Tag Archives: Awakenings Series

Destiny of Avalon (Awakenings Book 3) by J. Lynn Else Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young group of heroes faces their most challenging journey yet when their parents and a close ally are taken by a vengeful djinn who plans to unleash a powerful djinn army in author J. Lynn Else’s “Destiny of Avalon”, the third book in the Awakenings series. 

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The Synopsis

A djinn banished long ago has found his way back into Avalon, and he’s taken Genie’s, Whit’s, Mei’s, and Beth’s parents hostage. In exchange for their lives, he wants an ancient artifact. With it, he’ll conjure a spell that will destroy all of time as we know it in order to restore something that was taken from him centuries in the past. Then, before anyone knows what’s happening, he snatches Mei, whose ancestral ties can help him unlock his palace and its sinister secrets on Bottle Isle.

With the lives of their parents and Mei on the line, Beth, Whit, and Genie will need to split up in hopes of retrieving the artifact while also finding a way to set a trap for the evil djinn. Queens Guinevere and Nimue, along with Whit and Beth, will travel to the land of the dead on an ancient Egyptian solar barge. Meanwhile at the Library of Ancients, as Genie is investigating ways to foil the djinn’s plans, something strange begins to happen to her. She’s aging rapidly and losing strength with each passing day. While Morgana searches for a cure for Genie, Viviane must try to unlock the djinn’s final secret: his true name. If they can discover that, they can destroy his power.

However, there’s one final task that only Genie can complete. If they’re to stand a chance against the djinn army to free their parents and Mei from captivity, Genie must find a way to awaken the land of Avalon.

The Review

This was such a thrilling and heart-pounding conclusion to a multi-mythological baring fantasy series! The deep-seated lore the author has crafted from both original storytelling and existing mythos from various cultures was incredible to see. The addition of Egyptian mythology in particular in this story, from the Egyptian afterlife to gods and goddesses, was so creatively inspiring, especially considering the overall Arthurian mythos that has defined this narrative for so long.

The emotional and captivating journey this main cast of characters goes through is so investing to behold as a reader and fan of this series. Mei and Genie in particular have truly powerful stories unfold, both enduring the most challenging aspects of this magical adventure yet as they both attack the new threat from two very different places. The expansion of this world and the connection that it has to Earth’s own mythology and connection to magic was perfectly brought to life by these characters and made for a truly entertaining read.

The Verdict

Engaging, captivating, and brilliantly written, author J. Lynn Else’s “Destiny of Avalon” is the brilliant final chapter of the Awakenings series. While the world-building and mythos the author introduces leave plenty of room for the author to revisit in future stories, the main tale and its conclusion felt so satisfying and did the characters justice in the end. The climactic final battle with this ancient evil and the emotional final chapter that shows the path these four friends end up taking made this such a beautiful story to behold and captured the magic that defined the narrative for so long. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. LYNN ELSE is an award-winning author from Minnesota who’s self-published two historical fiction novels set in ancient Egypt, “The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen (2013),” which was named an Indie Editor’s Choice book for 2016 by the Historical Novel Society, and “The Forgotten: Heir of the Heretic (2016)” as well as a sci fi novella “Strangely Constructed Souls (2018).” Through Inklings Publishing, she’s authored an Arthurian-influenced, female-driven fantasy trilogy, “Descendants of Avalon” (2018), “Lost Daughters of Avalon” (2019), and “Prophecy of Avalon” (2021).” Her short story “The Girl from the Haunted Woods,” won 2nd place in the “Journey into the Fantastical” Anthology contest. In 2021, she became the Indie Reviews Editor for the Historical Novel Society. She believes in unicorns and practicing random acts of awesome.

https://www.teasippinnerdymom.com/

Lost Daughters of Avalon (Awakenings Book 2) by J. Lynn Else Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Four young women return to the magical land they helped save months earlier, finding it in total chaos as the fate of the lands rests in discovering their ancient lineage in author J. Lynn Else’s “Lost Daughters of Avalon”, the second book in the Awakenings series.

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The Synopsis

After not hearing anything from their knights in Avalon for weeks, the horrible Questing Beast breaks through into the world and attacks Genie, Beth, Mei, and Whit. Their magic stirs to stop the monster, but Beth’s attempts fail. Help from Avalon arrives just in time to remove the curse and reveal a woman inside the beast who claims to be Genie’s biological mother.

The four friends learn their knights had gone missing, along with one of Avalon’s queens, Viviane. An ancient evil runs amok in Avalon and the people blame the four friends, claiming they released Merlin to destroy their world. To clear their name and rescue their knights, the four friends must once again risk the dangers of Avalon.

Genie, Beth, Mei, and Whit must pull together and learn to combine their powers of air, water, earth, and fire to rebalance the world they might have thrown into chaos. If they fail, the worlds of Avalon and Earth could destabilize and end life as they know it.

