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Rise of Gaia

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Beneath rock and soil, trees and oceans, she lies.

Under concrete jungles and poisoned rivers, she slumbers.

She is Mother Earth.

And mankind has turned its back on its mother.

The visions begin on Terran’s seventeenth birthday. Horrifying images pummel her brain, while a voice commands her to see beyond the world she thought she knew and into the heart of it. Gaia has awakened, brought to consciousness by the greed of a species that has tainted every aspect of her being in a tide of indifference. With this awareness, comes rage. Gaia calls upon her children to unleash her fury, wreaking vengeance on humanity.

Terran will emerge in a world on the brink of collapse, to face a being whose wrath is beyond imagining.

This exciting science fiction - fantasy novel by Kristin Ward will be released in 2019!


Published August 24, 2019

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About the author

Kristin Ward

9 books209 followers
Kristin Ward is an award-winning author from Connecticut. She embraces her inner nerd regularly, geeking out with SciFi flicks or quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends.

She is often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews
Profile Image for Nick Borrelli.
360 reviews322 followers
February 14, 2020
17 year-old Terran has begun to see visions. These visions are not only terrifying in nature, they also seem to foretell a world on the brink of a horrific cataclysm. At first Terran doesn't quite know what to make of these apocalyptic messages, but after discussing them with her best friend Beth, she makes the decision to see a local medium to see if any light can be shed on these episodes.

The world that Terran lives in is a world that has turned its back on the environment. It is a place of excess and selfishness that is only concerned with consumption at all costs without much thought to the potential ramifications. It could very well be the world that we ourselves are living in today or at least a very near future should we not heed the warnings of many concerned scientists.

Gaia in this story represents the spiritual manifestation of the personification term "Mother Earth". It is Gaia who is causing Terran's nightmarish visions in an attempt to use her as a human mouthpiece and harbinger of the potential devastation to come. For Gaia is extremely angry at the greed and callousness being perpetrated every day by humanity and Gaia has frankly had enough. As that fury grows, so does the realization that there will soon be a reckoning to deal with and that Terran may be the key to saving a society that seems hell-bent on its own destruction.

I really enjoyed this book. Not only is it a cracking SF yarn, but the overriding message of a world speeding toward an environmental Armageddon was interwoven beautifully in the narrative. Kristin Ward does an exceptional job of conveying her message through a very relateable and likeable teenager, Terran. Whether you believe that there is an impending Climate Change crisis or not, this book is incredibly thought-provoking and challenges you to examine ways in which you can be part of the solution instead of the problem.

But aside from the obvious environmental message, there is also a fantastic SF story that entertains you along your journey of enlightenment. There's no doubt that Kristin Ward is a skilled writer with an impressive imagination. This is even more evident in the vivid depictions of a doomed Earth. The imagery of wrath and destruction is both palatable and haunting. It is during these sections where my enjoyment of the book really increased significantly.

In the end I was left with a thrilling and satisfying SF story that touched on a timely and relevant message that we can all learn from. If you enjoy exciting YA fiction with relateable characters and on overarching social message, then you simply can't miss RISE OF GAIA by Kristin Ward. I'm so glad that I got a chance to experience this wonderful book and would recommend it to readers of all ages without reservation.
Profile Image for Maria Trying to write my book  Park.
609 reviews20 followers
February 20, 2022
The Future of Earth hangs in the Balance

What I loved so much about Rise of Gaia is Kristen Ward's ability to blend the world of a typical young adult with the very serious topic of the rapid destruction of Earth's resources by unthinking corporations.

Terran and Beth are two teenagers, one who prefers the isolation of nature and one who lives in her mother's new age, hippie circle. They both love 80's music and indulging in occasional junk food fests.

Living in a small town in Oregon, both girls are environmentally conscious and don't fit in with any cliques at school. But they have a blast together.

Terran's journey starts with a birthday present from Beth. Her mother, Celeste, offers to do Terran's Natal Astrological chart. From this point on, Terran's world is drastically changed.

I'm never going to be a spoiler. But I will say this. The rest of the book will blow your mind while challenging you to rethink your everyday choices.

