours. Normally I take at least two days because I have to put the book down and do other things. This was not the case with Haven Awakening. Over the course of several months, Verity befriends some of the citizens of Haven which was really cool to read about. So many mythological creatures appeared throughout the book and had such great interactions with Very, it was such an enjoyable read. I was reading about elementals, wraiths, afrits, unicorns, dwarves, nephilim, elves, spiritual energy in trees and rocks, wiccans, the whole shebang and it was awesome. It sort of felt like a mix between Percy Jackson, and The Companions Quartet by Julia Golding (though I never finished the quartet). Both are also great on the mythical creatures’ front and these are my favorite kind of stories. I even learned about some new creatures such as Zoroastrians which seems to be a sort of rock entity, and a Tsiatko which is a sick Native American spirit. Drawing from different cultures only improved the book in my eyes. Diversity and the American melting pot is something too many people are trying to erase and forget about these days.

On top of the magical creatures there’s lessons about friendship, family, trust and betrayal sprinkled in for good measure. Good stuff, good stuff. While the book started off a bit clich├ęd, right on page one was cringe-worthy, just past that was were the good stuff starts and it never stopped. While debating between staying in Haven or switching to Helm’s side, Verity’s friends in Haven were with her the whole way. Even when faced with leaving them, her friends supported her. I was SOOO happy I didn’t have to read a scene about Verity leaving and all of her friends now becoming her enemies just because they were on different ‘sides’. It was also nice to read about our hero returning to their family and trying to make both lives work instead of disappearing and never contacting their family again. That was refreshing. Haven Awakening was perfectly blended and balanced between all of the different themes, romance and action, and the author’s writing style was unique and gratifying. I’ve got Book 2, Helm’s Abomination lined up to read next!

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