One of the joys in being a book review blogger is getting to review novels that are outside of your normal reading wheelhouse. Reading’s greatest gift is the ability to take you to places that you have never visited, cultures that you are unfamiliar with, or ideas that go against the grain from the status quo.
I have crossed that threshold with reviews of novels like The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, and The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. The Awakening (Book 1 of the Realm Series) by Rebel Miller has joined this group.
This novel came to my attention from a Book Riot Facebook post about black women romance novelists. Usually, I would have scrolled past the post but I choose click on it. The eye-catching cover caught my attention (Note to authors……book covers do matter!) and I clicked on the link to find out it’s a coming-of-age science fiction romance tale about a young woman named Kira Metallurgist living in a futuristic society called The Realm. The premise intrigued me and I decided to read it.
The story revolves around Kira, who is ready to strike out on own and make a life for herself. She begins a new career while her society is going through tremendous upheaval. Kira’s journey includes a rise and fall of a fledgling career, a tempestuous love triangle, and a world on the eve of destruction.
How does Kira navigate her way through all these changes in her life? Awakening, the first book in the Realm Series, sets in motion how she will learn about the harsh realities of one’s place in a society, the trials and tribulations of love, and the machinations of politics that can cause the disintegration of a world Kira once knew.
Rebel Miller does an excellent job with character development of Kira and the other characters in the novel. The world-building is solid and book’s strength is the pace and rhythm of the story. I did not feel like the novel dragged at all and the plot came to a solid conclusion.
However, I will write that Awakening is quite frank in its sexuality and presents unconventional partnerships in a favorable light. So, I will issue that as a warning for readers who are uncomfortable with those type of elements in human behavior.
Awakening is a solid, science fiction romance novel that will strike a chord with romance readers who want something outside of their normal reading experience and for science fiction readers who want something a little spicy in their reading as well.