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Saturday, May 17, 2014

4 Sniffs Review: AWAKENING DREAM by S.M. Knowles

Title: Awakening Dream
Series: Rylee Everley #2
Author: S.M. Knowles
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: S.M. Knowles
Release Date: February 10, 2014
Source: Inside Stone ☆ Tour Schedule
Links: Goodreads ☆ Amazon

Since her father disappeared while in Afghanistan, Rylee Everley has been taking things one day at a time. After burying their friend over the summer, she and her friends returned to school for their junior year. While her friends are worried about career choices and the future, she hangs on to a secret. Witches exist, and they live here among us. She has been asked to help vanquish a half witch who has caused some problems with only a wisp trapped in a necklace to help her, her own manifesting gifts, and cryptic dreams to guide her.

To top it all off, her childhood friend, and crush, has been acting really strange ever since he started dating Adysin. He ditched the football team, and he acts like a totally different person. They were once so close, and now she finds herself missing him and feeling guilty for pushing him away. Is this just concern for a friend she’s feeling or could it be love? Can Rylee save her childhood friend from a witch who’s willing to go to any length and pay any price to keep him?

After learning that her father has gone missing and could possibly be dead, Rylee is taking things one day at a time. But that's difficult when one of her friends was killed in a drunk driving accident, and she has a half-witch she needs to hunt down. To top it all off, her childhood friend is acting strange, and he's leaving everything that he once loved. She now knows that Adysin is the one doing these things to Brock, but how can she get him back with only a wisp to guide her and prophetic dreams that aren't clear? And Adysin grows more dangerous as time goes by.

AWAKENING DREAM starts out on a somber note. Rylee, Lyla, and the whole town are dealing with the loss of Charlie and his father, after Lyla's father killed them in a drunk driving accident, which left him in a coma. So Rylee is dealing with the possible loss of her father, who is MIA; the actual loss of Charlie, who she feels guilty for pushing away; and the ongoing loss of Brock, which is happening right before her eyes. So much loss and grief for one girl to bear at one time. And add to that the fact that she's supposed to be hunting down a half-witch with little guidance.

This book is a little more outside of Rylee, if that makes any sense. We see more into the lives of her friends, her enemy Adysin, and even the other members of her family. I liked that it wasn't all about Rylee in AWAKENING DREAM. Although I did still find Rylee's confusion about her feelings for Brock frustrating. There was also a little more action in this book as Rylee is going after Adysin, so that was exciting to say the least. I also liked how the next book was set up in this one, with them going to a new school. But there is an interesting little tidbit that Phoenix may be in some way involved with this new school, and Rylee's destined role is revealed.

There was something that was totally left unresolved in AWAKENING DREAM, though, that kind of bothered me. It was about the first dream that Rylee had in this book. I won't say anything about it, but it just felt like that part of the story was totally dropped. So I hope that it plays some kind of part in the next book.

Rylee: She is now 17 and dealing with the continued loss of those around her and those she loves. She feels guilt for not letting people in and pushing them away after Charlie's death. So she's determined not to push anyone else away, especially Brock. Rylee knows that Adysin is the half-witch she's supposed to hunt down for Phoenix, and she knows that Adysin is the reason for the changes in Brock. Rylee's growing gifts help her in her mission to stop Adysin, once and for all, and getting her friend back. And let's just say that she's still confused about her feelings for him. She's also struggling with what she wants for her future.

Ava/Zoe: Rylee's twin sisters are now 12 years old, and they want a little more independence. They still love their sister fiercely, but they are also growing stronger as individuals, and are thinking about where they want to go in life. Zoe seems to possibly(?) have prophetic dreams like Rylee.

Brock: He is more distant than ever. His body is changing drastically and his memory is practically non-existent. He's quit the football team, and is basically leaving everything he once loved, including Rylee, for Adysin. Her control over him is slowly destroying who is was, and people other than Rylee and Lyla are taking notice.

Lyla: She's having trouble dealing with what her father did to Charlie and his family. She feels guilty, even though she was not the one driving that night. Her boyfriend Garrett, and her best friend Rylee may be the only things keeping her from hitting rock bottom.

Garrett: While he is helping his girlfriend Lyla though the tough time she's going through with her father, he grows increasingly worried about his friend and teammate, Brock. He sees the negative effects his relationship with Adysin, and knows that he needs to get Brock away from her. But he needs Rylee's help to do that.

Phoenix: Leader of the Highers council of witches. She knows of Rylee's destiny, and has some mysterious connection to the new school that Rylee and her friends will be attending.

Adysin: She is becoming more power-hungry, more obsessive and possessive than ever. She might possibly be going insane with it all. She is incredibly dangerous and will do anything, pay anything to get what she wants. And what she wants is the powers of a full witch and Brock.

Adysin is back in her role as the villain in AWAKENING DREAM. She is more dangerous than ever in this book. She's even willing to kill to get what she wants, and she'll pay any price to accomplish her goals. Her control over Brock is slowly destroying him, and everyone is taking notice of the changes in him. It's my opinion that she's being driven insane by her hunger for power, her obsession with Brock, and her wrath toward Rylee and her lust for Rylee's destruction.

It's still frustrating.

Rylee wants to get her "friend" back. She misses him and regrets pushing him away all the time. The intense make out visions still happen whenever they lock eyes, and she still cannot see her feelings for what they are. She still insists that she only sees Brock as a friend. And I'm still shouting that if she has a crush on him, like she claimed in the first book, then she sees him as more than a friend. I was hoping that by the end of this book that something would be defined about their relationship, but it's still up in the clouds.

I really just want to see more developments. Hopefully in the next book...

Click the cover to go to the Review!

Book 3, Dream Ending, comes out JUNE 17th!!

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