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The Wakening #1

Dawn of Wonder

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Winner 2016 Readers' Favourite Award for Epic Fantasy
Winner 2015 LYRA Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Winner 2015 CIPA EVVY Award for Fiction/Fantasy
Winner 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for Fantasy
Winner 2016 Audible Best Fantasy Audiobook
Runner-up 2016 IPPY Awards and 2015 Great Midwest Book Festival for Sci-Fi/Fantasy
#1 Bestseller in Epic, Historical and Coming of Age Fantasy.

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems.

The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation’s royal academy – a whole world of secrets in itself.

But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror – and wonder.

715 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 2015

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About the author

Jonathan Renshaw

5 books2,655 followers
Jonathan Renshaw is a former high school English teacher and music producer who now writes full time. He is currently working on the epic fantasy series, The Wakening, launched in May 2015. Connect with him at www.jrenshaw.com.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,047 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa Starling.
12 reviews10 followers
December 30, 2015
This book was just barely good enough for me to finish reading. I nearly quit on it several times. There are moments when it's quite good, and then a lot of sections that just fall short, being too simplistic and almost childish. The main character, Aedan, is at times supposed to be unusually brilliant, yet at other times he deals with issues so clumsily that it's at odds with his strategic genius that is central to his successes. The other characters in the story were moderately developed, but the narrative lacked subtlety and depth. Peashot is a mischief maker. Hadley is impetuous. Aedan's mother is timid and naive. Osric is stern on the outside and soft on the inside. I could sum up most of the characters in one sentence. Aedan's struggles with his inner demons are literally the most compelling parts of the book and the only reason I made it to the end. The resolution was hollow.

The story itself is at times intriguing, but more often tedious. Attempts at humour missed their mark more often than not. I skipped whole pages. The most interesting bits turned out to be a touch disappointing. I may or may not read the rest of the series, but the world is full of brilliant, memorable stories, and this wasn't one of them.
22 reviews5 followers
May 22, 2015
This is hands down the best novel I've read this year.

First, the editing. Care and attention have been paid to both spelling and grammar to the point where it reads as though it has been professionally edited. This matters to me as I often find a careless or persistent error can throw me out of the story.

And what a story it is. I can't quite believe that this is self-published. Not only is the tale ambitious in scope but it is distinct enough to easily separate itself from the Tolkien, Jordan or Erikson formula's. Mr Renshaw is a new voice and has his own story to tell.

The flow and pace of the novel is just perfect; there is action aplenty but the author has taken care to protect the plot arc and doesn't simply jump from one crisis to the next. The characters are vivid and believable and the world building is both assured and subtle.

Truly exceptional storytelling and I'm eagerly waiting for the next installment.
Profile Image for Christopher Harju.
21 reviews53 followers
May 24, 2016
I found this self-published book on Audible and bought it because of previous good experience with the narrator and the glowing reviews on Goodreads.

I'm always on the lookout for new unknown fantasy books and hidden gems. Previous self-published "gems" I've found were Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Shadow that was Lost by James Islington, both extraordinary reads that compete against this century best fantasy authors like Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Pierce Brown, Brent Weeks, Peter W. Brett et al.

I mention these authors so you can decide if you have a similar taste to me: and want to take my review seriously or just ignore it as a piece of crap. :)

So was this book a gem? An author worth mentioning in the previous list of names. Sadly .... Not. However, it was not a completely bad read. So let me break the book down:

Narrative perspective: 9/10
It's active and engaging (just like B. Sanderson would write) you experience the world and story trough the eyes of the main character. Probably the main reason I finished the book.

World building: 6.5/10
It's decent, if you would stand inside the story you would probably feel that the world was alive and had some depth in it.

Complexity of events and reader deduction needed: 2/10
Overall, everything that happens is predictable. Events are explained to the detail, and there is no need for the reader to deduce mysteries or read between the lines. I identified no plot-twists and never got surprised. There are things left unexplained, mostly antagonist monsters, who are literally refereed to as monsters whom the protagonist needs to overcome. Also there is a religious undertone in the "ancient one" resembling the christian God and the "rationale of faith", however it's not too pushy. The overall complexity of the book is low. I would recommend more experienced and mature fantasy readers to read books by the authors mentioned in the beginning of the review.

Plot and pacing: 3/10
The plot and the pacing was (barely) OK, a coming-to-age tale of a farm boy who gets picked up to join the training to become an elite soldier/spy. His time in the school is motivated by vengeance and overcoming emotional trauma to defeat the evil empire who enslaved his friend. The plot works, but it's not subtly crafted. Some character dialogue and events are very clumsy, non-logical and generally exists only to enforce the story onward. Sometimes the pacing becomes painfully slow, for instance, the crafting of bows and swords are given hours (audiobook) of time being explained in smallest detail. The ending also left me unsatisfied, while being a long book in terms of pages the story did not cover much. If you have read Blood Song, imagine the book ending after Vaelin saved Frentis from the crypts.

Character depth: 3/10
Generally on the par with children's books and fairy-tales. Aside from the main character, most characters can be defined with one line. The bimbo girl that is good looking but empty inside who exploits others with her extraordinary beauty. The trickster that enjoys mischief and is always ready for adventure. The rival guy in school who only cares about demoting and picking on the main character. The big fierce warrior that everyone respects but is kind and warm on the inside. The selfish and hands down evil guard that only wants to hurt. Just examples, but the common theme is that characters in this book are one dimensional and their acts and deeds are motivated simply by their character description. The main character is problematic to describe. Sometimes likable, smart and wise for his age, but sometimes the complete opposite. While having more depth than the other characters, he still doesn't feel authentic or believable.

Reader emotional investment 2.5/10
This is highly personal and subjective, and is closely related to the similarity and "like-mindedness" between the reader and the author. I can't say I got too invested in the characters or the story. Emotional investment is important since it makes me (the reader) care for outcomes in the story, get excited about the obstacles and weep for the deaths of friends. Needless to say, I never wept, or lost sleep because of the excitement. There is one exception: the first 5 -10% of the book is more intriguing and interesting than the rest of the book and actually gave me some higher hopes about the book, unfortunately the quality declined after that.

