Author: C J Hansen
Terror stalks the sinister, fogbound streets of Victorian London. Anna Lawrence has always had the power to “see” the true nature of people, an ability which has frightened others and led to her persecution.
However, aged fourteen, Anna discovers three things which will change her life forever: that there are others who share her ability; that evil exists in this world in a form far purer than she could ever have imagined; and that she is in love.
Agents of darkness beyond comprehension are abroad in the world, London lies gripped by fear as a demonic beast stalks the night, and Anna learns the nature of absolute evil – an evil which it is her fate to stand against.
Awakening is not an ordinary book. It is the beginning of a journey both inspiring and terrifying, touching the deepest secrets of this world and the essence of what it means to be human. The true, unseen nature of the struggle between good and evil which has underpinned all of human history will be revealed through Anna’s story, and the state and ultimate destiny of our own world today will be affected by its outcome. Awakening is where that story begins…
…what others have said…
Great gift for young and grown-ups alike…
‘Awakening’ is a mystery adventure novel that will capture the imagination of young and old alike. Set in Victorian London, the plot follows the adventures of Anna, a 14 year old girl with a special gift of seeing beyond the physical appearance of people and into their inner, most hidden essence. Because of her gift, she becomes involved in a series of events that link her to much darker, more dangerous powers which threaten the very existence of the world as we know it. Without revealing much else, I can only say that there is something for everyone in this book. There are detective-like chases through the streets of Highgate, a blossoming romance, a very well depicted cricket game at Lord’s, history and the occult and much much more. This is a book that teenagers will really enjoy, and that will hold interest for adults too. Judging by the way the story unfolds, I guess this may be the first book in a series which is going to be very interesting indeed. I assume a second book is soon to come, so all I can say is that I am very much looking forward to reading it!
– Alley Cat
A great read…
I got into this book gradually, eventually becoming totally engrossed, not wanting to put it down, or for the story to end. This is quite fortunate as it seems ideal for a follow up so that we can find out what happens next to characters l became quite involved with. The story begins with a lot of atmospheric narrative and l initially did not understand where it was leading me. It was not until l was a little way in that l even realised the significance of the opening paragraph of the first chapter! The Awakening is complex, weaving a number of threads into a story of adventure and mystery. The characters reflect on themes of a philosophical, ethical and moral nature whilst dealing with the danger threatening their existence. The book is thoroughly enjoyable and leaves you on the edge wanting to know what happens next and l hope l get the opportunity to read more. This was a delightful find and is a really great read.
– “Carrie” (London)
Please CJ Hansen, can we have some more?
Awakening is an astonishing debut novel and I was truly taken aback by the enormity and richness of the cinematic world CJ Hansen has created. Grittier than Narnia, more down to earth than Hogwarts, more accessible than Dickens I foresee this tale of good versus evil with a sensitive yet strong young London girl as the protagonist becoming a modern classic. Well met Mr Hansen – I can’t wait for the next instalment!
A great read – thoroughly recommended…
This is a refreshingly well written book which will most probably be the first in a series of books….I certainly hope so. The author’s description of people, places and events is exquisite and this creates a wonderfully vivid texture to the story as the forces of good and bad square up in old London. Central to the story is a young girl called Anna who discovers that rather than being a misfit for her ability to see what others can’t see, actually holds an unusual and special gift. This was recommended to me by a work colleague: I think the author’s imagination is gorgeous and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
An exciting and original novel…
I started reading Awakening when the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens was all in the news, and this new novel, set as it is in Victorian London, very much puts you in mind of fogbound Dickensian London. However, the author demonstrates a clever lightness of touch with regard to the historical setting; and the main character, Anna, displays modern day sensibilities which will resonate with a young, contemporary readership. The quality of the prose is consistently high and the writer has an original and engaging style. The themes covered in the novel are many and wide ranging, including some of very considerable magnitude. Conversely, there are also some very touching, intimate moments between the young friends as they grapple with their feelings and emotions. I see this novel as the first in a series. Some of its major themes are monumental and epic in scope and it will be fascinating to see how the author develops them. Awakening sets the scene and opens the narrative, and introduces us to characters who will no doubt be central figures in the unfolding story.
A great teen read…
The story has a really great premise – the setting and society of Victorian London suits the mysterious nature of the unfolding plot, and creates the right atmosphere of danger enough to make you really care about the heroine. The fact that Anna is already aware of her power and has a basic understanding of it from the beginning of the novel is excellent in getting really into the action and the storyline right from the start, and her outsider status and internal thoughts and feelings make her instantly likeable and relatable. This one definitely reads as a series, you are left wanting more from the characters and wondering how Anna will grow and change! A great teen read.
Great read – give it a try…
I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. The author has a great imagination, delivering a well thought out, convincing story line. The characters have depth and originality allowing the reader to have complete empathy. Tension and pace is built expertly throughout the book making it a real page turner. Don’t be put off by the horror classification, C J Hansen could be the next J K Rowling. Can’t wait for the next book !!! Hurry up please!!!
