I'm not going to rate my own book because I'm biased and that wouldn't be fair to potential readers looking for genuine reviews. But I will take this opportunity to share my inspiration for writing Emerge: The Awakening. I am an avid reader of all things fantasy and I have a special love for the Young Adult genre in particular. BUT…there are so few books out there that truly represent a good example of a strong young woman to YA readers.
As a reader, I grew frustrated with female leads who were either incredibly weak without their strong male counterparts, or they were the complete opposite as strong, frustratingly stubborn and jaded girls with their love interests trailing along behind them as a liability, offering little to the story.
I wondered where was the BALANCE? Where was the example of equality and actual, for real, girl power? So I wrote Emerge. Allie's story has morphed over the years, but that single message of real strength has always remained the same. Book one is about Allie as she struggles to accept the immortality she never expected or wanted. Behind the veil of exciting supernatural themes, Emerge is a story about a strong, stubborn young woman fighting to maintain her identity when everyone around her expects her to do things their way. Allie is meant to be a shining example of that real girl, with flaws and insecurities, while Aidan is meant to be her equal in every way. This is not a story about an extraordinary girl and the boy who loves her. It is about showing young readers what equality and strength looks like.
My favorite part of Emerge is the "realistic" fantasy. I've always wanted the supernatural elements to be as real as possible, so that Allie's world fits right into the world we know and understand.
Emerge, The Awakening – is an inspiring story about a young girl who works very hard at the attempt of a normal life, but she always ends up moving to another country, another city and another school and another, new attempt at normal. It is so easy to identify with Allie Carmichael in that search to find “normal” in an ever changing world. So many girls struggle to find acceptance in a school full of people who have known each other for years, but with Allie it is different. People react strongly to her presence, but mostly to her touch.When Aidan walks into her life, “normal” becomes the least of Allie’s worries. Her life changes so quickly, she feels like she has been reborn as she finally learns why the world treats her so harshly.
From the first page to the last, Melissa A. Craven has a talent for keeping her reader’s attention as she reveals Allie’s story, layer by interesting layer. And when you get to the last page, you are left wanting more!
I totally judge a book by its cover so this one sucked me in right away. At a glance it just seemed different, bold and colorful and I'm happy to say the story is as good as the cover promises. It reminds me of The Mortal Instruments books which I loved, but it's not a copycat. Emerge is a very unique powerful story all on its own, but it shares a similar urban vibe that Mortal Instruments had, and really great world building too. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a book like this and I'm so excited to have a new favorite series! Can't wait for the prequel this summer and I hope book two won't be too long after that!
I thought the relationship between Allie and Aidan was really unique. I like how they are equals in power and that they are so powerful not everyone is comfortable around them, which makes them drawn to each other. You really want them to be together, but it's early in the series and Allie has so much going on with all the changes she's been through, it makes sense that she wants something normal at this point in her story.
I also really liked the way their powers work. It was very believable and not over the top. Their gifts are subtle and well thought out so that they aren't like every other super power out there. Like the way Quinn can become "invisible" but not really, he can just make you think you don't see him but it's not like he vanishes. It's about as realistic as superpowers get which was a nice change.
It does start a little slow. The first chapter really grabbed me with a lot of activity and it raised a bunch of questions about why they were moving so suddenly and then chapter two was interesting with the way she met Aidan and you knew there was something going on that Allie wasn't quite getting. And then it goes into a lot of normal for a few chapters. It's the first really normal life Allie has ever known and in hindsight, I get what the author was trying to do there. But once you hit chapter six it really starts to take off and by chapter ten, you cannot put it down! Such a great cast of characters and an incredible ending! Highly recommended!
I read a lot of indie books and I usually overlook the weaker parts and give the writer props for going it alone. I like the originality of indie books, but Emerge blew my mind! The author did an amazing job putting this together and she did it so well I completely forgot it was an indie book! I read the extended sample on scribd and I had to buy it I just couldn't put it down.
The thing I loved best about Emerge is that the world the author has built is so believable and realistic. She obviously worked very hard to create a unique, secret world of ancient immortals and plopped it right in the middle of the real world so effortlessly she made it look easy. If immortals with (non-cheesy) special abilities existed, this is exactly how it would be. I loved it!
There are so many unpredictable moments with twists and turns I never expected. I read a lot and it is very rare that I find a book where I can't guess what is going to happen. I cannot wait for book two because I have no idea what's going to happen next! That tells me this indie author knows what she is doing! I especially liked her writing style. The dialogue was so natural and never felt forced. The characters were well developed and completely relatable. Allie is outrageously funny at times and serious and level headed when she needs to be. Aidan is a good balance to her character and the two have great chemistry. There is something of a love triangle, but it makes sense and it isn't a major part of the story. I think Allie a great, realistic character the reader can relate to. She is strong and determined but she has flaws and insecurities.
The secondary characters were well developed for book one, but I hope to learn more about them in book two. Sasha, Quinn, Chloe and Graham each have their own identity and individual personality and a lot of potential for the series. There is a prequel novella coming out this summer and I hope we'll get to learn more about these characters. The teachers, Gregg, Naeemah, Daniel, Emma, Jin Jing and Ming Lao, were all amazing. You really get a sense of their individual stories and I love how their lives have all entwined over thousands of years. At the beginning of the book, you think they are just the kids parents, but by the end you really start to see how they are all one big family.
Like I said, the world building is crazy good, and the story moves along at a pace that will keep you turning the pages until you realize you are sleep reading and you have to put it down before you drift off and knock yourself out with your ipad. And the end! OMG the end was not what I was expecting!
I'm giving this five stars and I recommend it to anyone who loves YA, especially if you are looking for a break from dystopian stories. Don't let the fact that this is an indie book turn you off! You don't want to miss this book!
Emerge, The Awakening is a pleasant change in the young adult genre, not only is Allie Carmichael a strong female character but Aidan, her male counterpoint is equally as strong.
Allie arrives on Kelly's Island hoping this time life will become normal for her, after years of moving to new places, new schools, trying to make new friends she longs for a normal life. But she quickly finds out when she meets Aidan that normal may become completely out of her reach forever. But has she finally met someone who understands her? Someone who does not cringe at her presence or at her touch?
If you are looking for a book that quickly catches your attention, you have found it!
Get prepared to be taken on an unpredictable journey. I was drawn to this book by the amazing cover art and when I read the book blurb I thought "finally"...an author who is not following the pack on the typical dystopian, dark and depressing trend that seems to be everywhere lately. I am so excited I took a chance on this awesome indie author. Her characters have such wonderful depth and the setting makes me want to visit Cleveland. Seriously, who knew they had islands in Ohio?
I absolutely loved Allie. I love a story where I actually am able to laugh and cry with the characters I am reading about. Even though she is this extraordinary girl with powerful gifts, Allie is very grounded in reality. One the best things about this series is that the author has made everything so believable. She has woven such a creative storyline that is truly one of a kind. I was totally blown away.
This is a refreshing new series with an unbelievable ending. Can't wait for book two.
Emerge: The Awakening, is fantastic!! Melissa A. Craven certainly created characters who are both interesting to follow and watch develop in a unique manner. It is fascinating to see the young people in the story, especially Allie, learn from their elders and become aware of their own strengths and support each other in a powerful way. This book is truly captivating and holds the readers attention from beginning to end. It is a must read for those who truly like a good fantasy. You will fall in love with the characters and the story line. Looking forward to future releases from this author.