I respect and like the the style the book is written, the author is on the right track in my opinion. If I would have just gotten into fantasy and read only books by Eddings and Paoliini, I might have liked the book more because I would not know to expect better, but alas I am spoiled by authors like Rothfuss. Overall I would not recommend this book to like-minded readers. However it will make a good book to read to your children as a bedtime story due to it's clarity and simple structure. Thanks for reading the review and hope it will help you to decide whether or not to buy this book.
Profile Image for Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf).
470 reviews286 followers
May 17, 2016
WOW!!! THIS is why I love reading! What an absolutely fantastic and powerful story. With one novel, Renshaw has surely joined an elite group of fantasy authors, along side names such as Tolkin, Sanderson and Rothfuss. This book has been nominated and won numerous awards and I can certainly say beyond a doubt that I am not surprised. From the beginning of the book you could just tell there was something very special about it. And the audio version was superb! Absolutely 30 hours of my life that I would gladly give again for the pleasure of listening to this fabulous tale for a second time.

The story is a coming of age fantasy centring around the young Aedan. Aedan and his friends live in a small farming town when their lives are turned around when slave traders enter the town. What follows next ultimately leads Aedan to start training at an academy for mercenaries, with revenge on an entire nation in his sights.

Now, my description is obviously extremely short and vague. But don't let it fool you, this story is rich with character and adventure. It is witty and moving. I was floored by the writing of this somewhat unknown author and even more blown away by the amazing performance of the narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds.

Like most good long fantasy tales, there are periods that are slower than the rest of the book - Setting the scene with characterisations, more than adventure and action. However when you take into account the importance of developing the characters and relationships between them, these slower periods are essential to the development of the story and I imagine the series as a whole. They are barely memorable.

The characters were all wonderfully developed, and entertaining. There were people that you loved, and people that you loved to hate. Poor Aeden did have his fair share of bad blood when it came to other characters and at times I was so frustrated at the way people treated him. Yes, at times some things seem far fetched, Aeden seems to have too much luck, or not enough... Being at the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time. Overhearing conversations that ultimately helped his cause. But this didn't bother me at all. I still enjoyed every moment of this fantastic story.

Would I recommend Dawn of Wonder?

If you are a fan of high fantasy, especially Patrick Rothfuss, I would highly recommend this novel. I actually enjoyed it more than The Name of the Wind. Do yourself a favour and check this book out. Especially the audio version! Fantastic!

For more reviews check out my blog
Profile Image for Twila.
129 reviews122 followers
April 26, 2017
I’ve got hundreds of friends here on GR. As of today (4/25/2017), only 31 of you have added this book and 0 of you have read it. Not a single one of you. ZERO of you. I am so alone.


But now I get to be the first to scream at you to read it! GO READ IT! Why? Because I SAY SO.
How do you describe something indescribable? I read somewhere that the best word for things that are bigger than words is wonder.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Dawn of Wonder is probably the finest self-published fantasy that I’ve read to date. And for it being a debut novel to boot? Amaaaaazing. It’s so sad that not many know about this book. The ONLY reason I actually found it was because I was specifically looking for more Tim Gerard Reynolds audiobooks. Who knew it would be so awesome?!

It has many things that regular readers of fantasy will recognise. It’s a coming-of-age tale of an ordinary farm boy who grows up in place called the Mistyvales—but you might as well call it The Shire, or Carvahall, or Emond’s Field etcetera etcetera. Tropey? Gosh yes. But trope or not, it fits. I can’t imagine this story starting anywhere else. There lives “almost thirteen” Aedan—despite being barely twelve—whose character is such a joy to discover and follow.

His naivety to life and the world around him gets him into trouble a lot, but he has such compelling virtues, like his curiosity, his resourcefulness, his good tactical sense, his generosity, and my favourite, his “adventuring fidgets.” But on the flip side, this is balanced by his resentful prejudices and a fatal flaw rendering him—an otherwise courageous boy—cowardly.
Aedan had been in no war, but he had known what no child should know, and the damage was much the same.

So much of this book was impressive but what stands out so brightly to me is the excellent character development Renshaw exhibits for his characters. The depth of Aedan’s brokenness is astounding to read. And it’s not just him. Aedan’s friends are each seen as having a moral core but they've all got some serious vices, such as racism and kleptomania. There are always 2 sides to a coin and Renshaw never fails to show us both. Even the villains are given moments to reveal something other than villainy.

Renshaw has masterfully managed to create a genuine attachment for these characters. Even Murn! I swear to you, even Murn—who is a FREAKING HORSE—has as much of a character to him than a lot other PEOPLE in fantasy. My favourite type of book is one driven by relationships. One with real characters that act in unexpected and sometimes frustrating—though realistic—ways. This IS IT.

But it’s not ALL perfect. It’s a big book and the middle sort of meanders a bit. A lot of time is spent preparing and growing skills at an academy and—though used to flesh out much of the characters—it sometimes feels a little aimless and might drag a little more than it should, with some parts feeling completely unnecessary. But I was always kept entertained by the good deal of mischief that characterizes Aedan’s interactions with his friends. For real, the amount of literal laugh-out-loud moments are off the charts and was an awesome surprise.

Renshaw is also a talented writer. His prose is beautiful when it’s in tune with nature and the mystic beauty of the world. And there’s almost this playfulness with the way he chooses his words, where things are often expressed in creative, even adventurous ways that adds an extra layer of fun to the reading experience.

But what I enjoyed most was the story. Renshaw tells a stunning story. One scene in particular I vividly remembered as being an extraordinarily empowering and inspiring. Aedan’s struggles with his trauma and his prejudices really drive home a powerful message and it adds a spectacular wow factor to the book. The path of a hero's journey may be a well-trodden one but, for me, it's this that happens along the way that makes this book unique.

For a fantasy novel, the actual fantastical elements are relatively light. Renshaw has a subtle touch when it comes to magic and although magical elements do appear in the novel, the spotlight remains firmly focused on Aedan’s growth during his adventures. Sadly, you won’t find dragons flying around, dwarves forging weapons, or wizards casting spells. It’s a magical world without the magical people. Though it DOES seem that the next instalment will change that big time!

It has an interesting ending that promises much. While this book was largely about getting to know the characters and what they are capable of, it seems that they will soon need to put all their skills to use! And I am so excited because may be on the cusp of something phenomenal here. Something epic. The beginning of something *sigh* wonderful.

