Tanya Schofield's YA fantasy novel, Awaken: Melody's Song, Book 1, is a very enjoyable book which I believe a broad range of readers will appreciate. I received an Advance Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review.
Melody, a young lady with powers she doesn't understand, is pursued by those who fear her and those who would use her. As she struggles to come to grips with who and what she is, she receives help from a number of people, some of whom develop close relationships with her. As readers, we learn as Melody learns, and we wonder, as she does, where the revelations of magic will carry her. The story starts off quickly and draws the reader in. From there it keeps up a good pace, flowing nicely from one scene to the next. As the story nears the end (of this first book of the series!), the pace picks up and the reader is treated to a heart-rending cliffhanger.
The author did a great job at worldbuilding. It is not easy to set up a new world, especially in a book of this length. Many fantasy novels are much longer. I found the length of the book just right - I wasn't discouraged by the prospect of working my way through a long book (and risking the discovery that, at the end of it, I wouldn't like it and was sorry for the time I invested in it).
While the novel may be classified as YA - and I am long past being in that target audience - I never felt that the story was exclusively a YA story. There is both sex and violence in the story, but not gratuitous sex and violence. They occur in the story in a natural sort of way; sexuality is handled deftly, and details of wounds and death do not go too far. I also appreciated that the author was able to develop characters of both sexes in a natural sort of way.
As a writer myself, I have to admit feeling jealous of this writer's talent.
I enjoyed Awaken quite a bit, and I'm anxious to read the next book in the series. I just hope it's not long before Book 2 comes out ... I hate when I can't remember the story from the previous book in a series!