Prophet of the Badlands

The Awakened, Book 1
Narrated by: Elisabeth Lagelee
Series: The Awakened, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For most 12-year-olds, being kidnapped is terrifying. For Althea, it’s only Tuesday. 

Her powers of healing make her a precious commodity in the Badlands, a place where the strong write the law in blood. For as long as she can remember, she has lived either as a possession or a goddess. Althea contents herself with captivity as long as she can help others, even those who killed to own her. 

After three whole months in the same village, the friendship of a young warrior makes her feel almost like a member of the tribe rather than a prisoner. Alas, raiders seize her yet again. For the first time in six years, being stolen hurts. 

Following a reluctant escape, she questions if she should dare risk using her powers to defend herself, and those she has come to love. Her attempt to return to the tribe leaves her lost and alone and, for the first time in her life, trying to stay free.

Alas, two threats far beyond her experience to understand also hunt her. One wishes to use her for his grand scheme - and one wants to destroy her.

©2018 Matthew S. Cox (P)2019 Matthew S. Cox

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Definitely 18+ Readers Only

Okay, so I really feel a need to start with my Parent review first - easily hits an R rating. The language was atrocious: Soooo many f-bombs (I stopped counting when I hit 50 but it just continues from there), beyond the f-bomb use there is a ton of Omg's, G-damns and many others throughout the entire book. There's also nudity, and wifing=rape.

Narrator: meh 😑 accents are ok but could be better.

Story is intriguing but the language is off putting even though keeps it very real with the storyline. It reminds me of “A Handmaid’s Tale” somewhat. Most of the characters come across as idiots. A unique story, the main character is frustrating and her character progression is slow at best. Unless you enjoy mostly swearing and talk of nudity and rape, it’s probably best to skip this book—especially if you are under 18. This book would be better with 3/4 less swearing and rape references... but that would probably shorten it by at least 3 hours. I am honestly sad this one turned out to be one that I feel the need to remove from my personal library because I have truly enjoyed a couple other books by this author.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Looks Like a Tween Cover ... Adult(ish) Content

Hmmm. Not sure how I felt about this. I think I liked it. I was also pushing somewhat to get to the end. The cover is a bit misleading, looks aimed at a younger age group (and has a young protagonist) but LOTS of F-bombs throughout, lots of naked women and "wifeing" going on (basically rape), lots of violence.

I was given the audio version via AudioBookBoom in exchange for an honest review. I was able to also get the Kindle copy (text is available on KindleUnlimited) and I was glad for that. I needed to refer to it a few times when I got a little lost (it's easy to get distracted when listening while multi-tasking) and I wanted to make some notes and highlights (much easier to do in text copies) and I turned to reading instead of listening for a bit.

So the audio ... the narrator had a very distinct and unusual voice. I didn't love it, and it might have made me give up on a more realistic story. Because this had a fantasy feel (even though it ended up being more futuristic/post-apocalyptic) the strange speech was okay. I'm not exactly sure what it was. Not an accent, maybe a little over-enunciation? Just not a voice I would hear in the every day. She did do several different voices for different characters, and was good at keeping them consistent. Again, I didn't love some of the voices. Aurora and Archon especially ... of course, I didn't like them as characters (they were bad guys).

As for the story itself. It just felt a little tedious, the same things happening over and over. Althea makes a connection, then that connection is broken as she's thrust into a new situation, often where horrible things happen. She makes a connection, then that connection is broken as she's thrust into a new situation, horrible things happen. Again and again and again. Some of the same comments over and over too ... "she looks 10" "I'm 12" ... "being wifed" ... and all the "shit" jokes that Althea takes literally ("it'll make you shit a rock" "I don't want a rock to come out of my butt").

Althea is young and uneducated, so often her speech is understandably very simplistic. “I make the hurts stop and the sicks go away” and "I have to make water" and “No, he did not wife me. He wanted me to do magic to people’s thinking shapes"... Sometimes this extended to the 3rd person omniscient voice telling the story, it's NOT Althea talking, but still has that simplistic feel. For example when she gets in a car she knew "the little flappy bits on the floor made the buggies go ahead and stop, and the wheel did the turning" and at the doctor's office she's amazed by "the strange drawings of people with no skin and all those things called words, wondering if the bizarre pictures were how doctors saw the life-shapes" and the next moment, the writing (still basically Althea's perspective) is wonderful literary prose ... "With a pneumatic hiss, the metal plate above her slid away to reveal a smog-filled sky bereft of stars" and "Fury welled within her, a nascent emotion she had not often called upon" ... very inconsistent with the switching between the baby talk/baby thoughts soft touched her face, she licked the wet, she washed of the muck from crawling in dead man ... to she was parched and famished, her precocious expertise, iterations of abduction, the tenebrous presence ... just not sure why the third person was still SO in Althea's mind for some stuff, and not for others.

All said - I liked the ending and will likely think back on this book fondly. But not enough that I'm interested in continuing on with the other books, at least not right now.


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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

GOOD READ!

I enjoyed it! The narration was good. The author did a good job with the character builds and plot. This was my first book by this author but definitely not my last! I look forward to reading the next book in this series! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.