Monday, March 19, 2012

QUICK REVIEW: "Awaken" (The Patronus: Book 1) - by Sarah M. Ross

(The Patronus #1)
by Sarah M. Ross

REVIEWED BY: Books4Tomorrow


Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life. 

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose. 

Further complicating her life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued. 

Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.


“Awaken” took me by surprise. Besides the stunning book cover, I also liked the concept of chosen ones becoming guardians in the afterlife to protect other spirits awaiting judgment before moving on, from being stolen by supernatural forces who wants to ensure the survival of their species. It is yet again another refreshing look at vampires, werewolves, faeries and such; although - except for the vampires – werewolves and faeries are not the main focus of this book. As I’ve had my fill of vampire and werewolf themed books, I enjoyed this one more for its take on guardians and guides in the afterlife.

Who knew that in heaven you’ll find a waiting room with magazines dated from the 1980s, a coffee station and water cooler? Even more astonishing is finding that the realm of the after-life is not much different from the world we know. Chinese takeout, all your favorite television channels, buffet breakfasts and a fully equipped spa are only some of the familiar things you’ll come across in this realm. And as wonderful as all that sounds, I was slightly disappointed that the author didn’t put a little more imagination into this. Instead, she just duplicated our world. Having a realm where anything is possible at her fingertips, I’m surprised she chose not to be more creative and wow the reader with a whole new magical world! But……that’s just me. Hopefully, the next book in the series, “Avenge”, will do all that!

I liked all the characters, and again I was so happy to find another female lead who isn’t a, whiny, spoiled little drama-queen, which you so frequently find in YA novels. Considering the new life Lucy had to embrace, and also surviving a horrendous attack soon after she arrived in her new world, she takes her duties as a Patronus (guardian) seriously. Her dogged determination and fearlessness to protect innocent souls from the evil trying to snatch them away, is remarkable to say the least. And what I wouldn’t give to have one of those cool bracelets the guardians get to wear, with which you can……no, wait, let me not spoil it for you. But trust me, you’ll also want one!

A delightful little twist to this tale is how the author worked well-known historical figures into the story. A lot of time is spent detailing the training sessions Lucy had to partake in to help her develop the skills necessary for the battles ahead of her. After said training sessions, I was as exhausted as she was since the author described it so well! She really got my adrenaline pumping and I felt ready for the fight along with Lucy. I felt giddy knowing we’re ready to go and kick some vampire butt!

This quick, well-written read will definitely appeal to the young adult market of readers aged 16 and up. “Awaken” is the first book in a new series that will definitely knock your socks off!  



“Awaken” by Sarah M. Ross has 13 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here –



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