As well, you will question your moral stands on just about everything you do, see any participate in on a daily basis. I fully give this book a 5 star rating and hope to pass it on to many people.
Profile Image for thelibraryofalexandra.
521 reviews25 followers
February 13, 2020
So I read Ward’s book, After the Green Withered for a blog tour last year so I was already aware of how much I enjoyed Ward’s writing as well as her creativity and the way in which she writes her characters. After the Green Withered and Rise of Gaia share incredibly similar themes focusing on climate change and the negative impact of humanity upon the earth. Rise of Gaia is about a young woman named Terran (which i thought was cool since earth was also referred to as Terra) who, upon her seventeenth birthday, is able to communicate with Gaia who is freaking angry.

Terran was an interesting character and I really loved the connection between her and Gaia. Terran could personally feel the emotions of Gaia as well as recieving seemingly random visions from Gaia – so I really enjoyed reading through Terran’s perspective. I especially enjoyed seeing her grow as the story went on; seeing Terran grapple with and struggle with the knowledge of what was coming, of the harm humanity has wrought on earth as well as her growing power.

But I low-key loved Gaia as a her own character – I just got super emotional, okay?!

I did find, however, that towards the middle of the book it began to slow in terms of pace – which I didn’t find as a huge issue but it meant that the flow of the story for me was slightly disjointed. I also thought that the romance itself between Terran and her boyfriend felt forced? I don’t really think it was needed overall but I am extremely picky. I just found him slightly controling and annoying.

Most importantly though, I think the message behind this book is freaking powerful. It honestly made me reflect upon the ways in which I am complicit in the destruction of my home. Especially since we don’t have much time until the earth’s climate will be irrevocably changed to its detriment. The amount of animals that have made extinct or on the precipice of extinction as a result of climate change is horrifying and we are responsible for it. It makes me incredibly depressed and terrified for the future – to the point that I get paralysed because I just don’t know what to do. But this book emphasises the importance of also highlighting that the small things can also make a difference. But let’s be honest, if the world’s governments and global industries don’t start taking responsibility for their actions or inactions, we won’t get very far.

Overall, I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and I really recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy and thought-provoking reads with strong characters.
Profile Image for Beth Tabler.
Author 5 books155 followers
February 12, 2020
The Rise of Gaia is author Kristen Ward's third novel, and frankly, she just keeps getting better and better. In this outing, Ward touches on a few different topics, but first and foremost is the topic of climate change. Readers have been seeing a lot of books out in the world about this subject. It is on the minds of authors as well as readers because we as humans are seeing the effects of environmental degradation more and more every day. Instead of writing a purely dystopic novel, which you find often when dealing with climate change, Kristen wrote a novel exploring friendship, love, and unusual circumstances.

The protagonist of the story is a young woman name Terran. A nod to Kristen about the name choice, the word Terran translates to "of the Earth." This sets a fun foreshadowing about how Terran develops as a character and the interesting path she takes in the narrative. Terran is an atypical teenage girl, in that instead of playing with social media, worrying about her hair or school drama, Terran feels most at home hiking. I like this as a character attribute. Often teens are written stereotyped. Terran and her best friend Beth are interesting characters because they are realistic in that they seem like real people.

The story progresses as Terran is wracked by visions of a dying Earth. She feels the pain of loss at a natural world that is rapidly disappearing, and sorrow for a broken future. Eventually, we come to find out that Gaia (The entity representing the spirit of the natural world) has decided that Terran is a chosen one. What that means for Terran's future and how she sees the world is the bulk of the story.

The strongest element of the story and the part that I enjoyed the most was the depth of friendship between Beth and Terran. As I was a teenage girl, so very very long ago, I remember the intense and important relationships that I formed that as a young girl and how they lasted me a lifetime. I loved that Kristen explored some of those aspects.

Again Kristen as written a wonderful and affecting story. I am so happy to have been a part of this blog tour and highly recommend reading any of her books.
Profile Image for Stephen Donovan.
Author 2 books44 followers
February 12, 2020
This was a story that positively brimmed with imagination and meaning. Descriptively written and possessing a powerful overriding message, I was thoroughly impressed by how the issue of climate change provides the basis for an enjoyable and engaging young adult fantasy, where it is cleverly woven into an intelligent plot.

As in her previous books, Kristin Ward uses climate change as the principal theme, and it is hugely effective again here as she portrays the Earth as a living creature with a physical consciousness. I really like how this aspect of the story was introduced subtly and gradually gained more prominence, bringing with it tension and high stakes.

