Genre: Urban Fantasy/YA/Coming of Age/World Mythology
“A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery's family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a clairvoyant for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn't think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has an amazing best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital, and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.
When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled, janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities.
After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.”
“Christy Dorrity lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming and is the author of The Geis series for young adults and The Book Blogger's Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she's not reading or writing, she's probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.”
This book exceeded my expectations. This is not just another coming of age story. Ms. Dorrity has woven Celtic myth into this whole family's history with an ancient curse they never had a clue about. The author's passion for Irish dance shines through in the emotion of her words. I was totally swept away into the dance, the history, and the characters of this book.
The story is mainly told through McKayla's eyes interspersed with third person, the transitions are smooth and well placed. The story threads were woven together with thoughtful consideration to the overall plot. The stories are heart wrenching and fascinating. I was blown away when I learned this was Ms. Dorrity's debut novel. I thought the story started off strong but I found myself a little overwhelmed with all the details and was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up. It turned out I didn't have the problem I anticipated thanks to Ms. Dorrity's adept writing style. At about a third of the way in the story takes off and I had trouble putting the book down to sleep. The story comes to a satisfying ending with a nice twist to draw you into the next book. This is going to be an enchanting series.
Added for Reprise Review: Awakening was a nominee in the Fantasy category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran February 15, 2014
I found no significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words