She Awakens – Caitlin Denman

She Awakens – Caitlin Denman

Synopsis

In this Young Adult page turner, Attina finds herself in an unlikely predicament when it’s uncovered the normal, human existence she thought she lived is turned upside down. Finding out she’s half Fae not only confounds her, but in a time where the brutal Fae run the world she is suddenly tasked with bringing the Fae and humans together.

With the help of her trusty, and somewhat snarky steed Raven, Attina sets out on a mission to save the human race from extinction. As she continues on her mission, she discovers powers beyond her wildest dreams.

In a world where it’s tricky to discern who’s good and where the evil really lies, Attina finds herself in one predicament after another, not knowing who to trust except for Raven. As her journey unfolds, her strength and will are tested.

Will she ever be strong enough to bridge the gap between these two worlds?

Review

Attina is a 20-year-old girl who lives in a small town with her father. Her mother passed away when she was born. Also in the village lives James, her lifelong best friend, who is seven years older and “in love” with her. He even constantly tells her that they will eventually getting married.

“Why do you always say you want to marry me?”
At my question, his mouth drops open. “You have no idea, do you?” I purse my lips. “Attina, you are my best friend. We’ve been friends for as long as I can remember. Our families already love each other, and being with you would be as easy as breathing; and just so you know, I plan to be breathing for the rest of my life.”

A few years ago, humans tried to blow up a place known as Shadow Mountain to make a tunnel, ignoring the legends about it. The Fae took advantage of this “provocation” and slaughtered every human who crossed their path. Fortunately and for no apparent reason, they stopped and humans live in peace. However, food is scarce, so Attina and James go hunting every day.

Growing up, all the children in our town were told stories about the Fae. I guess you could call them scary stories. Stories where a Fae drags a fair maiden back to it’s realm and she doesn’t ever return. What a simpler time when fairies were only characters in a story. These stories were even called fairytales. Those were the good old days when the monsters weren’t real; now it seems like they are.

One of these huntings changes their lives completely when they are attacked by a Solis. Basically zombies created by the Faes to destroy their own race. Until this moment Attina believed them a myth, but discovering one and so close to the village was too dangerous. To protect themselves, they all decide to head towards a Sanctuary.

Since they would have to leave the village, Silas, Attina’s father, takes her to one last camp at their usual place. However, his true intention is to reveal the truth to Attina: that her mother was a Fae, and that now the fate of the Fae and humans is in her hands.

Queen Attina?
My parents seriously expect me to kill my grandfather and become a queen? How is such a thing even possible? I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around all of this.

The “camp” was also intended to train Attina in combat, to use a sword, and even her powers once fully manifested (if she had powers).

In the meantime, the Fae king will not rest easy knowing of the existence of a half-Fae, so he sends his best guard to dispose of her, his stepson Allister.

“Well little kitten, you seem to have gotten yourself into a bind. Haven’t you ever heard curiosity killed the cat?”
Before I realize it, words are pouring out of my mouth. “Finish the quote. Satisfaction brought it back.” I don’t know why, but I can’t stop myself from being a smartass to him, even now.

I didn’t really like the beginning of this book, and it was difficult for me to keep going, but it was because James really scares me. When thinking about it, and especially when rereading some quotes, there are moments when it truly seems that James is just a boy in love with his friend, however from the beginning I saw something strange about him that disturbed me deeply. His attitude with Attina, I felt that he was constantly forcing their relationship, and I was concerned that this behavior had not been noticed by the author. Fortunately, it is clear to me now that it was intentional.

“No, Attina. I need to get this off my chest. Today what I said, I didn’t mean it. You are the most capable person I know. I lost my family all those years ago, but as soon as we met you became my new family, whether you know it or not. But you don’t need a man in your life for you to be happy which scares me. The fact that you don’t need me makes me feel useless, like I could disappear, and you wouldn’t notice.”

At first Attina feels similar to Katniss (The Hunger Games). In the sense that they had to hunt to survive, and their skills with the bow were masterful. I suppose they do resemble each other in the sense that they both receive a huge responsibility that they didn’t ask for, but Katniss is less complaining… and less clumsy😅.

There’s no way for me to catch myself and I fall down into the water, straight onto my butt. Being a klutz I’ve learned falling on your face hurts way too much. So over the years I’ve learned how to always fall on my butt. Somehow I get a mouthful of water and I end up chest Deep in freezing cold water. My father appears on the other bank of the creek cackling.
He’s doubled over at the waist, hands on his knees, laughing.

After learning that the fate of the world is on her shoulders, she seems to take it too well, but only until she has to start training and realizes that things will not be easy. Ironically, she seemed to expect everything to play out as if her life were the story of a book🤯. She is immature and innocent, also excessively impulsive, but this is totally understandable by the way she was raised, totally oblivious to the dangers and her true identity. Her life became complicated from one second to the next and she was forced to strengthen herself.

I vaguely realize Raven is saying something to me, but I’m too far away in my own world to hear her. I’m flipping through my memories. Each and every laugh, smile, hug, and support they gave me over the years. How they always protected me above everything else. They can’t be gone. I still need protecting. I wrap my arms around myself while rocking back and forth. I feel like a child trying to soothe themselves, but it’s the only thing that helps.

Once at the camp, I found it very interesting to see Silas train his daughter without the slightest compassion. I suppose this is the best way to train a person, but going from treating your daughter like glass to kicking her butt yourself must be quite shocking 🤣.

“What do you think you’re doing?”
I turn to glance up at him and say, “I’m eating.” He snatches the plate out of my hands and throws the plate and all into the fire pit. “You haven’t earned food yet, your little stunt this morning made sure of that,”
“But Father, I didn’t do it on purpose.” I can feel the tears welling up. Anyone who knows me knows the one way to break me is to deny me food.

Now my favorite characters are definitely the horses, especially Raven. Oak and Raven are Fae horses, so they are faster and stronger than a normal horse, and they also talk…

Apart from the fact that they are actually good characters and are very relevant to the story, I found it very funny to remember myself in the middle of the dialogue that they were horses and try to position them correctly.

“Wait so that thing was a Fae creature? That explains it’s strangeness.”
Both horses turn to peer up at me, which makes blood rush to my cheeks. I backpedal, “Oh I didn’t mean you two
—I just meant—“
Oak turns his head back forward “we know what you meant. It’s okay, most Fae creatures are strange.”

The relationship between Attina and Raven is quite interesting, because they have hated each other all their lives and suddenly they must learn to work together. Their personalities are super strong, so it is impossible for them not to argue, but it’s nice to see how they are able to learn to trust each other.

“How long have I been out?”
“Two and a half days.”
I lose my balance and sidestep “What?”
“Yeah, I was starting to get worried. If you didn’t wake up soon, I was thinking I’d have to buck you off and send you flying,” she says with an ornery wink.
I stick my tongue out at her like the adult I am. For a split second, everything seems like it will be okay, but my heavy heart knows that’s not true. Nothing will ever be okay or the same again.

I enjoyed the book a lot, especially from the moment Allistar appeared. It seemed pretty introductory to me though, so I’m looking forward to part two to get some answers to the thousand questions in my head.

PS: Totally random data, apparently Chile is full of Fae.

“She said when a Fae comes of age there is a power which is released, a power so forceful it makes the ground quake. She said that’s what earthquakes actually are: a Fae coming into their power.”

Bye bye 💕

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