The book is written entirely in the first person from the perspective of Terran, a 17-year-old girl. One morning, after waking up, she experiences a mysterious and frightening vision that shows destruction and suffering. She and her best friend Beth look for answers on what might have caused it, but the visions keep happening and Terran eventually goes to see a medium called Silas, who reveals the truth of her identity.

From there, the intensity of the plot begins to escalate, and the fantasy aspects become more pronounced. The writing contains an increasing number of ideas, but for me it never became too complex or overwrought. The same can be said about the romance, which is a regular presence in the story without ever taking centre stage.

Terran (I soon worked out why she was called that!) was a very likeable and well developed protagonist. She had a lot of excellent character traits which made me connect easily with her, from a love of comfort food and books, to a passion for hiking and being outdoors. Her reaction to being told what her visions mean also struck me as totally believable.

One of the absolute highlights of the book for me was the friendship between Terran and Beth. I love fiction that contains very close platonic friendships, and this one is no different as it played an important role both in terms of the theme of the book, but also its resolution. It is so heart-warming to read, and I adored every scene where they drove to school together or ordered two different things at a café so they could share both.

The other characters were less developed, but at the same time they all had a great deal of distinctiveness. Silas was enigmatic and intriguing, and the way Celeste practiced divination often made me wonder if there was more to her than met the eye. My only issue with Raife was that he shared perhaps one too many personality traits with Terran, but otherwise all good.

Some elements of the story did get slightly repetitive as it progressed, but there is no doubting the relevance of the theme it conveys. Terran's journey also poses some very interesting moral questions, such as what the cost should be for preserving the health of the Earth and its climate.

Overall, I found this an arresting and eloquently written fantasy, with plenty of important topics touched upon in detail along the way. In Terran we have a great protagonist who drives the story well, and through all of these factors and more, Rise Of Gaia leaves a discernable impact.
Profile Image for Kate (Looking Glass Reads).
467 reviews16 followers
February 18, 2020
Today, I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward, winner of the 2018 Winner of the Best Indie Book Award for her previous novel, After the Green Withered. This novel is set in a small American town, and follows Terra, a high school girl. On her seventeenth birthday, she has a vision, one that shows her horrifying scenes of destruction.

The story is told in first person point of view from Terra’s perspective. Opening on her birthday, we follow Terra as her entire world begins to change. Gaia begins to speak to her, to show her things. And Terra wants absolutely nothing to do with it.

As things get more confusing, Terra turns to her best friend, Beth, and her mother, Celeste. Friendship between the two girl’s runs strong and deep. No bickering, no fractured friendships. These two have a solid, supportive relationship that isn’t always easily found in books. Also great to see was the relationship between Terra and Celeste.

Both the visions and descriptions of scenery are told in beautiful prose. Pictures of wondrous beauty were painted. In contrast, the horrifying destruction portrayed in Terra’s visions are visceral. These sections were beautifully told, and were wonderful to read.

However, Terra herself could be a bit frustrating at times. Large sections of the novel consist of Terra completely resisting the strange things happening to her. This is very understandable, but it does have the tendency to slow the story a bit.

Don’t get me wrong. I really like Terra, and her actions are all too believable. Yet, despite all her anger and desperation, she has a tendency to stubbornly stick to her guns before giving in completely to those around her. This means two things. First, it takes away a bit of Terra’s agency, which is both intended and used to its fullest effect. (Though I don’t want to get too into that in case of spoilers). However, it also means that Terra doesn’t necessarily learn things on her own, being told them by others instead until well into the novel. While this is largely beneficial to the direction of the plot, it also wasn’t quite for me.

A tale of environmentalism is told within these pages, and the wrath of the earth literally rears its head. A slow tale quickly picks up action within the last few chapters, throwing Terra into an action-packed conclusion that’s in stark contrast to the slower, more character driven tale the majority we’ve had up until this point.

Despite having some aspects I didn’t quite enjoy as much, Rise of Gaia has many interesting facets, and gorgeous prose. Many great relationships are portrayed here as well, whether they be between Terra and her friends, or her family. If you like young adult novels, this is a book—and author!—you’ll want to check out.

