“Look into yourself and you will find the truth.”
If you’re a fan of a good, memorable adventure, then I think I’ve found just the thing! This one was far from what I’d normally pick up, but I loved it – it’s not often I give 5 stars to something that isn’t my preferred genre, but here we are!
The Awakening by Grant Langley follows the story of Jabuti on his quest to find his father. With the help of his two close friends, the trio trek out into the wilderness to find some much needed answers. However, with danger ahead and some unexpected setbacks, the adventure is not one they’ll forget in a hurry…
Jabuti seems to be a caring man, who takes his feelings very seriously. We see him fall for a woman named Maru, but even though he can’t erase the grin from his face, he feels like he still needs answers; he must speak with the shaman. The book is very well written, and even from the very first chapters, we’re introduced to a number of solidly created characters. I instantly felt what Jabuti felt, and I could understand his point of view before we even get to the main part of the story. Even though the genre is different to what I’d normally pick up, I was very pleasantly surprised so far.
We come to learn that Jabuti feels punished because of the lack of a mother and father figure in his life whilst growing up. I felt sorry for Jabuti as he spills out his troubles to the shaman, and was saddened that his relationship with Maru may be affected because of this. Jabuti’s character has been created really well, and I could easily create an image of him in my mind. I was curious to find out whether he could move on from his worries, and not let them dictate the life he’ll lead.
When Jabuti learns the truth about his father, he decides he needs to find this man and let him know he exists. I enjoyed the conversation that was had between Jabuti and the shaman; even though he gave great life advice, he still warned Jabuti about the dangers of the quest. Would finding his father be more important than his safety? If he does find his father, will he believe what Jabuti needs to tell him?
“Only a weak man would ignore what is troubling him.”
There is a great build up to Jabuti leaving with his friends to find his father’s village. I think having friends with him on his journey can help to keep him on track and to not think too much about what he’s left behind. I was excited to experience the journey, the obstacles that get in their way and if he does find out what he’s searching for. What sort of a man would his father be?
Jabuti’s adventure was enjoyable, and there was always something happening! I never felt bored and was thoroughly entertained throughout the middle of the story. Jabuti’s friends really step up when they need to, whether giving advice, or making sure he’s safe. They also go through an awful lot of bad luck, but always end up sticking together to survive whatever the world throws at them. The relationship between the three friends was strong and I really liked how strong their bond grew over time.
Along their journey, the friends find themselves in a number of villages with different occupants. I liked how it was a risky game when they came in contact with new people, and trust becomes a big part of the story. They get some unexpected help along the way, see an awful lot of danger, and things only become more uncertain the closer they get to their goal. However, Jabuti is determined to find his father, or at least some solid lead to his whereabouts.
Hearing stories about Jabuti’s mother and father from different tribes of people was a great addition to the book. With the possibility that both parents could be alive, this made the story so much more intense and hard to put down! The middle of the book was so easy to read through and very enjoyable. I was fully invested in the story at this point and I felt Langley really exceeded my expectations with such a memorable, heartwarming tale.
“Jabuti looked at him in confusion as he felt a sudden wave of nausea wash over him.”
As the trio get closer to their destination, there’s a sudden accident, which causes great injury to one of the friends. It was saddening reading this part of the story, especially since we’ve travelled with these friends for so long – in a way, they felt like my friends too! With so much at stake, I was wondering whether Jabuti would make the decision to make sure his friends were safe from harm, or whether he would continue his journey to find out the truth about his parents. The build up to the end of the story was great, and I was really looking forward to seeing which path Jabuti would take in the end.
After hearing the news he doesn’t want to hear, Jabuti must make one of the most important decisions of their journey so far. Does he travel even further than he already has, or does he return to safety to and keep his friends from any more danger? The story covers so much in such a short space of time, including decision making, trust, endurance and the ability to do what is right. Again, Jabuti shows just how strong he is with the decisions he makes along the way. I loved how everything drew to a close at the end of the story, and even though The Awakening is book one of the series, there was a good balance of closure and unanswered questions.
Spending time with another character, Rodrigo, was both painful and healing for Jabuti. He learns the truth about his mother and father, which, after taking some time to understand this, encourages him to make some decisions for himself and his friends, who support him each step of the way. Rodrigo’s character was great and reminded me of the fatherly figure Jabuti had been lacking throughout his lifetime. He taught many lessons to Jabuti throughout his time with him, and this really added to the story.
I often found myself wondering how the characters at Jabuti’s home were feeling about the length of time the trio were away, especially Maru, Jabuti’s wife. Has she lost hope that they’ll ever return? Will she move on from fear that she’ll never see him again? I’m sure that in time, later on in the series, we’ll meet these characters once more.
“What he has suffered would weaken the spirit of any man.”
The story ended in a good place, and I think it really sets the scene for book two. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I feel like the outcome was for the best for all characters. I’m confident that in the next book, the adventure will continue to be dangerous and Jabuti will be a little closer to finding out further answers he most desperately craves.
This book was a very pleasant surprise! I wouldn’t normally pick up a religious adventure book on a normal day, but I’m so glad I did. The novel reminded me of a couple of other indie books I’ve read over the last few months, including The Water Crown and This Shall Be A House Of Peace, which are quite similar in a few ways. Langley is a very talented author with a natural knack for storytelling, and this story has stuck with me more than I thought it would.
Jabuti is a very lovable character, who goes through so much to find out information he desperately needs, and his two friends, even though they can be a pain at times, really help to create a heartwarming story. This story is a true accomplishment and I’m looking forward to reading book two of this series!
A huge thanks to Grant Langley for submitting his book for me to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of The Awakening on Amazon, available on Kindle or paperback. Follow Grant over on Facebook and Instagram for more updates!
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