P.S. Please make sure you get the latest edition of this book! The first editions have some missing content and it caused lots of confusion when the book was taking me down one road and the audio was taking me down another. That was DRAMA.

I also highly recommend the audio! Tim Gerard Reynolds does a world-class job of narrating and I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book as much without him.
Thank you Timmy!
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,144 reviews1,847 followers
May 11, 2017
This has been on my "currently reading" shelf for...well for a long time. "First-off" I bought the book so library books had to be moved ahead of it. However and secondly the book has (for me at least) a glaring problem. It begins as a very interesting even enthralling story. Then is "slowly" becomes more and more overly wordy.

In other words from an interesting story about our young protagonist we gradually move to a point where you'll know what he eats at most ever meal.

Now, that said I still go with a 3 star rating and almost went with a 4 star. This is a good book and I can recommend it with the one caveat that I found it to be slower and slower as it went along...well that and of course it ends as if it's simply the end of a chapter in a way, major "story in progress" ending.

Now that I've griped and accounted for the 3 star rating let say that the book does do some "stuff" well. The characters (especially the main characters) are well drawn. In spite of getting (for my taste) somewhat too detailed later they are very "knowable" and that is what initially drew me in. We follow the story and the development throughout and in spite (I say "in spite of" pretty often don't I?) of the fact that we seemed to lose one of our main story lines along the way (actually he was just taking his time setting it up so he could reintroduce it at the end as a hook for the next book) the story flows well and will (on the whole) I believe hold your interest.

I will also say that I'm sure many of you will disagree with my assessment of the story flow and love each line of what I found to be a bit too much verbiage. So...all that said I really do like the book, will probably follow it up and can (again "on the whole") recommend it.
2 reviews1 follower
June 12, 2015
I've read many books in my fifty-plus years and few have had me up past 2AM when I knew I should be sleeping; this is such a book.

The characters are brought to life in a world I can see in my mind as I read. The story captivates you and keeps you turning "just one more page" even though work looms only 4 hours away.

I highly recommend this adventure into a world both rich and ground in a unique reality. You won't waste your time, I promise.

Just a note to the author: You didn't waste your time. You are a gifted storyteller. Please, don't rush it, but get us the next volume yesterday!
Profile Image for Mark.
417 reviews66 followers
August 22, 2017
I really enjoyed reading this book. Renshaw is one of the few modern fantasy authors who got it right. An installment in an epic fantasy series should not dip below 600 pages! Or at least in my perfect world it wouldn't. I like a nice, big book to lose myself in and DAWN OF WONDER delivers.

In this episodic adventure, we follow Aedan from the farms of the Mistyvales to the corruption of urban Castath and beyond as he finds his way in life and dedicates himself to vengeance. It's really a book that evolves as from one episode to another Aedan's situation and life may be vastly different.

Interesting and lovable characters, firm world building and a truly compelling story make DAWN OF WONDER a pleasure to read. On the flip side Renshaw can get VERY bogged down in detailing, sometimes painfully so. For instance, I don't require knowledge of how every square inch of a fortress looks as the main character is running for his life through it!

Excellent book!

Profile Image for Davis Ashura.
Author 20 books449 followers
June 3, 2015
Dawn of Wonder is the stunning debut novel by Jonathan Renshaw and is also the first in his The Wakening epic fantasy series. The story is the coming of age tale of a young boy named Aeden, and from that perspective, the book may sound trite, but it succeeds in ways so many similar novels fail. First, Mr. Renshaw captures the absolute fun of being “almost thirteen”. His Aeden is a Tom Sawyeresque character who is utterly charming. From the very first scene when he tries to convince his friend Thomas to jump off a bridge into a snow-melt-cold stream to the various pranks and gags he manages to pull off throughout the novel with daring aplomb, there is joy in him, and he is a joy to discover.

But a novel can't be all fun and games. There has to be testing and testing there is. Mr. Renshaw shows us this ‘summertime of his life’ child and immediately engulfs him in tragedy. In the hands of a lesser author, what happens to Aeden would simply come off as paint-by-numbers writing. Often, these secondary characters seem to have a singular purpose: Die so the main feels sadness. That's not a flaw in Dawn of Wonder. Mr. Renshaw imbues all his characters with life and meaning. The loss Aeden experiences is genuine. I felt it. With one scene in particular, my heart actually clenched. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

Following this loss, young Aeden’s secret shame is revealed as he and his family have to flee their bucolic home. This shame-an abusive father-is one that will haunt Aeden throughout the rest of the story. It’s a fatal flaw that he did not deserve or cause, but one that will forever define him, rendering an otherwise courageous boy cowardly.

He travels on to the southern city of Castath and is eventually enrolled in the military academy meant to train the marshals, the nation's elite warriors and spies. It is there that the story spends the majority of its time, and in this, it is much like Anthony Ryan’s splendid Blood Song. While the story and scenes in Castath with Aeden’s training as a marshal aren’t quite as mysterious or riveting as those in Blood Song, they are, nevertheless, fascinating and well done. Characterizations are strong and most of them are quite likable. Much more happens in this large book (over 700 pages). There is great daring-do, ancient mysteries unearthed, and literal laugh-out-loud moments. There is also that sense of age, of history and truth to this novel that serves as the hallmark of the best worldbuilding.

But if that was all there was to this story: another coming-of-age story done well, but this one with humor, I wouldn’t be writing this review.

Instead, I am doing so because Mr. Renshaw’s writing is simply astounding. His effortless command of syntax, structure, and similes is remarkable. His writing is absolutely gorgeous with a breezy, yet detailed way of describing any scene and setting. There seemed to be a moment every page where I would have to pause and re-read a passage simply to take in the clever turn of phrase, the poetry, or the unexpected use of adjectives as nouns. It was absolutely beautiful and for this reason alone, should be read. His elegant, poetic prose, so like Mark Lawrence's (although Aeden is definitely not Jorg, nor is Dawn of Wonder grimdark), turned a very good story with themes that touched my heart into one that is wondrous (pun intended).

