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Antebellum Awakening

(Network #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  839 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch.

Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage.

Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos,
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Antebellum Publishing
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  839 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Our protagonist sixteen year old Bianca Monroe is a cursed, powerful and inexperienced witch.Sheismourning the loss of her mother and trying to come to terms with the twisted predicament she finds herself in. Biancaand her father, along with her closest classmates are tucked within the safety of Chatham Castle, nestled on the edge of Letum Wood. Bianca’s grief has her magic building, and when frightened or angered she is unable to contain it. With only six months left before the curse will ...more
E.D.E. Bell
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Katie Cross makes magic again with the second installment in The Network Series, Antebellum Awakening. A page-turner from start to finish until its breathtaking finale, Katie charms with lovable characters, challenging dilemmas, and the triumph of spirit. Age-appropriate for any young adult, this book is also a charming read for adults. Antebellum Awakening is a delightful story with suspense, drama, and an abundance of heart.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Couldn't put the book down

The more you read the more you'ld want to know, never expected the ending but i know i would be rushing to start the 3rd book
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, owned
I gave book one in this series, Miss Mabel's School for Girls, three stars. I use that rating sometimes when I feel a book is “just OK" - you know, good enough, but not really worthy of a strong opinion, positive or negative. That wasn't the case with that one, though; I found it surprisingly enjoyable in some respects. The problem was, in others it fell short. Between those shortcomings and the cliffhanger ending (cliffhangers royally piss me off – they come across as calculated to entice us to ...more
Ginny  Gallagher
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on Gin's Book Notes

favorite-series-YA The Network Series by Katie Cross

Katie Cross has written another winner with book 2 in herfantastic YA fantasyadventure- THE NETWORK SERIES!

I love this series! It's very well written and full of amazing characters, action, and magic.

Antebellum Awakening continues where book 1, Miss Mabel's School for Girls left off.

Bianca is not coping with her recent loss and thepain is tearing her apart. A large portion of book 2 isa journey through her pain and acceptance. She has to learn
Clare O'Brien
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Read my full review on

My Review

YAAS! I love this series so much. I found the first, Miss Mabel's School for Girls, on NetGalley and I am so glad I did. After posting my praise on this blog and all my other social media platforms, the author offered me a copy of the second novel as well as a novella (see my previous review of The Isadora Interviews) for review. In this second book of the Network series, Bianca moves to the Castle of the High Priestess to learn
Kelsey Keating
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
And the story continues...

Okay, I promise not to give spoilers, but you have to know. READ THIS BOOK! DO IT!
Wait. Stop. Did you read the first one? No? I was wrong, read THAT ONE first and THEN COME READ THIS ONE!
Do you HAVE to read that one? Probably not, you might be confused on a few details though and missing out on some of the awesome happening in here.

Why do I love this book? Oh let me count the ways.

I wuv me some Bianca. Girl is tough, but real. I feel like I totally get it, what's
G.S. Jennsen
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
A Stunning Tale of Sacrifice, Joy and Finding True Inner (and Outer) Strength

As someone who does not make a habit of reading YA fiction, to me one of the most interesting (and enjoyable) things about Antebellum Awakening is that though it is a young adult novel, it never shies away from serious, difficult topics. The struggle of how to deal with loss, move forward and grow stronger, the reality of facing evil in the world, the heavy weight of responsibility and the nature of sacrifice—all these
Holly Brown
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Relentless and gripping, I couldn't put it down.

Cross really found her stride in Antebellum Awakening. I loved Miss Mabel's School for Girls, and it was with anticipation that I waited for the release of the second installment of The Network Series. But, this book blew away all of my expectations.

There was never one dull moment or lackadaisical pause where I felt bored with the story, and it moves at such a rate that as a reader, I couldn't help but continue to read at a furious pace, at times,
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A gripping fantastical tale from the first word to the last.
I am awed by Katie's descriptive talents. I was experiencing the Matos battle and I was running through Letum wood with Bianca. I can't wait for the next one!
The details and growing characters and passion and magic all ensnared me. It had me laughing, shouting, and crying. I couldn't put it down!!
If you haven't read Katie Cross's Network Series, it's a must!
Natalie  J. Pierson
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved the first book of the Network Series, Miss Mabel's School for Girls, so I couldn't wait to read Antebellum Awakening. It didn't disappoint! I ended up binge-reading it yesterday. I couldn't put it down.

