“The Wake Up” is a lyrical fantasy book. It reminded me of “Chalice” by Robin McKinley and I can see the author was influenced by her. Thumbs up for that, there is not enough of McKinley in this world. Though, of course the theme is much darker in “The Wake up”: it is a dystopian universe with a predominant focus on the evil people of the world, literally with horns and tails.
In both novels, the writing is beautiful and flows wonderfully. But probably because of that, sadly, for me they both suffer from distancing with the main character. The literary style gave me a bit of a fuzzy impression, like living through a dream, or being lulled by poetry instead of feeling the full emotional blast of the action. And that’s where the book loses stars. I wish I had cared more about Lexi.
I think because of the theme, I hadn’t expected that style of writing, but something more gritty, less polished and more action based. It took a little adjusting, and once on board I liked many things in this very focused novel, exploring the good and evil within each. I liked the idea of humans being just many masks changing for different people, and those masks ending up being more “you” than you realise. I liked those inclusions of greek culture which made the family more likable. I liked the criticism of mass mentality so quick to ostracise a group just because they need some kind of scapegoat. I liked the little hints of positive outlook on muslim culture. I liked that the heroine realised she needed to move herself and take action.
I recommend this book for people which are looking for something darkly feminine, beautifully worded and carefully crafted and who like their fantasy to be firmly anchored in reality (the dystopian world is entirely like our own, and the little touch of magic feels like a metaphor).
3.5 stars on 5