Awaken: New Bloods Trilogy book 1
Set in the far future, the story centers on Tara, a teenage girl living in a peaceful community of farmers who scratch out a living in the wasteland of a devastated world. But her world is rocked when an evil ruler from a distant land sends soldiers to her home to kidnap young people and slaughter everyone else.
Alone and afraid, Tara must find her way through the treacherous landscape, finding unlikely allies along the way, in hopes of tracking down her missing kin. And as if that wasn't enough, she begins to realize that she is very special indeed, and that the future of their entire world may depend on her.
It did take a while to get used to the speech patterns of the main characters of this story, which is told in the first person from Tara's POV. Somewhat resembling the drawl of the American rural south, it does add an endearing, humble quality to the narrative, and once one gets used to it, it makes the transition easier.
The story is well-told, exciting, and full of well-fleshed-out characters. The story ends on a terrific note, and my appetite for the next chapter has been whetted, so please, get cracking, Ms. Bryan! Well done!