YA isn't my usual genre of choice, but Katie Cross has so fully captured this world that I was completely wrapped up in it. There is a wonderful progression in the characters and her attention to detail is impeccable. I can't wait until the next book!
Ashley Mcroberts
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I admit that I begged my husband to watch my toddler while I finished this book. The last few chapters were so fantastic I couldn't put them down. I may have yelled "cheese it!" At a few events ;) I loved the imagery and emotion that Katie captured. Some of the events were a little predicable, but enjoyable none the less. I think this will be one of my go to, always a fantastic read book. I'll be urging her to finish the next book. I can't wait.
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I really must get this series!!!
Robbi Leah  Freeman
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book I can feel good if my kids read. Also adults will like especially witch fans.
Bianca continues her struggle with the death of her grandmother and mother. She now lives with her dad at the castle. Mabel is missing and Bianca still has death looming at age 17 and a binding.
Great book for adults and kids 11+.
No bad words.
Mild violence.
Growing up
Strength in friendship
Very little romance/ no sex
Gina (My Precious Blog)


Antebellum Awakening, no longer takes place at a boarding school. Instead, the story moves to a castle setting. Pacing is slow to moderate, moving at the perfect story telling pace, where the reader can take the time to absorb everything going on. The writing is easy to read, with a touch of ever present tension building (a ticking time bomb) as the novel moves forward in time. Its told in a first person narrative from the perspective of the female lead, Bianca.

Kirstin Pulioff
With the heartbreaking and yet empowering end to Miss Mabel's, you know something big is about to happen in the sequel and in Bianca's world. After the tragic death of her mother, battle with Miss Mabel, and uncovering of a planned network takeover, Bianca's life is in turmoil. Moved to Chantham Castle for her safety, Bianca struggles to come to terms with her grief, out of control magic, and the new direction of her life. Even with the political turmoil, grieving, and preparing for war, Bianca ...more
Evan Morgan
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With even more world-building, breathtaking imagery, and colorful characters, the sequel to Miss Mabel's School for Girls, Antebellum Awakening, is an absolute delight to read.

Full Review:

Let it be known that I absolutely loved Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, the first book in Katie Cross’ Network Series. It had wonderful characters, beautiful imagery, and much more. It whisked you to a place of mysterious magic that you can’t quite get over even after you finish the book. It enraptured me and
Evelyne Holingue
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens who love fantasy
Antebellum Awakening is the direct sequel of Miss Mabel's School for Girls.
In Book I the author Katie Cross had planted the roots for an original fantasy trilogy called The Network Series.
Good and evil witches inhabit the Network, a world divided geographically and strategically. Miss Mabel fights restlessly and evilly for exclusive power. To fulfill her goal she must get rid of a few people.
Among them Bianca Monroe.
Due to Miss Mabel’s diabolic curse Bianca has already lost her beloved mother
Shaz X
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
See my full review at Sharon's Book Nook!
*copy of this book was gifted to me by the author in return for an honest review*
Antebellum Awakening is the continuing story, taking up where Miss Mabel's School For Girls left off. Here is my take on it, and why I think you should definitely give this story a try:-

What I liked:

- The great imagination of Katie Cross to create this fascinating place - Antebellum.
- The villain, Miss Mabel. I love to loathe the evilness that she is.
- Fantastic writing,
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Is it possible to love a sequel more than the original? Before now I probably would have said no. Usually the second book in a series is slower, drags, and seems to just fill space. I was so happy to find I was wrong. This book was amazing! I LOVED Miss Mabel's School for Girls - the setting, the characters, the friendships, everything. Antebellum Awakening just deepened my love for this series. I will be the first to admit that I don't read books with any kind of sadness if I can help it, but ...more
Joana Vieira
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review can also be found at Joana In The Sky With Books

And here I was, thinking that this series couldn't get any better after Miss Mabel's School For Girls. Well, I was utterly wrong!