This review originally found on Looking Glass Reads.
August 10, 2019
Just as expected, this novel did not disappoint. Once again, Kristin Ward did an amazing job of pulling me into the Terran's world. Terran is a young girl who begins to have these intense unexplainable visions swirl around in her head. She eventually finds she has a deeper purpose on this Earth and it is something she never imagined. This novel was captivating and there were some unexpected jaw dropping twists, especially the ending.
There were a few very poignant moments that were utterly breathtaking and I felt such a connectedness to Terran and Gaia. The themes the author explores in this novel are so relevant to our modern day world and you become immersed in all that is necessary through the eyes of Gaia.
This novel is so well written and the cover is enough to draw you into the Rise of Gaia.

Profile Image for Theartsyreader.
62 reviews9 followers
March 21, 2020
This is the kind of book that makes you think. That makes you stop and wonder - wow, the author is right. What can I do to make it right? I love that the big theme here is Mother Earth and nature. I think we need many, many more such books. I also love that despite it being the big theme, it‘s not in your face, as if it wants to instruct us, no, but it does educate us.

The characters in this are awesome and you will definitely feel with them, and be able to identify with them, too. Especially Terran. When she starts getting her ‘visions‘, she acts like I can imagine anyone would. She is scared, she doesn‘t know who to tell, what to do. It feels very natural.

I also loved Beth, Terran‘s best friend. The pair has a great, very close relationship - it‘s just the kind everyone wishes for themselves. I also loved how Beth‘s mother was close to both of them, and how they are all very open and can rely on each other. There is a little bit of romance in this book too, but it doesn‘t really take over the main plot, which I loved. It has no adult content and is very clean, yet not any less entertaining for adults!

If you want to find out more about the other wonderful characters this book has to offer, head on over to my blog and read my full review! You won't want to miss this book - or any of Kristin's for that matter!
Profile Image for Rebecca Hill.
Author 1 book42 followers
February 18, 2020
The Rise of Gaia is a book that you have to take your time with. While the storyline flows and keeps you engaged, there is more to the narrative than just a story to entertain you. I am going to share my thoughts, and my take on the book. Kristin Ward delivers another book that is profound and thought-provoking.

Stars: 4/5

Review of The Rise of Gaia:

Terran is a normal teenager, at least, until the day she turns 17. On her birthday, she is hit with visions of a dark and horrid world. She cannot get them out of her head. She does not want to confide in her parents, so she confides in her best friend and her mother. As they work to figure out what might be causing the visions that she is seeing, a medium is suggested. After the first visit, Terran wants nothing more to do with him, but the visions continue, and she must find a way to either come to terms with it or discover what she must do to make it stop. Doing that, however, could put her in danger.

My Thoughts:

I did enjoy the book, but I bogged down a little bit on this one. I have loved what Kristin Ward has written in the past, and while I enjoyed this book, it took me a bit longer to get through this one. I found that the characters were relatable, and the underlying issues that she is alluding to were not overreaching, or out of the realm of possibilities. While this is not my favorite of what she has written, it is still a fabulous book. Everyone reads a book differently, and this one has huge potential.

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books115 followers
February 18, 2020
Rise Of Gaia is a young adult fantasy. It is a powerful story about man’s destruction of Mother Earth. On her seventeenth birthday, Terran begins to receive a series of horrific visions about the damage that is being done to nature, all across the planet. A mystery voice urges Terran to ‘see’; this is the voice of Gaia, the Earth Mother who is dying as she is slowly poisoned and destroyed.

Terran has been chosen, along with an ancient race of people; they have been called to re-balance the world. It’s not going to be fun, this isn’t a test, this is going to be brutal. See here for full review https://wp.me/p2Eu3u-fh6
Profile Image for Natasha Clark-French.
211 reviews3 followers
August 19, 2019
In a world full of trend-following indie authors this book stands out and is the type of book that could be sold in bookstores. The theme, storyline and characters are clearly inspired by the author's personal creativity and in the indie author community that's a rare commodity.
I absolutely loved the storyline and the characters are quite unique plus it got me thinking (and feeling guilty) about my own impact on the world around me. The writing flowed wonderfully and the scenes were easy to "see" with only a few minor hiccups that should be straightened out with the final edit.
There was one thing about the book that bugged me though. The whole time Terran is going through this stuff she doesn't change her own "unsustainable" ways. Gaia is mad about how damaged the Earth is and Terran can feel that personally so you think she would begin to become a person who chooses to change some of her own behaviors but she still continues to drive, purchase over-processed cheap food, throw away plastic, use a cellphone, take long showers, ect. The whole moral of the story seems to be "you can love the way you want to live as long as the population remains low but once the population exceeds healthy limits then there should just be a giant purge" instead of focusing on the way people could change their behaviors in order to create more sustainable habits.
With that being said I still loved the book and will definitely read it again.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Valerie.
402 reviews23 followers
November 25, 2019
I love the cover, and unlike that age-old saying, you MAY judge this book by the cover because it was just as colorful, explosive and engaging. The story was great, it drew me in at the preface, and kept me interested until the acknowledgements (because who actually reads those?)
As far as the dialect goes, I definitely think it is on the younger end of the young adult spectrum. The descriptions, dialogue, transitions, etc seemed somewhere between middle-school and lower high school level. It doesn't draw away from the plot necessarily, it just makes for a speedy read. I finished this book within a day, half of it had to do with how much I love this book, the other half is the easy-to-follow, simple language the author chose to use for this book.