All in all, Dawn of Wonder was the finest self-published fantasy novel I’ve read since the previously mentioned Blood Song, and one of the finest fantasy novels I’ve read in the past few years, period.
Profile Image for Terence.
1,116 reviews353 followers
July 5, 2019
The Mistyvales is a quiet place where the children of nobility and commoners are able to befriend one another. One such pair of friends is the royal Kalry and the commoner Aedan. Life seemed perfect until one day an officer rides into town with a warning. Life is never the same for Aedan afterwards. He eventually finds his way into a special military academy, determined to change the world for the better.

How can I possibly explain Dawn of Wonder? I believe it's best explained as though it's a story told by the MCU Ant-Man's character Luis.
A needless and rambling long answer to a simple question.

This story gives possibly every detail in the beginning with the exception of characters bathroom schedule. I don't believe I've ever wanted to know as much about a single character as the book tells us about Aedan. The book feels longer than it's 712 pages. I really just wanted some additional editing to highlight the book's strong points and remove the aspects that simply weren't worthy of the pages. The fortunate thing is near the end of the book the author finally speeds the story up by jumping from one year to the next after a chapter or so.

With all that being said I thought Dawn of Wonder was good. I was largely interested in what was happening with Aedan. He has some amazing gifts and luck in the coming of age tale, but unfortunately he had some horrible events take place that shape him and the way the world perceives him.

Another downside is the story isn't particularly original. It has many of the basic coming of age aspects. Farm boy with amazing abilities goes off to the special school to hone his abilities. He's haunted by abuse in his childhood and other unfortunate events. I could largely predict what was going to happen next with a few exceptions.

Dawn of Wonder was an average story that displayed some promise.
Profile Image for John.
119 reviews5 followers
May 27, 2016
This is a very long, very overwritten, and very boring coming of age story. I picked it up because of the high reviews and was extremely disappointed. There are so many long drawn out uninteresting passages which add nothing to the plot. I kept going because there was an occasional glimmer that it might get better. It didn't. 30 audiobook hours of my life down the drain. Next time when I get the urge to lem I will pull the trigger quickly. Life is too short.

How this managed to get 4.4 stars I have no clue.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,234 followers
December 13, 2019
Usually, my preference is to read a book told in chronological order, but with Dawn of Wonder, I almost wish Renshaw had written Aeden's story in flashback.

Anyways. Full review to come.
Profile Image for Katherine Coble.
1,231 reviews259 followers
February 29, 2016
A few years ago I reviewed Anthony Ryan's _Blood Song_ here on Goodreads. That review gets me letters at least once a week asking me to recommend other books that are just as good as _Blood Song_, _Name Of The Wind_, and the rest of the titles I mentioned in that review.
I usually have to tell people "I have no idea but as soon as I do I'll shout it from the rooftops."
This is me, climbing up the ladder and preparing to balance on the shingles.

_Dawn Of Wonder_ is that book. It is the book I lost sleep over. The book that I got for free under Kindle Unlimited but loved so much I went back and bought both the Kindle and Audible versions.

Yes, I'm partial to Bildungsroman. Novels about the coming of age of heroes are infinitely more fascinating to me than the tales of subsequent heroics. I want to know how the hero is made.

This book is the best of that type of book since _Blood Song_. And like Blood Song was initially it's much cheaper than it should be. This is a $25 book being sold for $4. It's a "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" book. It's the book I kept raving about while the doctor was trying to review my test results.

Seriously. Read it.
Author 0 books10 followers
June 12, 2016
DNF. Comparing this book to The Name of The Wind is Simply bullshit. They are not in the same league. The writing is simplistic and childish. A quarter of the way through I had to check to see if this was a book aimed for young adults, but the writing level would be more suited for the 10-13 range reader.

The writer tries to show us the main character is overly clever but the writer is not clever enough to put him in situations to prove his cleverness.

The dialogue is rough and unrealistic. The attempts at humor misses the mark almost every time.

Some parts of the story are very overwritten while others, the seemingly interesting parts, are very underwritten and summarized.

Not a good book for adults and nothing like The Name of The Wind.
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews234 followers
April 25, 2016
For much of the book there were really only hints of it becoming a fantasy book. The elements were really a coming of age book with hints of possible fantasy implications. I have to say I was frustrated with this at points because it was billed as a fantasy book. However the writing was superb and the characters very enjoyable with great pacing.

Then the last quarter of the book things began to click and a lot of the teasing made the payoff worth it. The book left off with my thinking this was the appetizer and the follow up books are going to make one hell of a main course. I'm really looking forward to where this is going and I can see it being carried out from the character being 13-16 in this book and ending closer to 30 in future books which will be pretty cool watching the evolution.

I do hope a lot of the fantasy aspects to be more of a focal point going forward. I think this is a solid 4.5* effort.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,562 reviews2,938 followers
March 19, 2017
This is a book I picked up as an impulse buy on Audible becuase it kept being advertised to me and it sounded very intriguing. Plus, it's also narrated by Tim Gerald Reynolds who is the narrator for Michael J. Sullivan's books (all of which I have very much enjoyed) so I knew I already liked and trusted the narrator. I am SO glad I picked this one up, it's a story I feel deserves SO much more attention than it has previously been given and I really really would recommend this if you enjoy epic fantasy read like me :)

This story follows a young boy called Aedan who is fond of adventures and filled with life. He and his best friend, xxx, live in the Mistyvales in the North and they are happy in their rural lives there. Together they and their other young friends love to get into mischief and play games of intellect. They have fun and tease and laugh much like any young children.

One day Aedan and the rest of the village are called together to hide in the grand manor house as it's rumoured that slavers are coming to their village to trap them. Aedan and his friends are suspicious of the man who's come to report the slavers so he and his friends decide to warn the next village over and this starts a rebellion that the town see as divided loyalties.

When the slavers do come and the town is divided on who led them in Aedan and his family are forced to flee after the death of one of his young companions. They travel far and fast and they end up in the Southlands after passing by an abandoned great fort which holds many horrible secrets.

Aedan's story is certainly a coming-of-age tale but the themes included in this book make this an adult read rather than a YA. Not only is the book epic in scope and plot, it's also a highly engaging and magical read with some really exciting moments interwoven. We get to follow Aedan as he comes out from under his father's domineering shadow and moves into training to become an elite Marshal and hunt down the Slavers in revenge for the way they've destroyed his life. He meets many people, both good bad and somewhere in-between, and he goes through many different challenges along the way which leave him a grown man with a lot of potential.

