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Dream Travel: A Review of “Awoken” by Sarah Noffke

Goodreads.com Description: “Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights. In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events. And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle. Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?”

My Thoughts:

Received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah Noffke has written an interesting twist on time travel. Instead of travelling via a machine or some other device, certain individuals can travel via sleep. They can travel to the past or within the present. The future is completely off-limits.

Noffke’s story is about Roya Stark, a Dream Traveler, who must challenge a Dream Warlord, Zhuang. About eighty percent of the book is devoted to how she trains for this sci-fi showdown.

My favorite part was Noffke’s inclusion of Bruce Lee and Jeet Kune Do. I have studied JKD. I’m very familiar with Lee’s expression “be like water”. This inclusion had me eagerly reading to find out how this concept would be used in the book.

My least favorite part had to be the actual fight sequences between Nora and Zhuang. I believe they were too short. The reader was led to believe that Zhuang was this major villain who was all powerful. Nora and her team trained hard to defeat this person. When it came to the actual showdown, it was like an infant shaking a stick at a toddler. Hopefully, the action will pick up in Book Two.

Noffke’s characters were well-developed. The reader is given a good insight into each one. My favorite was Joseph. He was laid back with a ‘I don’t give up’ attitude. George, the misunderstood empath, was my next favorite. His character read like a book. Oddly, the protagonist, Roya, was my least favorite. For most of the story I found her to be self-absorbed, too emotional and standoffish. There are good reasons for her behavior. And, by the end of the book she is more likable.

I liked Noffke’s writing style. The story is well-conceived and intriguing. I highly recommend Awoken. I’ve already picked up the next installment in this trilogy.

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