Dawn of Wonder

The Wakening, Book 1
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: The Wakening, Book 1
Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (38,829 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself.

But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travelers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror - and wonder.

©2015 Jonathan Renshaw (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Dawn of Wonder

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So, DUDE, where's the next book?

It's been, like, YEARS...how about a sequel to this CLIFFHANGER ENDING?

Not to give any spoilers, but HELLO? Is the author even still alive?

Yeah, I know he lives to go out in the woods and figure out how to make every item from twigs and tree sap before he permits it to exist in his written world, but enough autogratification already!

We don't actually care THAT MUCH about the EXACT process (using nothing but a pocket knife and a rock) for extracting the juice of the indigo plant and turning it into colorant so that Aedan can hand-dye the flax-linen tabard (the making of which the author just spent thirty pages describing, before rewriting it from scratch 19 times) so he can blend in with the also-indigo-garbed Lekrau slavers or whatever. It's NOT THAT IMPORTANT TO THE STORY, people!!

Hey: Mr. Renshaw! Do you want to write books or don't you? Your erstwhile fans are all feeling a little annoyed, the degree to which depends on how soon after its publication they each read "Dawn of Wonder" in the first place.

It's time for Wonder to get on along to AFTERNOON already!

As ALWAYS, Tim Gerard Reynolds kills it! He is one of the best. Even he can't make a bad book good, though, so the poor guy has had to read some real dogs. Dawn of Wonder is not one of those dogs; it's a great book, but COME ON ALREADY. Don't start what you can't finish, and for pity's sake DON'T LET PERFECTION STAND IN COMPLETION'S WAY! Believe it or not, we the people will not NOTICE if you have forgotten a comma or split one little infinitive in a 700-page doorstop!!

Sheesh.

182 people found this helpful

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less than what I expected

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

An epic fantasy would have been great. Instead it was about dysfunctional childhood and adolescents in school.

Has Dawn of Wonder turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I love the genre that the book claims to be.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Reynolds is excellent.

What character would you cut from Dawn of Wonder?

Aiden

Any additional comments?

The book is well written. The story simply isn't what it is advertised to be, starting with the cover art. I bought it because the first page of reviews was so consistently excellent. Later I looked farther and learned that the reviews are not really chronological, but rather with the better ones on the first page. Good sales technique, but iffy reliability. Perhaps when my review is "processed" it will vanish. But that at least will mean someone read it and perhaps Audible will improve this part of the service. Everything else about Audible is certainly first class.

232 people found this helpful

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DON'T BUY IT

Excellent book. Great narration. Loved it all the way to the end. But that is the problem. I have been waiting for four years for book two and still nothing the stoty leaves you hanging with no real ending. WHAT HAPPENED?

33 people found this helpful

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If I were 13 years old, I might have liked it.

Out of hundreds of books in my library, very few need a review. This one does.
1. No Magic in this book, until the protagonist jumps off a wall in the last 2 minutes of the audiobook.
2. 10% of the novel is a poorly accomplished psycho-analasys of a psysicaly abused boy.
3. Adults are 2 dimensional, looking like poorly constructed theater props.
4. Due to no final resolution of any kind, the book feels like the first part of a larger novel.
5. Only a 13 years old boy will belive that a 13 years old character, has the strength and endurance of a 12 hours a day 2 years long boot-camp, and 6 more to come. Why not Paris Island for toddlers?
6. The only fantastic thing about this novel, is the large number of positive reviews.
7. Half the book can be easily removed without changing the story one bit.
8. Because of the fluency of the writing, and some good passages and dialogues, I belive the writer can do much better in the future.
9. The narrator was almost perfect.

87 people found this helpful

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Not Enjoyable

I don't understand the good reviews. I returned this book after several hours of listening because it had mostly just been a series of uncomfortable accounts of the protagonist being beaten by his father and abused in various ways.