This book is only the beginning of the series and I have no doubt that this series will become a favourite for me with the next book becuase of how this one ended. It's dramatic and exciting, fun and dark and there's magic, mystery and treachery around every corner.

If you like authors like Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, James Islington, Patrick Rothfuss or George R R Martin then I don't doubt that you will also enjoy this one. Give it a try on audio as that's how i read it or buy the book online (which I have since done as I enjoyed it so much). Highly recommended and I can't wait for book #2 - 4.5*s
Profile Image for Matias.
38 reviews12 followers
January 1, 2016
Hands down the best book I've read on 2015.

Call it stupid prejudice, but I haven't read many self published material before. Yet, I would not call this book self published material at all.

I'd call it one of the biggest, greatest hidden treasures in the self published industry, and everyone should read it. Right now. Seriously, RIGHT NOW!

I don't know how I came by this book, it just has over a thousand ratings on Goodreads (with a really nice average rating of 4.40/5 stars by the way).

This coming-of-age story left me speechless. We follow the story of Aeden, a flawed Tom-Sawyerish kind of boy with a quick strategic mind, who suffers from an abussive father. After a misterious soldier arrives at his town, he's forced to leave and after a long journey ends up in the Marshal's Academy. There, he'll train to become a Marshal, a Spy-Soldier-Foreign Relations Ambassador. However, something ancient and strange is stirring throughout the lands. No one can really say what it is, but its real, and its powerful. I'll stop here since I don't want to spoil anything.

The Amazingness:

1. Writing Style!: Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Where other authors fail and over-describe things, Jonathan Renshaw manages the sweet spot of lyrical descriptions without loosing tension and pacing. Long time since I've liked a writing style this much.

2. Characters!: Characters and character development was outstanding. Standing ovation to Jonathan on this one. The main characters could have been you or me: real!

3. Plot & Pacing: Though it being a 700+ page book, I devoured it. The plot and pacing were fantastic, I just wanted to get out of work to keep on reading.

To Sum Up:

I'm having trouble putting down to words just how damn good this book is. This book kept me up till very late at night, made me want to get back home from work just to read. Its absolutely fantastic. Though a coming-of-age story, this is really mature and I believe has themes that make it more adult than YA.

Please, do yourself a favor and read it. Its just, pure greatness.
Profile Image for Yvonne (The Coycaterpillar Reads).
713 reviews223 followers
January 21, 2021
Well, hello that one came out of left field didn’t it? The Dawn of Wonder surprised me with the sheer force of its narrative and sense of adventure. A book that is part right of passage and part revenge. This was picked up by a whim and I’m extremely glad that it didn’t disappoint because it a story of epic proportions and an epic length to match. This is what I love about self-published fantasy; it can kick that story home and unleash hidden gems in amongst a populated genre. This name wouldn’t be out of place besides, Sanderson, Tolkien, and Gwynne.

Dawn of Wonder ticked all the boxes. From the very start you can tell that the multiple layers of storytelling, epic world building and deep and definitive character building would be worth the investment, in both time and brain power. It has that instant feeling that you have something incredibly special in your hands. Grief, remorse, guilt, and vengeance are themes that play a crucial role in the development in the story and you are left with the feeling that you’ve almost watched a boy grow from a naive child to a self-assured confident young man. It was an investment that plagued my waking moments and I rushed to get back to reading as often as I could.

There are scenes that are hard to read and comprehend but it only added to the multi-faceted complexity of the story. The more hardship Aaden went through, the more connected to the characters I felt. It’s one of the best coming of age stories that I have had the pleasure of reading.

Aden and his friend’s lives are turned upside down when a slaver infiltrates their village. All I will say is shit happens and his and his friend’s lives will never be the same again. Its dark and twisted and it’s the kind of event that will change personalities and reactions to events. The author certainly knows how to pull at the heartstrings. The events of that day eventually lead to Aden taking up training at the Mercenaries Academy. The training isn’t easy, and the selection process is quite frankly brutal, it reminded me of the physicality of the Marines. This is no short road to his ends, but he has his sights firmly set on destroying a nation that brought pain and misery to his, The Lakau.

Dawn of Wonder does so much right, but its characterisation is strong and takes the story to a new level. Aden is a character with a strong moral compass but has an extremely hot headedness to him. I really loved that; it made him more human. Afterall, our childhood is what makes us. He doesn’t let past trauma define him but ultimately it is still apart of him. Damn this book was so good!

Dawn of Wonder is a bloody marvel. Its compulsive, expansive and so rich. Its just so relentlessly gripping.
Profile Image for Rob.
853 reviews540 followers
April 8, 2018
Executive Summary: Started and ended really strong with a few lulls in the middles that cost it from possibly being a 5 star read for me.

Audiobook: I'm a huge fan of Tim Gerard Reynolds. He does a fantastic job with every book I've ever listened to him narrate, and this one is no different. He does a variety of voices and always is easy to understand and hear.

Full Review
I got this one as a gift a few years ago, but it was pretty long and the second book doesn't seem to be coming out soon so I was in no rush to pick it up. I found myself at a point where I was trying to pick out an audiobook of the about 30 hours waiting for a new release on April 5th and this fit that bill nicely. I'm glad I finally picked this one up.

I'm a sucker for the fantasy school trope. This isn't quite that. In fact there is very little magic to speak of in the book for the most part. Instead what we get is more like Ranger school.

Aedan at times seems like your stereotypical chosen one, but it turns out there is a lot more going on than meets the eye initially. I thought the supporting cast was really good. You have your typical school bullies and enemy turned ally tropes, but I seem to just eat that up. I liked his lab partner in medical class the best, although I don't recall her name because I'm terrible at names.

As someone who loves puzzles and tends to favor rogues and rangers when roleplaying, I loved the idea of the school with it's training of both the mind and the body taught in a school that seems full of mysteries.

There is enough different going on here that kept me listening to an extra chapter here and there throughout most of the book. I did find a few lulls at points in the middle however.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will definitely pick up the second book on release day. Based on his website maybe that will be by the end of the year or early next year. I sure hope it's this year!
Profile Image for Banner.
330 reviews47 followers
May 19, 2016
Lots of glowing reviews on this one and in my opinion this book deserves them.

