Sunday, November 07, 2010

REVIEW: "Awakening: Dead Forever Book 1" by William Campbell

Strange dreams of fire and loss, visions of familiar specters appearing from nowhere, blinding headaches that come to cover confusing bits of memory... This is Carl's reality, as he plugs forward in his bland, monotonous life. Until now. With an unexpected event, his life is turned upside down. He's not who he thought he was, and his current life is nothing more than a farce created by a society determined to erase all individuality. As Carl struggles to figure out what is going on, he begins to remember all that he's forgotten. As he regains his memory, he gains power, strength and determination. He's on a mission now, and he will not fail.

Reminiscent of "The Matrix," this is the first book in William Campbell's Dead Forever series. The book is written in first-person, present tense, which may take a bit of adjustment for some readers. With its quirky feel and campy writing style, I found this book to be quite readable. The campy style of writing, which would be out of place in a more epic adventure, suits the story and gives the book a sense of humor. There are many dream sequences in the book, which made for great transitions that helped move the story along. I was almost immediately engaged in the story, excited to find out what would happen next, and eager to uncover the forgotten aspects of Adam's life right along with him.

Although I enjoyed this book overall, there were some parts that I felt dragged a bit more than others. I think the relationship between Maddie and Adam seemed a little awkward, either overdone or underdone, and it made the middle section drag a bit. Their interactions felt a little unbelievable at times, and I feel that that relationship either needed to be expanded upon, or made to be less of a major storyline.  Some of the other developments in the story seemed a bit sudden, as though the readers should be a little more familiar with the characters and the history than they already were. It could be this was intentional, meant to mimic Adam's feeling as he "rediscovered" things he already knew, but some of the rediscoveries seemed to be less believable. As a result, I think certain parts of the story could stand a little "fleshing out."

Altogether, a fun, quick read. Although I'd rate the the writing to be a little less developed, the interesting storyline and the overall readability helps compensate. I'm interested in seeing where the storyline goes in the next installment in this series!

4 /5 stars

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