This is so weird. Also, not a children book, don’t be fooled by the cover.
Awakenby Lauren Wagner released a week ago in the Speculative Fiction.
Natalia has embraced the choice of her people. She is honored to have been chosen as their human sacrifice and will surrender her life to the Gods. She awaits the call of her people for that final moment, living a life of solitude until it’s time. But then her death is stolen from her—she is kidnapped by her own guards and forced into an eternal slumber.
Hundreds of years later—now—Natalia is woken in a world that’s completely unfamiliar. The archaeological team was not looking for her. They were looking for Estancia, the lost city of gold, and Natalia agrees to guide them.
While they journey through the treacherous jungles of Argentina, Natalia stumbles upon the alarming truth of her past. Her life’s prophecy must be fulfilled to restore balance to her people, but only she can decide whether that balance is worth her death.
I wake to a set of ocean blue eyes filled with disbelief and a smooth, unyielding face. Shock holds his cheeks tight. His lips purse together.
I am dreaming, I tell myself. One more moment and the dreams will subside. I will take another scale and my dreams will diminish. But until then, I remain in a daze. Confused with magic or maybe poisoned with despair, I feel my body move, but only in acute awareness. My muscles scream at me as my toes curl and my fingers stretch. I have a vague memory of moving my head from side to side. My eyes search for the Keeper, in fear he might stop this intrusion, yet I find only stone in a glorious lizard shape that reaches to the far end of the cave. He, as well as his magic, has gone.
The blue eyes belong to a man. Not yet filled to his height, but no longer built like a boy. Strange clothing falls too loose on his frame. His dirty shirt tucks into ripped pants held by a worn leather belt. Grime covers his pale skin. His hair is short and rumpled at the top of his head.
A man drops from the sky next to him and speaks a language not of my own. I listen for my breath. In or out. But in my shocked silence, I feel my heartbeat.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lauren Wagner’s love for reading started as a young adult after discovering her town’s public library. After carrying out piles of books at a time, and re-reading them over and over again, she discovered her love for writing. She writes fantasy and science fiction as well as post-it notes about her future stories. Awaken is her debut novel.
She grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago where she presently resides with her husband and two children. She currently teaches upper elementary students to love and obsess over written works of art.
Can you tell us more about the secondary characters in the story?
These are two of the secondary characters in Awaken I love.
Baily is a single father and lives a life filled with archeological expeditions. He thrives on digging up the past and brings his son along with him for each new adventure. Bailey clings to the ideals of family as well as his career. He brings two graduate students along the way, with an unspoken understanding that they too will help him raise his son. Bailey becomes the father figure to many, especially the young girl pulled from the magical caverns of Argentina. He is patient, calm, understanding, and above all, rational. But war is not rational, and while trying to untangle the futures of Natalia and Quinn, he must trust he taught them how to fend for themselves.
Cyprien, the prince of Iratian, is raised by the King himself. At first glance, he appears selfish, privileged, and even slightly conceited. But the kingdom’s future rests on his shoulders, and the King does not plan to hand over control. The knowledge leaves Cyprien torn. While the King lives a life filled with grudges and searches for revenge, Cyprien is stuck in the middle of a moral battle. He does what he is told but yearns for more. He becomes a prominent player in Natalia’s future, but differently than anticipated.
Lauren Wagner’s author page: https://cinnabarmoth.com/lauren-wagner/
This post is part of a tour. The tour dates can be found here:
- $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC