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The Wake by C. A. Hutchings


Maggie Connelly has a good, quiet life as a grad student. Unfortunately, she’s probably the only one that actually wants a life like that, because for just about everyone she knows, especially her musician friends, they need to learn the skill of hiding in plain sight, because their world is not friendly to those who aren’t completely human: the weres, the Fae, and as Maggie finds out herself, angels, among many, many others. Her quiet life is shattered when she finds herself coming into her own heritage, and she finds that she has a lot of work to do on behalf of all of the angels – and to also keep her friends safe from them, too.

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Listed: Aug 22, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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Life From the Other Side

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Nov 28, 2013: The Wake is one of those stories that throws you into the deep end, in this case the sometimes hectic life of Maggie Connelly, grad student. We meet her as she’s on the way to listen to a band a number of her friends are in, and it quickly becomes evident that they’ve had to make additional plans for their upcoming tour due to the fact that many of the band members change into other forms during the full moon. Shortly after this, Maggie begins changes of her own that reveal that she’s not exactly the everyday human being that it initially seemed.

This is a fascinatingly immersive look at everyday life for various supernatural types in a modern world, and the author has a strong talent for making all of them relatable and involving the reader in the character’s lives so that you keep coming back for more. It actually felt as if I was there in the room with the characters, watching them and listening to them bicker and talk, which is quite an accomplishment for a written piece. The Wake is a story that I began reading and then didn’t surface until hours later, late for bed but still wanting to continue.

One of the things that the author could improve is character introductions. I had a little trouble at times keeping track of all of the characters and their relations to one another, especially at first, and then later on in the story at points when additional groups of characters are introduced. Maybe it would help the information about them to stick in mind if the author let them introduce themselves a bit more – that is, let them talk to us a bit more about who they are and how they’re connected to the other characters, rather than explaining it to us quickly. Also, please update the Table of Contents to show all currently available chapters/parts!

At any rate, I really liked this look into the modern world from a supernatural viewpoint, and I would recommend that fans of supernatural fiction check it out.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Unique urban fantasy (if you have the patience)

By KC Shi, member

Aug 31, 2013: The Wake was an interesting read. I was hit with a dizzying number of new characters within the first chapter, an assorted band of musicians (and their relatives) that mentioned the more magical elements so nonchalantly I almost missed it at first. After, though, the reader steps into a world of werecreatures and angels and exorcisms, and without giving away too much the main character Maggie quickly becomes embroiled among the masquerade of a quirky (and very, very large) cast of World Beyonders.

The fantastic elements are purposefully understated, but as they become more overt in later chapters so does the main conflict of the story. The Wake stumbles a little as the plot picks up speed and infodumps become more prevalent, but nevertheless I was compelled to read on. Maggie (who, for a few chapters, was the one character I could consistently remember) treats the supernatural with a day-to-day frankness that mirrors the tone of the story. The writing is firmly grounded, so that wizards and fairies seem almost normal, even if the supernatural conflict of the story itself starts to take on an air of mystery. My lasting impression was one of bemused frustration: the story has a lot of potential and I was intrigued by the treatment of the setting and characters, but the exposition has a tendency to get in the way more than actually smooth out the rather harsh learning curve.

The writing is solid; I can’t quite guarantee that it’s good but it’s worth a shot if this is a genre that interests you. The first chapters take some effort on the reader’s part to get through, but once it finds its feet, The Wake is an interesting take on urban fantasy, worth a look at the very least and just a little addicting once you’ve started reading.

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