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Daybreak Rising

(Daybreak Rising #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Celosia Brennan was supposed to be a hero. After a spectacular failure that cost her people their freedom, she is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance at redemption. Together with a gifted team of rebels, she not only sets her sights on freedom, but defeating her personal demons along the way.

Now branded a failure, Celosia desperately volunteers for the next mission: taking
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published September 21st 2016 by Kiran Oliver
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Kiran Yes you would. :D Of the six main characters as was mentioned above, 5 of them ID across the lgbtq+ spectrum. 3/6 are queer, brown women of color.
Yes you would. :D Of the six main characters as was mentioned above, 5 of them ID across the lgbtq+ spectrum. 3/6 are queer, brown women of color.
The protagonists on the cover are a cisgender lesbian [Celosia, the redhead] and her partner Ianthe, a demisexual panromantic woman.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Suzanne Rooyen
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a spec fic new adult novel with rich world-building and diverse characters, Daybreak Rising is the book for you!

There's a lot to like in this book. While the story takes a little while to get going, I loved the rich and varied world-building that sees magic coexisting with technology. This isn't a common pairing and I think it was handled well in this story with some Elementalists (mages) even having magic that affected technology. I thought that was pretty cool.

But what d
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it

there is more diversity in this book than in tumblr, I swear.
not only you get that but you also get magic plus a heroine that fails at saving her country and just wants redemption.

basically, if harry potter had failed and everyone was queer.
why wouldn't you love this.
Kayla Bashe
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
disclaimer: got an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Daybreak Rising is basically the sort of book that comes to mind when one thinks of a YA spec-fic beach read. There's an oppressive government that's entirely awful (except for free healthcare,) a secret society? military cabal? of magical people forced to hide their powers or risk death, and a heroine whose incredibly powerful fire magic correlates to her flaring emotions. All in all, it's the sort of thing people have made aesthetic photo
RoAnna Sylver
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Daybreak Rising caught my attention immediately for the basic premise alone - a twist on the "chosen one" standby. The desperate, all-or-nothing assault on the powers that be has already occurred, many years ago. The teenage prodigy heroine that the oppressed masses were pinning their hopes on - failed. Celosia Brennan is a disappointment. People speak her name with bitterness. Actually, they don't even speak her name. They call her "Daybreak
Rebecca Navnet
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me start off by saying Daybreak Rising is definitely worth reading. My favorite thing about this book is how well developed and varied the characters all are. Both the "good" and the "bad" guys are quite complex and you're left really wanting to figure out what makes everyone tick. The main character, Celosia, has had to deal with quite a difficult past and a even more daunting future that seems unreachable but she keeps moving forward. Quite often in the books I read the heroes are impossib ...more
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I decided to read Daybreak Rising because I’ve been looking for an interesting dystopian series and also because one of the main characters is demisexual (on-page)!

It’s #ownvoices for demisexual representation.


I was intrigued from the start. The first scene just took hold of me, and I needed to know how it continued. The premise is gripping and the entire plot is just amazing. And seriously, those two plot twists at the end,
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Featured on All Our Worlds!

Daybreak Rising is one of the most anticipated books of the season in diverse fiction circles, and it's one of the most diverse books I’ve recently read, not only in its characters but also in its landscapes and settings.

In this world, the Council rules strong, and Elementalists with magic powers are either killed or turned to the Council’s purpose. And our heroes are those who stand against them, even if they’ve failed before.

Our protagonist is a queer woman with PTSD
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, I could swear I had already written a review for this book, but apparently my memory isn't the best (nothing new here). Anyway, Daybreak Rising is a book I had been waiting since before it was called Daybreak Rising, and I was, of course, really excited about it. Thankfully, it didn't disappoint. C.K. Oliver's debut has everything I love in fantasy: battles, magic, good characters and a charming romance.

The characters first. Celosia, the protagonist, wasn't my favorite (it was Ianthe and Ad
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
I'll be posting my full review of this one on Books and Ladders as part of New Adult August!