If we must categorize this book, it is a coming of age, fantasy novel in the epic tradition. But that really is like describing the ocean by saying it is wet (I read that in a book somewhere).

This is storytelling at its finest. We are pulled in by the tragedy of the story but the sense of wonder keeps us reading. We see this medieval world through the eyes of an almost 13 year old boy. He's intelligent, kind, resourceful and a lover of life; but he has a dark secret that threatens to crush him. Tragedy comes to his village and his life will never be the same. The story follows Aedan's journey through life and is intermingled with characters both good and bad that literally come to life on the page (well not literally).

Let me say that this is not all that original. This is in many ways a typical fantasy plot but what sets this apart from the many others on the selves is the quality of writing. It is just a pleasure to read. While this is the first of a series don't let fear of a cliffhanger deter you. The book does set up for the continuation of the saga but it ends on a satisfactory note and I did not feel cheated by the untold parts of the story.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for C.P. Cabaniss.
Author 5 books96 followers
June 17, 2017
This may sit somewhere in the 3.5 star range. I am not entirely sure yet.

At the beginning of the year, my fantasy loving friend Twila recommended this book to me. Aren't book recommendations the best? I have found some of my favorite books after a great recommendation and both of my favorite authors were recommended by friends and family. But anyway, back to this book. After that recommendation, I decided to give this a try. And I'm really glad I did.

This is definitely a slow building series that is working it's way toward that epic fantasy label. We follow a young boy who is displaced after a traumatic experience alters the course of his life. And his life was not easy to begin with, so watching him struggle can be a struggle for the reader as well. The story deals with abuse, bullying, slavery, friendship, love, self-esteem, and really any other human emotion you can think of.

The fantasy elements of the story are somewhat sparse, particularly in the beginning. The setting is fantasy like, since it's not on earth, but it really isn't until much later in the story that there are hints of what may progress into a magic system. There are other touches that make it feel more fantasy than anything else, but this is not a magic or fantasy-creature heavy book.

Through the course of the novel we follow Aedan, our main character, through several years of training at an elite school. I'm somewhat of a sucker for school settings, so I really enjoyed the portions that dealt with this training. It's always so much fun seeing these kids thrown together and forced to interact in close proximity (though I don't think I would have liked it were I in their shoes). A lot happens over the years.

For a while I wasn't sure how much I would like Aedan, because he seemed too perfect, too brilliant, and just too ideal to really be real. I am glad to say, however, that this was not the case. Though he often surprised the other characters with his skills and observations (sometimes these were a little far-fetched to me), he made plenty of mistakes. Not only did he make mistakes, however, he also had ingrained weaknesses that he had to overcome--and still has to overcome at the end of this novel. There aren't easy fixes to a lot of problems and I appreciate that Renshaw didn't try to gloss over this fact. It made the story and characters much more real.

Overall this was well written but I can see where a little more polish would make it a more powerful story. Since this is, I believe, the fourth released revision, that is obviously something that the author cares about so I have no doubt that this may become better with time and attention. And likely the following books in the series will also improve given the author's experience after releasing this story.

This is a slow build novel but sets up a nice world and cast of characters to continue on. The last 10% or so of the novel had some revelations that make me eager for the release of book two. There is definite potential in this series and I am looking forward to following Aedan and his friends on their future quest.

I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy epic fantasy and like a story that takes time to build. Book two is supposed to be released later this year (no exact date set yet), so now is a perfect time to get started.

Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,322 reviews143 followers
March 24, 2021
This one is especially hard to rate! On the one hand it is full of flaws - but on the other hand I thoroughly enjoyed it!

It started of quite slow, and I was almost giving up on it. But then another part started, and I was sucked back in. It is very "trope heavy" with a school for magistrates (fighters to keep up the law), a quest, a young boy who has to grow into some kind of hero, a band a friends sticking together, a lost best (girl) friend and the grumpy mentor who is a really nice guy at heart if you just know where to look. It didn't really do anything new or rare, but it still kept me enthralled all the way through after a rocky start.

The prose was fine, just some sentences sounded a bit stilted. The rest of the way it was just right to keep me going.

The characters are a bit stereotypical. But I somehow enjoyed it anyway - knowing what I am in for. Usually I like some big twists, but as it seems I don't always need those.

I loved the detailed description of the bowyer and the smiths work! Definitely a favorite part to me.

There was one single chapter of a budding romance - I really wouldn't have needed that. It also felt like it was added in, and not like a smooth and natural part of the story. It was very brief though, so I could just roll my eyes at it and go on with the rest of the book.

With all the flaws in my mind, one would think I'd have to give it a 2* rating or something - but I did enjoy it a lot despite all of them, so I'll go for 4 stars!
464 reviews401 followers
May 24, 2017
When I picked up this audiobook I wasn't aware it was a coming of age/young adult novel, which is usually a genre I avoid like the plague. I think I burned myself out on them a while ago and I tend to get annoyed with less mature protagonists. So, when it was clear a few chapters in that this book had a 12 year old main character I was skeptical if I should continue, but, it was being narrated by the lovely Tim Gerard Reynolds, so I continued despite my hesitations.

I'm glad I did, I liked this book overall even though there are some things that kept me from giving it 5 stars.

The book starts out with a group of kids growing up in a smaller village somewhat in the middle of no where. There was a raid by pirate slavers, and the main character and his family were falsely accused of being a part of it, so they were forced to take a long trip to relocate to a new city.
Despite the book adhering to many of the coming of age tropes, having dead parents wasn't one of them - the relationship between the father and son in this book is extremely complex. Despite seemingly caring for his family (in his own twisted way) the father is extremely verbally and physically abusive to his wife and son. It's left the main character with PTSD, a topic I don't see brought up in fantasy, let alone YA.

I unfortunately have several people very close to me with this sort of relationship with their fathers, and many aspects of the relationship I feel were portrayed accurately, including what it's like to live with PTSD and suffer from panic attacks. Some people got annoyed with this part of the book, but considering my background with it I found it to be well done for the most part. After losing control of his temper, the father goes through a phase of shame at his loss of control and becomes distant and cold unable to bring himself to apologize. The son, despite the messed up things his father does to him, clings to the good memories they create while hunting and foresting together.

