Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Book Review: The Awakening by Nora Roberts

Pages: 448
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: November 24, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Library
Other Books By Author: Jewels of the Sun
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she
possesses a treasure of her own…  When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.  This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny."


Breen Kelly seems like your average twenty-year old living in Philadelphia.  She is a reluctant teacher who struggles to pay her bills. Breen's relationship with her mother is a strange one as she is very domineering. Her mother has made most of the life decisions for Breen and her father is out of the picture.  He has disappeared from Breen's life years ago. Breen has been house sitting for her mother and while at her mother's house, she stumbles across a bank statement for an investment account in Breen's name. It has millions of dollars in it! Why did her mother hide this from her despite the fact that she knew she was a struggling teacher? Breen takes matters into her own hands, takes out some of the money from the account, and quits her job. She travels to Ireland, where her father is from, not only for a vacation, but to learn more about him.  While there in Galway, she ends up going through some type of magical portal where she ends up in the fantasy world of Talamh.  While there, Breen learns about her father and her extended family as well as why her mother kept things a secret. The Awakening by Nora Roberts is an entertaining first book in a new fantasy series.

Breen is initially a bit of a disappointment in The Awakening. She lets her mother boss her around and make her feel guilty. She hasn't really come into her own, but that all changes when she gets a hold of her inheritance, quits the job she never wanted, and travels to Ireland. While there, she learns more about her dad and more about her new family; all of this helps Breen to build confidence and realize that she is so much more than her mother led her to believe. While in this new world of Talamh, she learns about the faerie people, their conflicts, and her possible magical powers.  She also learns more about her father, his role in Talamh and what happened to him.  Will Breen decide to stay in Talamh or return to her world?  All of the eye-opening events make Breen question her destiny and her place in Talamh.

Roberts did a great job bringing Ireland to life in The Awakening; I really felt like I was there. Roberts includes such vivid details of Ireland in all of her books set there; you can really tell how much Ireland means to her.  While I wasn't completely sold her he depictions of the fantasy world of Talamh, I still enjoyed this wild ride to a world where faeries lurk and there's magic around every corner.  However, I do wish Roberts would have developed Talamh a bit more as well as the backstory surrounding it.

I originally thought that since The Awakening was a Nora Roberts novel, it was geared towards adults and might have some adult moments in it, but it was surprisingly tame and would even work for older teens who love enjoy the fantasy genre.  While I was hoping to love this new series a bit more than I did, I will say that it was a decent novel and readers who love a touch of Irish folklore in their fantasies will especially appreciate The Awakening.



  1. Hey. To be honest I've never heard of this and I'm not a really big fan of adult fiction but maybe I'll try it this year. Thanks for the review! Lots of love.

    1. Thanks, Mary! Nora Roberts is a really prolific author, so if this one doesn't appeal to you, she has so many other books she has written that might. Definitely check her out! Thanks for visiting!

  2. I haven't read any of her fantasy novels, but this sounds cool!

    1. It was definitely a cool concept! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  3. I can't tell you how many Nora Roberts books I have in my shelves that I've yet to read. *facepalm* Though, I have not tried any of her fantasy novels. I hear they're good reads. I feel like I will be annoyed with Bree with the way she let her mother treated her. I hope she redeemed herself in the end.

    1. They are really good/light reads and I love that she sets a lot of her stories in Ireland. Thanks for visiting, Joy! I hope you get to read Nora Roberts soon!


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