ARC Review: She Awakens by Caitlin Denman

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?

Title: She Awakens
Author: Caitlin Denman
Series: She Awakens
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Targeted Age Range: YA
Content Warnings: N/A
Rating: ★★★★

The story begins with Silas saving someone’s life. That chapter ending is abrupt and throws us into a glimpse of Attina & James’ life where they’re going on their daily life. Everything goes as planned – till they meet a half-dead human, that looks very similar to a zombie, and from that moment forward things change completely.

What I really enjoyed from the beginning was the fact Attina wanted and dreamed more for her, she doesn’t want to settle, she knows she’s made for more and that’s what she’s looking towards. Her life might be simple but she’s happy with what she has but she dreams big and I liked that. Attina is for sure a flawed character, she’s young and innocent and thinks that everything will work out the way she wants to. I kind of hated her at the beginning because she was whining about every single thing and changed her mind from a to z, one day she knew she can do the tasks she was challenged with and other days she would just give up. However, slowly I started to get her, her life has changed in a blink of an eye, young and innocent and now she has to fight for her people and her future AND fight a king – all that info was dumped on top of her so slowly you get to understand she’s just young and what she’s going through is a self-discovery, a coming of age period.

James on the other hand from the beginning made me feel uncomfortable. He seems very controlling and obsessed with the fact he will marry Attina. He doesn’t seem genuine in love with her, but with the idea of never being alone, which is even more frightening.

The fae horses have to be my fave characters in the book. For some reason in my mind Raven the horse was more like a cow, no idea why, but she legit gave me the sass of a very big and beautiful cow ready to take the world – I couldn’t change her image in my mind no matter how hard I’ve tried, but she is a horse in all her glory and she talks. I loved the scenes when Attina was riding Raven, fast and powerful and they together make such a great team.

The world-building is very post-apocalyptic, is interesting, and gave me some Hunger Games vibes because they were hunting for resources similar to Hunger Games, but the whole world was so different, so beautiful built and so unique. It was really interesting to see the surroundings in my head.

The magic system is varied. The humans have no power whatsoever, however, the fae can control different elements, from reading minds to controlling the elements around them like water, air, etc. One thing that I’ve really, really enjoyed about the fae’s magic is that when a fae is Awakened, there’s an earthquake because their power is so strong that shakes everything around them – I really loved that explanation and made my imagination go nuts.

Overall the story is a nice one. It’s been slow till towards the end because there’s a lot of world-building, and character development but the details are rich and beautiful and there are plenty of hilarious moments that made me giggle and I had fun reading it.

Caitlin lives and grew up in Southern California with her family and her three horses, three dogs, and a cat. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s in agribusiness.

Follow Caitlin: Facebook| Instagram | TikTok | BookBub | Goodreads

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