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Awakening (A Hyddenworld novel book 2) by William Horwood

1/10/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Awakening in the USA - or Buy Awakening in the UK

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pub:Pan MacMillan. 408 page hardback. Price: GBP17.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-230-71261-4.

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The second of four books in the ‘Hyddenworld’ series, ‘Awakening’ is for summer. In the first book 'Spring', we learnt about Jack and Katherine, friends from an early age due to a tragic accident. We also met some of the Hydden who will help and Katherine on their painful journey.

As this book opens, Katherine is about to give birth to Jack’s baby. They have only just made it back from the Hyddenworld in time to get to the house of the elderly Arthur and Margaret, who are their substitute parents.

Meanwhile, Bedwyn Stort is having his own adventures and uncovers the gem of spring which has stunning power and is not meant for Hydden or human hands. In Germany, the emperor of the Hydden has awoken and craves the power of the gems, sending his own evil-hearted champion to Brum bring it back.

The Earth has been disturbed. The Shield Maiden is born, the gem discovered and the Earth moves in its pain. There is little time to make it all right and Jack must choose between the human world and the Hydden, if he is to help with this great quest.

It all works in part but put together, I don’t feel totally engaged with the characters as this feels driven by the requirements of the requirements of the plot. The teenagers feel self indulgent and dull. The character of the Shield Maiden is even more annoying. I still like the Hydden and I would prefer the book to be totally about them. The best part of the plot is well away from the human world which the characters of Arthur and Margaret hover in the background. They seem to be useful as cooks and chauffeurs but they don’t have much to do. They perform a sort of mirror image to the young couple and highlight some plot points but I feel they are crying out to be more than this.

Sue Davies

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