44 people found this helpful

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Instant Favorite

I can't say enough about this book! Before I even got halfway through this book I knew it would be one of my favorites. The thing that glues me to this book most is the character development. I felt emotionally attached to the main character Aedan, I found myself screaming out loud in some situations routing him on. Jonathan Renshaw has a natural ability to set up tension in a scene. One key thing that I really like is the fact that the character development feels very realistic and natural. It doesn't seem forced or stiff if that makes any sense. People react to situations as you could imagine they would in reality which is something I look for in a book. Some authors like to use coincidence far too much, to the point where it takes you out of the immersion. And some authors like to take the character to a knifes edge and then some miraculous event saves the day. Which is OK sometimes... That certainly doesn't always happen in this book. Sometimes the characters in this book have to go through some really rough things not always being saved at the last minute.
Jonathan Renshaw REALLY did allot of research for this book and you can tell. He goes into detail about the making of weapons and fighting techniques etc. I very much enjoyed these parts of the book. You can very much tell that the author was a school teacher before becoming an author and likely a very good one.
Another thing which stood out about this book is the solid morality which goes against so many adult fantasy books that are popular right now. Too many authors these days feel as though in order to make the world feel more real and the characters more believable you have to add questionable morality harsh language and obscene over the top sexual situations. This book proves that this is not the case. In fact, this is a book I will be reading with my children when they are a little older as there are allot of life lessons and virtues I want to teach them which I find scattered throughout this book.
In summary, this book is a must read for anyone who likes fantasy. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. One more thing of note Tim Gerard Reynolds did a spectacular job of bringing this story to life! What an amazing performance!

418 people found this helpful

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Best book this year

Where does Dawn of Wonder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This ranks among the top, not the top 10 but very high. I saw influences from many of the great writers of fantasy and the author managed to bring out the best in fantasy.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peashoot (or how it is spelled), solid character with quick retorts.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes I have and he is among the best. His performance in this was very good but the reason I don't give top grades is that I felt that the editing was sub par to his other works. Constantly the new sentences changed in volume and you noted that the author had taken a break. The flow was interrupted.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it was to long for that. A lot of smaller adventures over several story years made the main story a bit weak to hold interest for one sitting but no less important as character build is one of the most important bits to a great story.

Any additional comments?

Strongly recommend this story and look forward to the next. Readers should note that this story is a bit slower than other in the same genre but I felt that was refreshing.

21 people found this helpful

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This is such a great book!!!

Just listened to it again, I've been waiting almost three years for the second...ugh but if Johnathan gives us another amazing story, I can be patient, it's just hard lol.
Love, adore, crave these characters!!! I was getting sad at chapter 34 knowing it was half way through.
This book is so awesome, I know I'll listen again before the second book comes out!!!
The narrator does a wonderful job, I wouldn't want anyone else, he's so good!!! I already have 5 books that he narrates and I'm getting more for sure!!!

193 people found this helpful

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Renshaw will go down as one of the greats!

Any additional comments?

Okay, this is truly something special! The writing is absolutely beautiful - a few steps above even the better modern novels in this genre. The amount of detail is superb - not overly drawn out, but wonderfully intricate.

The plot has a lot of depth/dynamics, and doesn't fall into the usual routines so many modern Fantasy novels are guilty of.

The characters are so easy to engage with, and most definitely NOT two dimensional and obvious - there is lots of depth/range in this department.

Perhaps the best part is that it's fresh. It follows in the footsteps of the greats, such as Tolkien and Jordan, but is easily distinguishable from them - and even manages to be distinct from the modern greats, such as Sanderson and Rothfuss.

If he keeps this up, Renshaw will easily be remembered as one of the greats of the genre.

And as always, Tim Gerard Reynolds brings an absolutely brilliant delivery, making it all the more amazing. SO glad this got properly matched with a narrator equal to the material!

Absolutely superb!!

265 people found this helpful

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Next?

This is one of those stories that should have notation "sequel not ready" and a note to the author to write fast and stay safe!