When they reach the new city he decides he wants to take vengeance against the people who raided his home town and took someone he cared deeply about. He signs up for the military academy there and the bulk of the book takes place within this academy. This is not a magic academy, and in fact magic has just barely been touched on - if you dislike being beaten over the head with magic systems and powerful mages and really enjoy military academies this book may appeal to you.
The length spent at the academy is one of my complaints though, not because of the lack of magic, but because I feel like it could have been condensed a bit to keep the pacing a bit faster. The book is LONG for a YA book and I think that's part of the reason I didn't realize it was YA, at 700+ pages I thought this was an adult epic fantasy.

We do eventually get to the fantastic elements of the book in the last quarter of the book when a short sighted prince decides to send a group of people he considers to be trouble makers on a suicide mission to an ancient ruin where scouting parties have not returned from. The main character, a friend of his, and a group of trained soldiers are sent to go explore the ruin and see why people haven't been returning.

Here we encounter some ENORMOUS beasts that haven't been seen in the realm for ages. The ruin is full of ancient treasures, monsters, and traps.

By the end of the book we are seeing more mystical things occur, and Aeden has gone from being 12 at the beginning of the book to 16. He's preparing to be sent as an infiltrator to the land of the people who stole the villager he cared so much about, and lamented about for much of the book.
It didn't end on a cliffhanger, some of the challenges the main character faced have been resolved, but it's absolutely not the end of the story, and I hope that the next one has a bit more action and faster pacing. I expect that it will due to where he's going, and the impending war his realm has been prepping for during much of the book.

Despite some pacing issues and my general disinterest in coming of age novels I did feel compelled to keep reading and finished the book within a few days - I will be picking up the second book when it comes out.

If you're looking for something that fits debut novel or self published, enjoy ya and coming of age stories I would recommend picking it up.

Profile Image for Nino.
55 reviews24 followers
August 3, 2016
Što reći i kakvu poruku posrati o ovoj knjizi?
Počela je baš lijepo. Od vrlo visoke ocjene na Goodreadsu i Amazonu nisam očekivao ništa manje od novog LoTR-a, dakle nekakav fantasy s drevnim zlom koje se budi, nekakav 'dark shadow' koji prijeti nad zamišljenim kontinentom, a skupina mladih pustolova će se otisnuti u avanturu nepoznatim svijetom i upoznati se s njegovim tajnama. I naravno, na kraju još nenapisane treće knjige, vratiti zlo odakle je došlo nekom slavnom izjavom poput „Cast it into the fire!!!“

No kako sam više odmaknuo s čitanjem, nekako me uzbuđenje pustilo jer nije bilo nikakvih 'uuu jebote' scena, iznenađenja ili događaja, neke stvari su postale predvidljive, a ponekad je nekoliko chaptera bilo toliko naporno čitati da sam ih jednostavno preskakao.

Glavni lik je dvanaestogodišnji Aedan, dečkić bujne mašte, pustolovnog duha i strateškog uma (wait, what?), sin oca šumara (a kasnije doznajemo da je zapravo opaki kriminalni lord (wtf??)) ups, spoiler) i majke pisarice koja ovdje nije uopće važna. No, Aedanov otac ponekad, je li, opsjednut demonom Mladena Grdovića, priušti Aedanu nekoliko modrica i posjekotina, čime se ovaj mora cijelo vrijeme nositi, a mnogo kasnije kad se opet susretnu, Aedan mu pokazuje kako „bota ima dva kraja.“ Hah!

Aedan sa svojim prijateljima Thomasom i Kalry, djevojkom pred kojom se crveni, živi mirno u gradiću Mistyvaleu. Mirno do negdje 50-te stranice, kada im zaprijeti narod Lekran, trgovci robljem, i otmu i ubiju (ali možda i ne) Kalry. Ta tragedija duboko utječe na Aedana i on se zaklinje da, kad odraste, narod Lekran će mu lizati čizme. Prisiljeni na bijeg, Aedan sa roditeljima otputuje u južni grad Castath, gdje se upiše u elitnu vojnu akademiju i tu počinje njegov rigorozni trening.

Upravo taj dio mi je bio najnaporniji, opisi treninga, izrade mačeva i lukova, upoznavanje likova koji ni po čemu nisu posebni, učenje borbenoj taktici, a Aedan, trinaestogodišnji 'strateg', vojskovođama daje savjete kamo razmjestiti katapulte i kako organizirati obranu grada. Come on! S vremena na vrijeme, Aedan s prijateljima organizira istraživanje podzemnih dijelova akademije u potrazi za tajnama, no te tajne mi nisu bile nešto 'uuu jebote' uzbudljive.

Velike su sličnosti priče s onom Rothfussovom o Kvotheu. No i u Strahu mudraca se ništa tektonsko ne događa, ali sam svejedno tih 1000 stranica teško ispuštao iz ruku, dok sam ovdje svako 'otkrivenje' ili tajnu dočekao nekako mlako i nezainteresirano.

Gle, nije ovo loša knjiga, ali meni nije ništa svježe i novo. Jednostavno je sve krenulo na drugačiji način nego što sam si zamislio pa me zato razočarala.
Profile Image for ~Dani~ .
312 reviews55 followers
June 22, 2017
Read this review and more at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Aedan is a young boy that lives in a small, quiet village pretty much in the middle of nowhere. He is kind of a genius and brilliant at tracking and survival situations. Tragedy strikes his village leading to the loss of someone that Aedan is very close to and he and his family are forced to leave the village to find a new home.

The first part of the book was easily my favorite part. This part that laid down the overall plot for the series had the most cohesive and the least episodic plot was the most enjoyable for me and really hooked me in. Honestly, this section is pretty much what carried the rest of the book for me.

The rest was okay. If you read it like different sections are separate “episodes” of a TV series, it is really good. The plot, while simple, is spread out and can move rather slowly at times. Trying to read this book as a single, cohesive plot would probably lead to frustration because it does meander around so much. Thinking of it like the first season of a TV series makes it more enjoyable.

I think a lot of this meandering around was meant help with laying groundwork for world building but it was insanely overdone. There were so many sections that either didn’t need to be there at all or could have been cut down to be more concise and readable.

There were pages and pages of whole passages that were about things like horse care. Kind of cool to know about but ultimately not important to the story. There was a whole section about a potential love interest that really went no where other than to conclude that the love interest was a total brat.