I felt that this book dealt with some heavier topics. We have grieve, considering that it starts right after Bianca's mother's death, we have a war coming up and we have Bianca being afraid that her curse won't be lifted and that she will die in a short amount of months. So, perhaps because of this, I think
Samantha (WLABB)
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
This book was tough. Everything sort of imploded and it was very stressful for me, but I did get some answers. This book was as compelling as the first installment of the series. And what's not to love? The characters are likable, lovable, interesting and multifaceted. In this book, poor Bianca has a lot to deal with. She is struggling with the loss of her mother and grandmother, as well as her childhood home. She has to adjust to living with her Papa in the castle, taming her magic and she ...more
Kristy Gillespie
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was absolutely hooked on the first book in the Network Series (Miss Mabel's School for Girls) and book two is just as captivating! Once again I identified with Bianca Monroe, a young witch coming into her powers; and I detested the evil witch Miss Mabel.
Miss Mabel to Bianca: "You're always trying to control the things you have no control over, aren't you, foolish girl?" (52)
Fortunately, Bianca has a strong support system. Stella, one of the council members, reminds Bianca: "We are all
Sabrina Ramoth
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With the cliffhanger at the end of Miss Mabel's School for Girls, I could not wait to get my hands on this sequel. And it did not disappoint!

When this book starts we find a very different Bianca, she is struggling to find a way to cope with the loss of her mother and the uncertainty of her fate. But as always she is determined and will not go down without a fight. Then there is Miss Mabel, I found her to be even more cunning in this book. I don't want to give any spoilers but I am certain we
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Antebellum’s Awakening far exceeded its predecessor in its ability to immerse the reader into the essence of Antebellum. I feel like I have a clear picture and understanding of Antebellum now, from a historical, geographical and even scientific (read: understanding of magic) standpoint, not to mention more of an emotional investment in the characters. Cross expanded and developed the world only previously glimpsed through the windows of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, and I loved seeing it come ...more
L.L. Reynolds
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Drowning in grief from the loss of her mother and grandmother, Bianca processes her grief and tries to get her growing powers under control. Tough place to be for a young witch. Once again the author does a superb job of showing and not telling in her writing.

This was a slower read for me, but not because it wasn't as good as the last book. It was just "heavy" with grief, loss, emotions. I can't read right through stuff like that. (Like Bianca, I have to have time to process.) Every reader will
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really, really, REALLY liked this book. Looking back, I feel like the first book in this series, Miss Mabel's School for Girls, does more setting up for this one. The plot sucks you in right away, I got to know original characters better, and some very memorable ones were introduced. The dialogue was very believable and the descriptions were spot on, I could really picture this world that the author created. I really would recommend this book to anyone, not just fantasy lovers (because I'm not ...more
Colette Pedersen
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am such a big fan of the first book in this series that I wasn't sure if the second book would measure up. But Katie Cross tells the continuing story of Bianca with such heart, that AA surpassed all my expectations.

It was like Act II of a play because it's where the plot deepens and the main character has to battle through things in order to have a good outcome. Bianca battled grief and learned how to sword fight. I loved how she wasn't instantly superior with the blade, she had to practice.
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A tremendous read. I intended to start it on a cross country flight. Instead, I ignored the nice lady trying to have a conversation next to me, barely paid attention to the overpriced burger in the airport on my layover and delayed some much needed sleep in order to finish. I enjoyed the continued character development, unique flavor of the plot and delightful world that has been created by Katie Cross. Defiantly worth reading!
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book and rejoiced when you found out it was the start of a series? I was thrilled to learn that Miss Mabel's School for Girls was just the beginning. Antebellum Awakening is the perfect sequel to Miss Mabel's and was delicious from the first word to the last. Ms. Cross is a gifted wordsmith who employs all the senses to pull you into the world of Bianca--physically and emotionally. If only I could give this book more than 5 stars!
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My world revolves around my husband (who is a major hottie), my precious kids, my Vizsla’s who act like children, and the mountains.

I wear hiking boots instead of heels when I need to feel powerful, and on a bad day, I love a weightlifting workout. Actually, I love it on a good day.

I don’t eat bread because my thyroid doesn’t like it, although there are days I miss it. Especially ciabatta. Sweet

Other books in the series

Network (4 books)
  • Miss Mabel's School for Girls (The Network Series, #1)
  • The High Priest's Daughter (The Network Series, #3)
  • War of the Networks (The Network Series, #4)
“You don’t figure grief out, Bianca. You go through it. Grief is a mess that you can’t clean up all at once. It takes time and patience, not logic and fact.” 2 likes
“When the worst of the melancholy moments took over me, not even the blue spring sky or the fluffy clouds piled high like wisps of cotton could remove the darkness inside. Grief was my new companion, the wraith that haunted my heart. I hated it, and clung to it at the same time.” 1 likes
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