I received my copy through a Goodreads giveaway, I had the privilege of reading an advanced reading copy of the book before it was officially published. I would highly recommend this book, I thought it was original and creative. It almost reminds me of Darren Aronofsky, the movie director, and his style of interpretive art. If you're familiar with the film "mother!" and the disturbing, interpretive art behind it, this book won't disappoint. It holds the same "motherly metaphor" theme, just more PG and not as disturbing.
Profile Image for Angel (Bookn.All.Night).
1,380 reviews26 followers
August 11, 2019
Wow! This is am amazing story. I absolutely love the dynamic between Terran and Beth. I found myself laughing during many moments of their kinship. It almost makes me miss high school...almost. 🤣 Their friendship stood the test with a selfless sacrifice that saves everything.

Terran is a great MC and I felt myself struggling along with her. I can relate to her being a nature lover and a quiet unknown floater in social circles.

The main theme of this story is so relevant to our society today, and a reminder of how precious our resources truly are. Makes you wonder... what if Gaia was real....

I sincerely appreciate Kristin Ward for allowing me the pleasure of reading and reviewing this wonderful story.
Profile Image for Steph.
53 reviews26 followers
February 20, 2020
4.5 stars rounding up to 5

Rise of Gaia is a great read. We are introduced to Terran, a 17 yearly girl who loves the outdoors and nature. But there is a reason for that ... she is special... she is Gail's chosen one.

Only Terran doesn't;t know that, not yet. Not until she starts getting hit with scary visions of death and destruction. Gaia is calling to her and boy oh boy is Gaia mad.

Ward takes us on a very well woven tale as we follow terra along on an ever more terrifying path. At first she wants to help Mother Earth, but when she realises what that will mean she tries to escape Gail's clutches, but Gaia is too powerful. There is a little (tame) romance in this but the highlight is the way Ward writes about friendship.

Thanks to The Write Reads for my copy
Profile Image for Ezzy.
161 reviews48 followers
January 8, 2021
I have received this book for free from TheWriteReads and Kristin Ward in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this book shortly before writing this review and I can already feel this is gonna be tough to review. So on one side the concept and the message of the book are incredible and exactly my cup of tea, but on the other side the pacing and build-up are all over the place and inconsistent. Let's dissect this bit for bit so I can make sense of my thoughts.

I should start at the beginning and tell you what the book is about as without my ramblings and reasoning won't make sense.
Rise of Gaia is about Terran, a 17-year-old girl who has this intense connection to nature and just loves spending her time hiking or chilling in nature parks. Well, it turns out that connection is more than just loving nature as she is one of Gaia's Chosen. Who is Gaia? I hear you think. Gaia is some sort of Goddess that basically is our entire planet and all of life. But mankind is destroying said planet by neclecting it completely and Gaia is also dying because of it. She needs her Chosen to fight for her and tip the balance back so the planet can heal again.
I am terrible at describing books and this description feels all over the place, but that gives an idea about the book.

This book obviously carries a very important message: We are destroying our planet and we really need to stop doing that before it's too late to revert the changes. It's a very real issue that is mixed in with some mythology to create a really impactful fantasy book. Reading this book really got that message across and I think it will for every other reader of this book. Books like these are very important, especially as fiction creates context where non-fiction books can only sculpt the vision. Kristin Ward addressed global warming in her previous series, After The Green Withered, in a more practical futuristic science-fiction setting about the direct consequences and that really made an impact on me aswell. I am giving Rise of Gaia tons of bonus points for that.