Things like this really only served to bog down the story overall and it kind of took away from the better parts. When there was some action going on, it was good. I really enjoyed seeing Aedan’s genius and mischievousness at work

One theme that this book kind of explored that I did really like was physical abuse and how the victim is effected even after the abuse has stopped. I really didn’t expect that going into this story but really enjoyed that aspect of it and how it explored that recovery from being abused is a long road and is not something you magically get better from as soon as the abuse stops.

Although the ending was a tad predictable, it does leave me hopeful that the next installment will be more like the first part of the book and stick to main story line rather than kinda going all over the place.

I can easily recommend this to fans of high fantasy that enjoy or are at least okay with long books that take their time getting to where they are going.
Profile Image for Mario.
40 reviews10 followers
November 3, 2017
I would go as far as a 4.5. It is that good a debut.
I've been going through some of GR's 2016 underrated fantasy list, and boy is it a treasure trove! As for this book, my primary impression upon completing it was enormous regret that book two was nowhere in sight. That is how much I enjoyed it.
This is a coming-of-age story, and a truly amazing start to a series. Our young hero, Aedan, is transported, through profoundly traumatic events, from his rural Mistyvales to an elite soldiering academy where his skills, personality, ability, and purpose are honed, and a couple of aspects of the bigger picture are tantalizingly revealed. As memorable as the voyage is, that brings Aedan to the academy at Castath, it is his time here which sees the reader absorbed into, and feeling a part of, the growth of the characters as well as the story. And yes, there are magical elements, which are introduced just lightly enough but with the right amount of gravitas and mystery to enthrall(though it's looking like book two will actually be a feast in this respect.)
The story ends on a note that leaves us in no doubt that we're in for something spectacular come the next entry in the series. Jonathan Renshaw has crafted a remarkable piece of literary art with some powerful underlying themes.
P.S. If you have the option, even as much as I know we all enjoy just holding a huge hardcover of a delectable book, do try the audiobook as it is magnificently narrated. I did so in addition to reading a physical copy and quite enjoyed myself. Have fun.
Profile Image for Vicky N..
366 reviews57 followers
April 30, 2017
Dawn of Wonder is the epic tale of twelve-year old Aedan, a bright boy from the Mistyvales, who after a series of misfortune is exiled out of his home town and separated from his closest friends. And so begins his journey in the marshal's academy to better himself and bring revenge to those who wronged him.

Dawn of Wonder is the debut novel from self-published author, Jonathan Renshaw, a retired school teacher and I am just amazed at the incredible work he has created.

Aedan starts as a very smart boy who is always the mastermind behind all the mischief that goes around his home town. Even some of the adults see the great future he has in front of him.

This is the first book in a series and it felt like a coming-of-age story. We saw Aedan grow exponentially as a person, emotionally and physically, and learning all he can. And I bet next book is going to be about putting all of that knowledge to practice.

The book wasn't perfect, but I am astounded by the world-building and I am certain there's more greatness to come. And yes, it did reminded me of the Name of the Wind. It did have that feeling of the epic tale of a great man.

I wish I could ramble more, but I don't want to spoil anyone, so I guess you'll just have to read it for yourselves.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,336 reviews29 followers
January 25, 2019
Coming-of-Age Medieval Fantasy told in 3rd-person POV. Scenes of bullying, treachery, child abuse, murder, etc. The main protagonist is an adventurous, curious, and observant village lad named Aedan. He is 12 when the story begins and 15 when it ends. In that time, he completed 3 years of intense training at the academy, where he hopes to become a marshall (a spy, ranger, ambassador, warrior, linguist, etc.).

The land is in danger from the Fenn to the east and Lakren slave-traders from the west. Plus, unnatural events and creatures are seen in the mountains and near the lake. Prince Burkhart (name doesn't fit) has an agenda — but what is it? What lurks in the abandoned fortress? And what is hidden in the secret chambers beneath the academy?

A central theme is overcoming demons forged in childhood. Aedan's love-hate relationship with his father felt credible, if sad. (His father beat him). There are some scenes that involve a deity called The Ancient One, with messages reminiscent of Christian teachings (but not overtly), and a major act-of-god.

Some secondary characters add nicely to the story. Heartwarming scenes with General Osric, Peashot, Luri, etc.

Quibbles: Long boring descriptions of how to make a bow, a sword, etc. The training at the academy was summarized too much. He did this. He went there. He learned that. It compares unfavorably with how the warrior Thorne trained his boys to fight in the Brotherband: The Invaders. For one example, Thorne used nets and rolling logs to develop balance and awareness of footwork in swordplay.

The momentum and pace is start-and-stop. Aiden sees something quite strange and frightening, but then... life goes on. This occurs several times.

I was interested in scenes with Aedan's new horse, his wild young colt (stupid name Aedan gave him). However, the training of a ranger's horse — and the tight relationship between horse and rider — is better described in The Ruins of Gorlan.

The last chapters belonged in the beginning of book 2. Anticlimactic.

The author says "different to" rather than "different from" — dialectic, I suppose, but I stumbled over it each time.

Still, a fairly good story, especially in the last quarter. I will probably read the sequel.

Excellent narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds, even if characters sound similar. I alternatively read and listened.
Profile Image for Thomas J. Benedict.
78 reviews28 followers
April 8, 2018
I started this book, hoping for a great adventure. Unfortunately, I found the writing quite amateur. Sigh. DNF.
Had I never picked up the pen myself, I probably could've enjoyed the ride. But I'm glad to see plenty of people (all readers, I assume, not many writers) enjoyed this book.

Here are the major complaints I still remember:
- Sentences were not highly efficient and impactful. More words than needed.
- Author over used the term "it," without efficiently assigning a subject at all times. He also did this with the term "he" and "she," often leaving me confused about what (or who) the hell the author was talking about. Irritating.

However, there were some brilliant parts. I liked the main character and his reasons for things. Made me chuckle a few times. Hopefully the author will hire (multiple) skilled editors for upcoming books.

Overall, I found this book's success to be encouraging, as it shows the general audience is not as critical of writing as a writer/author might be. Glad to see what matters MOST to a reader (or listener) is good story telling.

Clearly, Renshaw is a good story teller. Salute.
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