I enjoyed the book immensely…
I like to be able to immerse myself in the books that I read and Awakening provided that critical depth so that I could really feel involved in the narrative. The central concept of the Alpha and Omega worlds and the manner in which they exert their influences on the characters of the book was an idea that I found intriguing and challenging in equal measure: I found myself thinking about what my essence might actually look like to someone who could see it. I also appreciated the extreme patience that the author showed when explaining the details of both the concept of the Alpha/Omega Anomaly and the training that the central character (Anna) was to undergo to enable her to reach her true potential. I think the quality of the story benefitted from this demonstration of patience and detail as the reader was drawn fully into the drama.
The characterisation throughout the book was very powerful, especially in regards to Anna. The insight that her own thoughts provided to her character enabled me to really sympathise with the experiences (and dangers) that she was going through. The other really striking character, I found, was that of Mortlock and the transformation that he underwent between the Alpha and Omega states. The description of Mortlock when he is first introduced during the incident outside the London townhouse was starkly blunt and left you in no doubt as to his true nature.
The description of the meeting between Anna and Gillespie in the chapter: The Second Lamp, was marvellous, particularly the manner in which the author described the creeping presence of the fog and the chilling effect it had on the characters (and the reader) even before Faulkner made his dramatic appearance. The way in which the author gave the fog such an insidious role really underpinned the gathering crescendo of the action.
This book was a really excellent read, a great first novel from the author and I am looking forward to the next. However if the author is looking for another career option they might consider sports commentary as the manner in which the cricket match was described would have sports fans on the edge of their seats with excitement.
– Simon Glass
Surely one of a series!!?…
Awakening is a great story, with a fantastic set of characters that had me gripped from the very start. The author puts a fantastic amount of effort into really making you feel each scene and character, painting a very visual image before plunging you into a twisting tale of evil and hope. This makes for a read that leaves you unable to put the book down. I’m just looking forward to the second instalment…?
Can’t wait for the next book…
I am constantly reading and this book was recommended to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in huge hungry chunks. The main thread of the story is compelling in itself but the real excitement comes with the knowledge that there is clearly more to come. The ending leaves you wanting more. I got more and more heartbroken the nearer I got to the end. A great read – I am recommending it to my wife, my mother in law, my teenage nephew and all of his friends. This series should be huge – it deserves to be huge. The parallels drawn with Harry Potter are true to an extent, but I would argue that the quality of the writing and the maturity of the storyline is more aligned to the latter 3 Potter books than the first few. I loved it – and I am hard to please by novels, let alone first novels. Excellent.
Awakening is brilliant!…
A brilliant book! This could be the new (female) Harry Potter. Many thanks to the author. I felt completely absorbed by this novel.
– Rachel Walmsley
A thrilling adventure through dark Victorian London…
This book had me gripped from the first page. The author paints a dazzling scene of Victorian London with an engaging deftness of hand that makes you feel like you’re there. The central character, Anna, along with her gang of friends, embarks on an adventure culminating in a thrilling battle between good and evil which holds the reader in suspense as they are whirled along with her. But the novel is so much more than simply that. Its themes cover many complexities of life which we can all relate to today: coming of age, loyalty, secrecy, teenage angst, first love and the battles that rage inside all of us as we decide which path in life to choose. The central characters are all so different and yet so believable; close your eyes and you can picture each one and hear their voices speak to you. The first half of the book sets the scene and central themes with a painstaking care and attention to detail, which makes me hope the reviewers above are correct, that this is the first in a series. I can’t find any other novels written by CJ Hansen, so I’m assuming it’s his/her first novel. If so, then it is remarkable and one that I believe will have very broad appeal. I was so impressed that I bought copies for my teenage nieces who I’m sure will love it as much as I did. Brilliant work, I hope to read more of Hansen’s work
– Tara Sanders
A hugely entertaining and exciting read. This could be the start of something big…
I’ve become completely gripped by this story. It clearly seems to be intended as the beginning of a series, and I think this could just be the beginning of something huge. The first half of the book had me captivated, although if I have any criticism it possibly moved just a bit slowly in places, but by the end the scale and depth of the story had me quite exhilarated, and I’m not a teenager. For teenagers, who I understand are the target audience for this book, I think this might just have the makings of a classic. As well as being an adventure story filled with suspense, there are also strong philosophical themes running through the book which come across very powerfully, and which I believe will resonate with adults and teenagers alike. I also loved the Victorian London setting and imagery, and the darker, more menacing edge that the story developed as the book progressed. Above all, I think the thing which excites me most is the potential that Hansen has created to take this story and us readers on the most fantastic journey from here. I now desperately want to know more about what is planned for this series, and when the next book is going to come out. An incredibly exciting read.
– The Shadow