The Immortal Wizards: The Awakening by Andreas Suchanek
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: January 1, 2021
The Immortal Wizards: The Awakening opens on a young man, Alexander Kent, being suddenly gifted with magical powers. What he doesn’t realize is that these powers used to belong to someone else. In the hidden world of magic, when a wizard dies, their powers and some of their memories immediately go to another person. Alex is stoked to learn how to use magic, but at the same time, he’s met with a group of wizards mourning someone they lost to whom Alex can’t possibly compare. To complicate matters, a malevolent being called the Queen of Shadows is trying to tear down the barrier between the magic world and the non-magical one, an event that would cause chaos and destruction around the world if she succeeds.
Some plot points in that summary might sound like woefully worn territory, but there were enough fresh twists in The Awakening to keep my interest for the most part. I liked the fact that Alex’s dreams of using magic to better his life are dashed almost immediately. There’s very little he can do outside of the magical realm, and anyway, he’s going to be far too busy risking his neck to fight against the Queen of Shadows to have much time for fun magical tricks at home.
If I had to fault the book for anything, it would be that I didn’t always follow what led a group of characters from one action to another. There’s a lot of worldbuilding in this book, which is generally a good thing, but if you latch onto the wrong details (as I have a bad habit of doing), you’ll miss the logical leaps in the characters’ plans. Nevertheless, you’ll be treated to an exciting battle when the characters arrive, even if you didn’t quite follow how they knew to arrive there. The author is careful to remind you of who is who, which I greatly appreciated.
The comparison to Harry Potter is kind of unavoidable with these sorts of books, but I’m pleased to say The Awakening stands plenty fine on its own. It’s got a different, older and more serious vibe. Potter fans will naturally make a few mental comparisons (Nostradamus to Ollivander, Nowiz to No-Maj, ect), but the similarities end in these tiny details that might have been inevitable anyway. After all, wands have to come from somewhere, and it’s quite natural that a community of magic folk would have a general term for non-magic folk.
The villain is still pretty much straight-up evil, at least as far as we can tell in this first book, but the people battling against her aren’t exactly straight-up good. In fact, this is one of the recurring themes of the book–that people are complicated and seeing someone in their worst moment doesn’t tell you about the whole person, who they were before or who they could be in the future. Overall, while perhaps not fully original in concept, the book is worth a read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
You can find The Immortal Wizards: The Awakening on Goodreads
You can also buy the book on Amazon (Affiliate link): The Awakening (The Immortal Wizards, Book 1): Join Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and other immortal wizards to protect the magical society