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Review - Awakening (The Evolved Ones #1) by Natasha Oliver

This is a fabulously gritty start to what's promising to be a barnstorming fantasy series. Rox is a modern heroine who wakes up, having no knowledge of who she really is. When we first meet her she is trying to get into Halo, which she believes is a sanctuary for the Evolved Ones, after they begin disappearing.

Although this isn't my normal genre, I enjoyed this well-written novel, which sets out a world where the human race is splitting into two sub-species, the second being the Evolved, who have special powers. One of Rox's powers is that she can heal herself and others, sometimes by accident, and take energy from others when she needs it. It makes her a dangerous weapon, but she is more interested in finding out who she was before she Evolved. All she has is the memory of a relationship with a controlling partner she needs to run from, and the need to get to safety.

The writing is superb and features crunchy violence and some gory detail. Rox has her nose broken and set again more times than I could count, and she gives as good as she gets. This is a woman with goals, but also empathy, as she tries to save her friends as well as herself. She is surrounded by a wide range of characters, none of whom feel unnecessary, and the chase scenes are breathtaking. This is definitely an adrenalin-rush of a book!

All three books in the series are available, so no having to wait to see what happens next. It was a good rounded ending, though, for those who like them. Recommended for urban fantasy lovers.


In a world where humans are evolving, people are more curious than afraid. They look for answers from a handful of scientists who try to uncover why some develop abilities yet the vast majority to do. For most humans, it’s an exciting time, but for EOs— the evolved ones—it’s a game of hide and seek that ends with far too many of their kind disappearing, permanently.

Rox awoke four years ago without a single memory and the involuntary ability to heal. Speech and most of her higher level cognitive functions were working, but everything about herself felt unfamiliar. Plagued by insecurity and confusion, she leaves the only home she can remember in search of her true identity.


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