I think this one was pretty good but I had some difficulty following the story line 100% of the time. I think that the plot could have used a little more polishing because there are things I'm a little confused about that I should have a pretty firm grasp on after finishing the whole novel. The magic system was really intricate, well thought out, and well explained. However, the novel didn't give me enoug
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Daybreak Rising is a great addition to the NA Spec Fic crowd! I really enjoyed the innovative world the author created as well as the idea of magic coexisting with technology so much that there are actually those whose magic works with/over technology-- how *cool* is that? Answer: pretty freaking awesome. This book absolutely stands out in NA Spec Fic and brings to the table aspects that haven't been seen before in this age category and genre. I can't wait for the next installment and to see whe ...more
Feb 22, 2019 marked it as dnf
DNF @ 12% with no rating.
I'm saaaaaaaad. The world building sounds intriguing and the characters interesting from the bit I read, but the writing.... It's NOT working for me. It's incredibly disconnected in every conceivable way. It just felt awkward and I was constantly confused.
So this is bye for now. Maybe sometime in the future I'll give it another try.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of NK Jemisin, Ursula K Le Guin, diverse SFF, F/F, and the Avatar series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Fan
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-voices
Celosia Brennan was supposed to save the world. A dual-touched Elementalist with the ability to cast fire and see glimpses of her own future, she was supposed to take down the Council--an authoritarian government that oppresses Elementalists and treats their very existence as a crime--and free her people. But things went horribly, horribly wrong. Now, years later, she has a shot at a second chance. As a member of the Regime, an underground resistance movement, she trains and leads a group of ecl ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
While the story is an interesting concept, it's badly written, rushed, and most of it makes no sense. There is no discernible timeline and the transition from paragraph to paragraph is sloppy.
Many descriptions of the characters and their traits/personalities seemed rushed and out of place, as the author tries to incorporate different gender identities and sexualities without knowing how to incorporate the reveals into the storyline properly.
This book is a hot mess.
This was a book with an amazing concept and really fantastic characters, but the execution needed work.

The author gets a lot of credit for a creative plot, interesting magical system, and a diverse, oh-so-queer, and very believable cast of characters. I adore imperfect protagonists, rebellions, complicated relationships, and people learning to work together, all of which are major features of Daybreak rising! I'm glad that this story exists, and I really wanted to love the book.

However, I wasn'
Claudie Arseneault
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There's a LOT to be excited about in DAYBREAK RISING. First I'm always here for a rebels-overthrow-shitty-government story, and the unique spin of having a leader who already failed at exactly this task is icing on the cake. Second, Magic + Technology mixed together doesn't happen often enough, and I love it, and it is integrated in fascinating ways throughout Esonith. In short, the worldbuilding surrounding this
Saruuh Kelsey
This book has more diversity than a QUILTBAG support group. But that isn't the only reason you should read it. Daybreak Rising combines a magical military (!!), fascinating relationships of both romantic and platonic nature, and a world that mixes familiar fantasy elements with modern technology. At it's heart this is a book about redemption, friendship, and self-forgiveness.

The romance between Celosia and Ianthe is tender and progresses at a natural rate - a must for any fictional relationship
Dorothy Dreyer
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Daybreak Rising is a unique read filled with rich world-building, modern diversity, and a fresh take on political struggles. It gives a Red Queen vibe, in that it has magical abilities meshed in a world of technology, mixed with an Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra feel. That in itself is a feat for a writer to pull off, but what mostly sets this book apart from the rest is the prism of detailed characterization of its diverse cast. You won't find your typical Mary Sues in this book. Yo ...more
Reviews May Vary
Ok ok ok.
So, I got a free copy of this book from the author because I beg strangers for things on the internet. And, yay, they said yes!

