Sara's Reviews > The Waking Land

The Waking Land by Callie Bates
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2017-favorites, fantasy, female-protagonists, magic-system-love, nature-spirits-etc, new-adult, adult-books-that-appeal-to-teens
Recommended for: fans of Naomi Novik's Uprooted and Katharine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale

Now this was FUN. :D The characters are fantastic, especially Elanna. She's scholarly, determined (to the point of being headstrong), and not afraid to stand up for herself. It's easy to understand why she's so conflicted about her situation, and her gradual shift in allegiance from Eren to Caeris as she learns the truth about both countries / peoples and to embrace her nature-centric powers. The worldbuilding is rich with history and lore, and while the idea of "earth magic" isn't new, it's presented in a fresh and exciting way here. I wasn't completely sold on the romance, and some of the transitions between chapters were disorienting and rushed the final 70-ish pages. But overall, THE WAKING LAND is thrilling, breathtaking, and vividly written - to the point where I felt I had become the land with Elanna, smelling it and sensing it and reveling in its wild and ancient beauty.

Also, I think THE WAKING LAND is one the first adult fantasies I've read that's written in first-person present tense (a trend that typically happens in YA). This took some getting used to, but in the end it suited the story well, giving a real sense of urgency and emphasizing the intensity of Elanna's conflict and growth into her powers without compromising its strengths. I think fans of more mature YA fantasy would appreciate this(view spoiler).

NOTE: I received an ARC of THE WAKING LAND from the publisher as part of winning a giveaway. This has in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
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Reading Progress

March 13, 2017 – Shelved
March 13, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
June 22, 2017 – Started Reading
June 23, 2017 –
page 50
June 26, 2017 –
page 239
59.75% "Really good so far. The plot is exciting and is rife with tension. And I sympathize with Elanna; she's so conflicted about her position, and I can understand why she has difficulty trusting anyone from either side. (Though I find it hard for her to continue sympathizing for Eren when most of the Ereni she cared about are either dead or imprisioned,)

Denis, though. What an a******."
June 27, 2017 –
page 278
69.5% "Since today's the day: Happy book birthday to Callie Bates and THE WAKING LAND! :) Still enjoying this book very much."
June 28, 2017 –
page 305
June 29, 2017 –
page 328
82.0% "I need to get back to my regular nighttime routine tonight. Been staying up too late for reasons besides reading... which means less reading (especially since I'm still enjoying this book for the most part) as well as less sleep. :/"
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-favorites
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: female-protagonists
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: magic-system-love
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: nature-spirits-etc
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: new-adult
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: adult-books-that-appeal-to-teens
June 30, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Faith (new) - added it

Faith Rivens This one has been on my TBR for a while! Excited to read it now :)

Sara Faith wrote: "This one has been on my TBR for a while! Excited to read it now :)"

Yay! :) I think you'd like it, Faith, so I hope you do get to read it.

Mogsy (MMOGC) Nice review, Sara! Pretty much mirrors my thoughts as well, overall it was fun!

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