41 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 02-15-17

Coming of Age Fantasy

I think Jonathan Renshaw has produced something very interesting here. It is in essence a coming of age tale set in a fantasy background with the magical and mystical kept partly in check. The writing style is direct and very linear with just the single point of view belonging to Aiden the central character. It does all mean that at times it has a young adult feel to it which is understandable because we explore the story through the eyes of a child after all. It's a very easy book to dip into and out of.

The strength of it is not actually characters or world-building but in good old-fashioned story-telling. Renshaw is comfortable enough with his creations to spend time with them and grow them slowly. Comparisons with Harry Potter are inevitable but also slightly misleading. Renshaw doesn't use a lot of magic to spice it up.

There are some genuinely exciting moments along the way and the book also deals with issues such as domestic abuse and political corruption with a good deal of empathy. It does so with an underlying positive message.

I'm tempted to describe this as charming because of the enjoyment I got out of listening to Tim Gerard Reynolds delivering it with considerable aplomb. That might sound like I am patronising it but while it may lack the sophistication of some of the most accomplished contemporary fantasy work I was genuinely hooked by the story.

I'm in for at least the next one in the series when the question becomes where the author will go from here as his characters get older and more experienced. Given the way this one ends and the timing of it, a slightly darker feel would seem likely.

13 people found this helpful

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  • E Groom
  • 03-10-16

The story-pleasure-centres in my brain satiated.

Where does Dawn of Wonder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks, this one has to be in my top ten.

What other book might you compare Dawn of Wonder to, and why?

I suppose it may be compared to Raymond Fiest's early work, and maybe Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series. It is very well written and has enough body to grasp the listener by the throat and drag them in. The theme of the book isn't a new one but the interpretation, twists and turns are very, VERY well executed.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I've listened to audiobooks read by Tim Gerard Reynolds before, he manages to encompass the breadth of the story with his wonderful voice adding an extra level of enjoyment to the experience.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Don't want to give the plot away, but suffice it to say that there is a moment in the book were one of the characters overcomes a deep seated personal trauma that was very uplifting.

Any additional comments?

where's the next one.?..I need it now.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Pascall
  • 03-18-16

Best debut story I have ever read.

I read a lot, 50 books a year at least from most fiction genres but rarely does a book really grab me like this one did. A believable protagonist, exciting setting and real sense of life has been breathed into the work and what a start to a series. The next book cannot come soon enough and I will be recommending the story to all my family and friends.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Tommy
  • 03-14-16

Excellent

Gripping storyline good realistic characters, well read can't wait for the next instalment would recommend it to anyone!!!!!!!! ;0)

11 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 06-09-16

Christian conditioning allegory

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It is what it is. If you are someone that wants to absorb a world view that is based upon standard Christian concepts and arguments (think Alpha Course), then this is your book. A great antidote to Harry Potter and fantasy that involves magic and other 'wicked' themes.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances? How does this one compare?

An enjoyable performance.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Possibly. But most likely not.

Any additional comments?

It dealt with difficult childhood experiences such as violent abuse in a sensitive manner and understood the possible consequence of trauma. It is a wholesome book that many will benefit from listening too, particularly if they are about to go to a Christian revival meeting. In such a case then the material might well act as a primer for conversion to the faith. As I listened I began to realise that this was probably the intention of the author. I decided to check it out (on his web site) and sure enough the author is inspired by Jesus.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 05-30-16

Too convenient in places

Not bad and good value given you get a 30 hour book.

The book follows a young boy called Aiden and his as with any good fantasy story there is some travelling, some good companions, some baddies and monsters to contend with as well.

The story itself is okay - I buy into the world and events but too often a key interaction just doesn't sit right. Too convenient at times, but others just couldn't work which then grates me.

Truth is, this feel like it should be in the Young Adult section.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Toby
  • 03-30-16

Brilliant! well worth a listen.

I can't wait for the next installment. A good story by a good author. Performance was good too, would highly recommend.