But like I said, the story is told based on some fantasy and mythology while adressing an actual problem and I am an absolute sucker for mythology of any kind, so in combination with this message, this book is perfect for me on paper. And the complete concept of it really was. I was just really disappointed by the way the story was constructed and paced.
The pacing was very inconsequent to be really fair. Sometimes the events were simple and mundane and it goes on four 10-20 pages, and at other moments something really grand happens and it only takes a handful. This ties in by the way the story builds up. Rise of Gaia often goes from 0 to 100 real fast, but goes back to zero just as quick. Everyime it happens you get to the edge of the seat with the thought ''OH, now it's gonna happen!'' and it just... does not? Well, something happens ofcourse, but it doesn't last. After going through this for a bit, the actual climax just feels a little anti-climactic.

Besides everything, I really enjoyed the cast of this book. The balance between relevance of the character and page time was really well done. You aren't bored by side characters and the book just doesn't let you care about characters that just don't mean anything for the story. This way you could focus on the story itself a bit more and it was a really good feeling.

I am really divided over this book. The strong points are really strong, but the weak ones are really weak aswell. I really enjoyed reading this - begin to end - but I wouldn't read the sequel if this was a series. The story and writing are really good, but the fundaments are shaky. It works and this book is not bad, but it just has me conflicted.
I do recommend this book, though! I really enjoyed it and I think the premise and message outweigh the way the story was build - which is also something a lot of people don't care about - which comes together as this being a pretty good book. I am a fan of Kristin Wards way of story telling and I wouldn't hesistate to read anything else she will presents to the world. The book itself may not be as strong as her debut, but that may be completely my personal preference or point of view. Not every books is for everyone and this book was just less for me, but I can still see the strenghts it holds and why others consider it a 5-star-read.

Read more reviews on my blog:
Profile Image for Bec.
594 reviews56 followers
March 4, 2021
Rise of Gaia is essentially Airbenders meeting climate change.

I am not someone who has read a lot – if any? – environmental disaster science-fiction/fantasy. And after this book, I kinda want to pick up more.

If you want a jarring and new perspective on the impact of humans on the Earth, this may be the book for you. Ward creates some extremely touching and close-to-home environmental imagery throughout this story.
But in amongst the doom and gloom of the state of the world, is also a much softer story about a girl discovering herself.

I loved the uniqueness and the thought-provoking message Ward gives her readers. And for that, I am so glad to pick this book up.
However, story-wise, this book was lacking in some places. The pacing was slightly awkward to me. And I just am not a fan of insta-love – even if there is an underlying reason for it.
But overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find a genre that I really want to dive into more in the future. Environmental change and disaster is something so close to home right now. I am really intrigued how this genre evolves and grows.

Note: Review copy received via TheWriteReads for a blog tour. This does not impact opinions within this review.

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Happy reading! ❤
Profile Image for Lisa.
57 reviews
March 1, 2020
I got this via the writereads for a blog tour but was super late with my review for personal reasons. Apologies to all concerned.

Well, what can I say about The Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward? I think it's one of the best self-published books I have read in a long time. The main character, a 17 year-old girl named Terran, suffers from some freaky nightmares and visions where mother earth (Gaia) is calling to her demanding that she 'See' what is happening to the world, the destruction that mankind is wreaking. Gaia wants revenge and it turns out that Terran is her instrument.

However as much as Terran wants to save the planet what Gaia demands is far too much. And Terran ends up caught between her desire to save the planet and her desire to simply be a good person and not hurt anybody.

The book is YA contains no sex, no bad language, tame romance.

