Awakening (Hells Champion Book 1)
When a plain 16-year-old girl manifests powers she shouldn't have and defeats demons that should have killed her, a journey of self-discovery begins...
Being "normal" was all she ever wanted, even in a world plagued by monsters.
Sky Kentwell is the oldest student ever admitted to the Chinook Protector Academy, a military school for kids who can use magic that prepares them to enter the front-lines in the war for survival.
But in this world, the younger you are when your magic awakens, the more powerful you become.
Guided by her bubbly best friend Summer - who just happens to be the lowest ranked Protector Brave in the school - Sky struggles to keep up with her classes, navigate the complicated student body, and come to terms with her new powers.
Like it or not, she's stuck in this situation for good. But when Sky gets a glimpse of the world outside the Chinook walls for the first time, things become more complicated than she could have ever dreamed.
The demons are up to something, and no one knows what.
But it can't be good for the humans.
Book 1 in the Hells Champion series is the exciting start to Sky Kentwell's journey into the life of a Protector and the 200-year war raging between humans and demons.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10
Plot: With its graphic battle scenes, its well-wrought physical setting and its vivid storytelling style, Aitkin's series debut--the novel ends with an obvious cliffhanger--is a brisk and engaging future-world romp.
Prose/Style: Though occasionally too florid for its own good, the writing overall is fluid, rhythmic and natural, perfectly-pitched for teen readers. One caveat: an over-reliance on spell-check has resulted in distracting instances of homonyms; a light copy edit and proofreading pass would alleviate this issue.
Originality: Teenagers selected to become a "Protector" class; a plucky young girl exceeding her expectations; a future Earth overwhelmed by world-altering disaster; fierce monsters roaming the land beyond the walls... there are all familiar fantasy-genre tropes, but rendered here with gusto.
Character Development: One indication of the author's skill at stretching beyond stereotype is that when a secondary character dies--and many do--there's a moment of, "Why him?" The story arc for core characters Sky and sidekick Summer, from immature neophytes to battle-scarred survivors, is unforced and riveting.
Date Submitted: May 02, 2019