As we all know I hate reading non finished versions because of the basic writing/ formatting errors that punch me in my eyeballs. So, I'm not going to mention those here... :x

This is the story of Celosia who would really do anything to live down her failure in a mission a bunch of years ago... It's not really her failure, IMO, but she's been the one handed the b
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book started out a bit slow and confusing, but stick with it - it really picks up in the second half. The story is unique and interesting and I can't wait for the next book in the series. ...more
Harmony Williams
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: digital-to-buy
This book brings to life a rich fantasy world I can easily lose myself in. The unique and vibrant characters hooked me immediately and the twisting plot kept me turning the pages. I'm so happy to see a canon demisexual character like Ianthe! (I'd fall for her too, TBH.) I can't wait for book 2!

*I received the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Review (print version. It’s relevant, trust me)

Celosia Brennan was supposed to be a hero. After a bunch of military (?) commandos put way too much on the shoulders of a teen and she fries a town, Celosia has joined the resistance. She is part of a corp of elemental magic users (GO PLANET!) bent on taking down The Council. I don’t know what The Council is. I don’t know what it’s motivations are. Apparently it either kills elementals or tries to leash them to do its bidding, and so our ragtag band
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, lgbt
this, unfortunately, falls under the category of "fantasy that tries too hard to be fantasy," making the character and place names are a bit.. hard to digest. the worldbuilding is shaky and at times confusing; I really don't know what the setting is supposed to be, if it's pure fantasy or some re-imagined version of Earth, because the society seems to mirror ours pretty much entirely (minus the dystopian/fascist/magical elements, of course). it's just really unclear, and I think more in-depth ex ...more
Dannica Zulestin
Sapphicathon Read Two. Unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. Partly because the only two characters I cared about--Kayvun and Adelin--were tangential to the plot, partly because there was too much magic power training going on (which is never my favorite thing), partly because we had to pause every few pages to discuss some issue or gender, sexuality, or disability in very modern terms. I'm not saying that a setting for a sci-fi shouldn't be politically correct or envision a world that acce ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
I loved the way magic was used in this book and the mix of characters. Can't wait to read the sequel! ...more
Lila Asher
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book because it’s a cool concept and has great queer representation, but the writing is just too jumbled and awkward :/
Oct 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
The book holds heaps of promise and doesn't deliver on any. Compared to Avatar The Last Airbender but nothing resembling it!!? Characters don't make sense, read to the end and remains obscure what or who The Regime and The Council are. Writing is poor and amateurish. World building is childish and shallow. The magic system is daft. Why a failed hero is chosen to lead an important mission?

One pity star.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sapphic, queer
It took me a bit of back-and-forth-ing to pick a rating for Daybreak Rising. It started out a little slow, with lots of backstory and world-building. Even with the time dedicated to world-building, I still found the magic and political systems a little confusing and hard to grasp at times. The writing is a little choppy in places -- telling a lot of backstory, time/place jumping and rehashing minor details (like how the plea bargains work) over and over. I think perhaps this could have been edit ...more
Amy Aelleah
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This was such a difficult book for me to rate because I kept going back and forth between three stars and four. I finally settled on three because, even for as much as I love the idea and the wonderful amount of diversity, (racial, LGBT+ and we even have a blind character) the actual story was just a little disappointing.

Review from my blog: https://athousandworldssite.wordpress...
I have been looking for a book like this.

Basically, this is the story of a failed ‘chosen one’. Years ago, Celosia B
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you’re looking for a deliciously diverse New Adult Science Fiction novel with interesting characters, a complicated world, and kissing, Daybreak Rising is it! Celosia was suppose to save her people from the evils of the Council, but didn’t. Fast forward a few years and she’s heading another attempt to free everyone. Of course, the others involved aren’t too happy to report to her, but Celosia is determined to take down the Council once and for all. Not just to redeem herself, but because it’s ...more
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Kiran "CK" Oliver is a 2016 Southern New Hampshire University graduate currently majoring in Communications with a focus in Public Relations. They also attend Free Code Camp in the hope of earning a certificate in Full Stack Web Development in 2019.

When not daydreaming about lesbian pirates, queer lady paladins, or dragons, Kiran can be found at the gym or playing MMOs. They reside in New Zealand

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