Oh and a notable mention of the friendship aspect in this book. Probably my favorite part is the relationship between Terran and her best friend, Beth
Profile Image for Patti.
1,505 reviews12 followers
August 18, 2019
Overall rating: 4.5

An action packed stand-alone filled with plot twists and unexpected trials! This MC faces conflict between the will of a parent versus the fate of friends. Mother Nature takes a surprising role in this tale making this storyline very unique. Parts of this felt slightly laggy but the tale itself kept me reading. I couldn’t help but notice the parallel between our reality and the this book. Hopefully this doesn’t trigger anyone. All my reviews are always voluntarily written.
Profile Image for Moosesartelle.
17 reviews
November 3, 2022
I'm obsessed. It has morally Grey characters, mythology, environmentalism and possession. It shines a light on what's wrong with the world today while staying fiction enough for it to not hurt too badly. I felt so many feelings reading this book and it's so well written! Kristin did a fantastic job and I'm now obsessed with her as an author
Profile Image for Toni Kief.
Author 23 books185 followers
October 12, 2019
An amazing story that's time is now. There were a couple small typos that didn't distract from the story. Mother Earth is angry and knows the abuse has to stop. Terran will she answer the call? Does she have a choice. Don't miss this book.
Profile Image for Britt.
429 reviews40 followers
September 2, 2019
As I was reading this book, there was one particular story that stuck out in my mind that this book most reminded me of.

When I first read the summary for Rise of Gaia, I thought right off the bat that this story gave me strong Moana vibes. And I was right — sort of. The drama and central conflict in this story would be sort of like if Te Fiti/Te Kā from Moana had been on steroids of epic proportions. Likewise, the main character in Rise of Gaia, Terran, would be similar to Moana if Moana had taken place in a sci-fi, pre-apocalyptic kind of America.

As with Ward’s “After the Green Withered” series, Rise of Gaia deals heavily in climate, climate change, and possible the repercussions if we continued to allow the planet to go to hell. However, while After the Green Withered took place in a dystopian world in which water was a rarity, I’d say that Rise of Gaia is more surrealistic — it is, essentially, what happens to a contemporary world after you’ve pissed off Mother Nature (“Gaia”) one time too many.

If there’s any criticism I have of this book, it might be that there was a portion in the middle where I just... felt like there wasn’t a whole lot happening. Other people might disagree, of course! I, personally, just felt like one second Terran was hearing Gaia in her head, there was a lull in which not a whole lot was going on, and then... BOOM, Gaia was coming with a vengeance. The actual climax of this book was cool as hell and — as climaxes probably should be — DEFINITELY the best point in the series, I just wish I was a little more entertained in the build-up.

Overall though, as I said with the author’s After The Green Withered series, I think Ward does an incredible job of painting the horrors of a climate change-ridden world that may become reality. While Rise of Gaia doesn’t have the exact same realism that After the Green Withered did, I think the symbolism of Gaia was incredible, and it still makes an excellent point that more people should listen to. Whether you’re interested in this book because it is like a sci-fi kind of Moana, or you’re interested because you’re worried about the planet and what idiot humans continue to do to it, I definitely think Kristin Ward writes a kind of sci-fi that I have never seen before, and would definitely love to see more of!
Profile Image for Tiffany.
634 reviews38 followers
September 20, 2019
I received a digital arc in exchange for an honest review. This is simply my opinion on the book and is not influenced by any external factor.

This is the first book I have read by this author, and I can say with confidence I was not disappointed!

Set in modern day Oregon and highlighting the threats to the environment, Terran began hearing voices in her head on her 17th birthday. After speaking with her friend and ultimately, a medium, she leans that Gaia (also known as Mother Earth), has awoken and is calling her chosen children to fight for her. This is the first time Terran learned about Gaia, and she is skeptical to believe at first. But when the war against greed gets closer and her powers get stronger, there just might be some truth in these stories after all.

It’s not your typical fantasy, or typical contemporary – this is a work of its own. Told in first person perspective from Terran’s perspective, we see a lot of character development from her end, at first with her denial, and then with her acceptance. However, with all this power comes situations beyond her control and she must make some difficult decisions. The vibe I got from the ending is like Day After Tomorrow, but instead of floods, the apocalypse happens in a different way. But as you read on and you see all these environmental problems that plague the world in the story and around us it is a harsh reality – an eye opener and a unique take on climate change fiction.

Characters were all great, I enjoyed how close Beth and Terran were, but I wish there was a bit more interaction between Terran and her family as opposed to Beth and her mother. However, this isn’t my story to write, and I can’t complain about the story. It was an entertaining read with many plot twists to keep you intrigued. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down.

There is no adult content in this and no obscene language. There is some romance, but only very little and hardly takes over the main plot.

Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes young adult books looking for a unique and exhilarating tale.
Profile Image for DragonReader167.
20 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2019
It's set in modern day Oregon, and we follow Terran, our main protagonist.