9 people found this helpful

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  • glyn
  • 02-20-16

brilliant

Loved it this book is awesome I really like the story how it's constructed the the way it flows also the author is done a good job no make it a brilliant job I hope it brings out more books to this series and I just can't wait please hurry up bring some more out¿

5 people found this helpful

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  • bill
  • 03-18-16

Not as good as it should be.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This book suffers from poor editing, and being unsure of for whom it was written, age wise. I would not recommend this book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jonathan Renshaw? Why or why not?

No; once bitten, twice shy.

What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

I thought the narrator performed well considering the material he had to work with.

Did Dawn of Wonder inspire you to do anything?

Yes it inspired me to find something else to read.

Any additional comments?

An interesting concept not fully thought out.

14 people found this helpful

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  • samsmat
  • 09-10-20

Brilliant page turner!!!

one of the best fantasy books I have ever read and can not wait for book 2.

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  • Douglas
  • 06-24-17

Amazing world and story

Enjoyed from start to finish,couldnt stop and dreaded the end of the book as book 2 is not out yet! Loved at the same level as name of the wind and way of kings stories! I am indeed looking forward to book 2!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Nina crause
  • 11-03-16

Hmmm

After reading all the glowing reviews I was excited to start the 'dawn of wonder'. I really wanted to enjoy this book and so painstakingly listened right to the end, hoping that it was indeed the 'slow to start' i had read in one of the reviews. The characters were great and developed really well, yet when the final chapter was drawing to a close I couldn't help but feel cheated. I can't believe it took the entire book for it to become interesting in the last chapter. Sadly this book for me was a hard slog.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 05-09-16

I think a found a new favorite author!

This book was really well written and kept me interested from start to finish. if you are a fan of Name of The Wind then you will love this! I can't wait for the next release in the series.

18 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 07-10-19

Bit of a mess with some redeeming qualities

the story lacks character connection, it is close to a good story but it gets very fragmented. you can feel what the writer was trying to achieve but didn't haven the skillful execution of a Robin Hobb or similar. with rewrite this could be a good book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ben walker
  • 06-16-17

Entertaining and enjoyable, most of the time.

Jonathan Renshaw has created an interesting world, and the story of Aedan realising his potential has been executed fairly well.

Although I enjoyed Aedans strategical solutions to many encounters, I found his intelligence regularly contradicted itself, which made some sections frustrating to get through. One minute outwitting generals, the next unable to comprehend simple logic. This became tedious towards the end when our hero is still struggling with questions you answered long ago.

Narration is amazing, but I did notice a few edits that sound different too the rest of the audio.

Overall I recommend this audiobook, and think it deserves somewhere around 3.5 stars.


2 people found this helpful

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  • Dean
  • 03-13-16

One of my new favorites and probably will remain so for life

I enjoyed it immensely! I never found myself bored and the characters seem real, not just added to work the plot to particular points! Looking forward to the next book and I really hope it is at least a trilogy, there's enough of a foundation for 2 more at least with the way it's been written and told

12 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 02-17-18

Strange narration is ruining the story

Full disclosure: I’m 20 chapters in and previously listened to two very well-narrated books (The Kingkiller Chronicles). The emotion this narrator puts into the storytelling too often jars with the story. Too many characters use the same inflections, coming across as either inappropriately earnest or arrogantly detached. This book may be better read than listened to.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kane
  • 09-20-18

I can not recommend this journey enough.

It has been a long time since I have cared about the characters in a story as much as I do with Dawn of Wonder.
even without the sub plots, this novel is a stand out. I am very much looking forward to the developments to come.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amy Breen
  • 06-23-17

The single most fantastic book I have ever read!

Not only was the narration wonderful but the story was enthralling, exquisite, and masterfully written! I haven't enjoyed a book more since the name of the wind. I can't wait for the next one!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tahn
  • 08-10-16

cant wait for the next one

this took me there and put me on the ground running ,growing fighting over coming demons !!!!!

5 people found this helpful