It's a first person point of view, so we get some decent insight as to how Terran developes throughout the story. I personally don't go for first person stories, but the author pulls it off surprisingly well.

The basis of the story is as the blurb states. Mother Earth (Gaia) has awoken, and is calling forth her chosen to fight for her, to take vengeance on man because of its greed for more than the earth can give. It's a refreshingly different take on the myths that there was a Mother Earth that all life originated from her.

The story itself, however, felt as though it was rushed. Things that probably should have been more drawn out, like decision making on Terran's part, took no time at all. The romance itself felt forced, and at the same time didn't seem to progress at all. I understand that this is a book for a young adult audience, but some of the aspects of Terran's relationship with her boyfriend felt very forced and controlling on his part. It just wasn't something I cared for. (This is just a personal preferance, I'll let you decide once you read the story).

All in all I found it somewhat enjoyable. It's a refreshing take on the Mother Earth myths. The author used those myths as inspiration for this story, and what could happen should man get completely out of control. The author has a great imagination and an eye for attention to detail (which is something I always look for in anything I read).
Profile Image for Kriti | Armed with A Book.
339 reviews135 followers
February 18, 2020
Complete book thoughts on Armed with A Book.

If Mother Earth could speak, what would she tell us humans? Would she be angry at the destruction we have caused and the way we live? Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward is a book that explores this idea. I had the opportunity to read this book as part of The WriteReads’ blog tour that is underway this week. My peers really liked this book while I had some inhibitions with it. I apologize that there are spoilers in this review. Though I was excited from the synopsis and my peers’ enthusiasm for this book, my recent bad experiences with reading young adult novels as well as perceptions about bringing up awareness about important topics probably led this book to not be a fantastic read for me.

Terran never wanted this connection with Gaia and though it gave her powers, it ultimately left her with a lot of guilt. Causing natural disasters and killing billions of people – what effect does that have on a young person? That’s one of my biggest concerns with this story.

The best part of the storyline was the friendship that Beth and Terran shared. They have been together since kids and Beth provides all the support that she can when Terran’s visions start. However, like a typical teenager (with some added restrictions on what she can say now that Gaia is in her), Terran starts to neglect Beth and spends more and more time with Raife, learning about her powers.

Having finished the book, I know now that this friendship was what Kristin was really getting at – that when we start with the people we know and together build a community that cares.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa MK.
56 reviews3 followers
August 12, 2019
Terran discovers that she is the daughter of Gaia, put on the earth to help carry out her will. Gaia is angry and Terran struggles to bring together her love for those in her life and Gaia’s will.

The story is interesting and the characters are okay but, honestly, it was difficult for me to get into this book. There was quite a bit happening all at once but it felt repetitive and, at times, like the story wasn’t really moving forward.

This book is very introspective, with the main character trying to work through her internal struggle with what she is destined to do. Terran’s struggle feels very genuine and is something that I would imagine anyone would struggle with in the same situation. Truly, it’s the crux of the issue at the center of almost any environmental debate. This story isn’t for the faint of heart.

Profile Image for Daisy.
17 reviews
June 21, 2020
Very good book. Read it as part of a TWR blog tour but never got around to posting my review here. Terran is a great main character. She wants to do the right thing, but what is the right thing? Great dilemma. She is troubled by dreams and visions from Gaia. At first Gaia seems good, but as the book goes along you become less and less sure. The best thing about the book though is the relationship between Terran and her best friend. I like that the true 'love' story in this is not the hot boy, its her best friend
Profile Image for TheBookDude.
105 reviews16 followers
July 2, 2021
Very entertaining read. Indies are not usually as good as this (maybe I shouldn't say that). I love that it didn't got the normal way these YA fantasys go. Some very evocative writing and the scenes with Gaia talking to Terran, getting into her head, the scene in towards the end where Terran is in the bath. Really good and creepy.

I would love if there was a prequel perhaps dealing with Terran's ancestor.
Profile Image for Jennifer Lil'n  Dunski.
1,170 reviews14 followers
August 12, 2019
Wow! A truly wonderful standalone story! "Rise Of Gaia" has it all....friendship, kinship, hate, rage, love and pain. This story brings out all the feels!
The characters are fantastic, the storyline a down right harsh reality, although the story is anything but and the world building is truly astounding!
Absolutely a great book!
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