The Review

This was a powerful and captivating read. The author did such an incredible job of finding new and creative ways of weaving classic Arthurian legends and mythology into the unique world of Avalon and finding a brilliant twist in how these four young women fit into the fantasy world so unlike their own. The balance of the iconic legends they know and love with the YA/children’s style storytelling devices made this story so engaging to read, and both the action and otherworldly settings really crafted some brilliant imagery in the reader’s mind.

The twists and turns this narrative took really elevated the cast of characters in this read. Getting to understand the women of the Arthurian legends and see them in a new light made this so memorable, and how it reflected the four young heroes who were learning about this world was so perfect to read and watch unfold on the pages. The theme of identity and lineage played such an important role here in this narrative, and readers are going to absolutely be shocked and in awe of the answers that come from this journey the women find themselves on.

The Verdict

Haunting, entertaining, and emotionally gripping, author J. Lynn Else’s “Lost Daughters of Avalon” is the perfect YA/Children’s mythology and fantasy read and the perfect second novel in a growing fantasy series. The heartbreaking revelations and shocking moments as the final moments play out in this read will have readers hanging on the author’s every word, and the need to read more of this captivating narrative will be so strong in the reader’s heart. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. LYNN ELSE is an award-winning author from Minnesota who’s self-published two historical fiction novels set in ancient Egypt, “The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen (2013),” which was named an Indie Editor’s Choice book for 2016 by the Historical Novel Society, and “The Forgotten: Heir of the Heretic (2016)” as well as a sci fi novella “Strangely Constructed Souls (2018).” Through Inklings Publishing, she’s authored an Arthurian-influenced, female-driven fantasy trilogy, “Descendants of Avalon” (2018), “Lost Daughters of Avalon” (2019), and “Destiny of Avalon” (2021).” Her short story “The Girl from the Haunted Woods,” won 2nd place in the “Journey into the Fantastical” Anthology contest. In 2021, she became the Indie Reviews Editor for the Historical Novel Society. She believes in unicorns and practicing random acts of awesome.

http://www.teasippinnerdymom.com/

Descendants of Avalon (Awakenings Volume 1) by J. Lynn Else Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young girl reeling from the news that her parents are separating absent-mindedly partakes in a grand wish to bring her family back together, and inadvertently unleashes a portal for a powerful wizard in the process in author J. Lynn Else’s “Descendants of Avalon”, the first volume in the Awakenings series. 

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The Synopsis

Genie’s parents are divorcing. Her friends convince her they should all wish for them to stay together at the town’s fountain. Genie thinks it’s ridiculous, but what could it hurt, right?

Turns out it could hurt a lot.

The power of the united wish opens a portal to the long forgotten land of Avalon. An evil sorcerer traps one of Genie’s friends and seeks to use the girls’ coins to retake Earth. Now Genie and her friends must venture into this magical world in hopes of saving both lands and themselves.

Join the adventure in this first installment of the Awakening Series.

The Review

This was a fantastic and magical YA fantasy read! The author’s ability to naturally weave in elements and mythological aspects of the Arthurian legend into a more modernized YA spin with a cast of strong female protagonists was absolutely incredible to read. The exploration of themes such as friendship, the journey towards adulthood, and the dangers that sometimes come with trying to change fate are all so well represented here and are highlighted beautifully with chilling mythological figures and intense action and adventure.

The way the author is able to hone in and focus on the core cast of characters and develop them in such a natural way in this larger-than-life, fantasy-driven narrative was so fun to see. Delving into the heartbreak and hardship of teenage life, including the issues they face like the crumbling of the only family they ever knew through a divorce, was a fantastic way to give the young women’s adventure and epic journey more heart and humanity, while the fantasy elements and this otherworldly environment was so well represented by the history and culture of Arthurian legends while also capturing the author’s voice and creativity perfectly. 

The Verdict

Mesmerizing, entertaining, and brilliantly written, author J. Lynn Else’s “Descendants of Avalon” is a must-read YA Fantasy novel! The brilliant sense of adventure and wonderment that any young person would feel being thrust into this magical world, as well as the fear and worry when danger arrives, is felt in the tone and atmosphere the author has crafted, and the way the setting and characters seem to balance out one another makes the story flourish until the final pages, where readers will be eager to devour the next book in this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Award-winning author J. LYNN ELSE loves reading and writing about awesome women from antiquity. Besides history, she also gets nerdy with Star Wars, Star Trek, and MST3K. She’s self-published two historical fiction novels set in ancient Egypt, The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen and The Forgotten: Heir of the Heretic. Descendants of Avalon, Awakenings book 1 a YA Fantasy with interwoven elements of the legends and people of King Arthur’s time, was released through Inklings Publishing in May 2018. Book 2, The Lost Daughters of Avalon was released in 2019, and Book 3 Destiny of Avalon in July of 2021. Additionally, in July of 2018, she self-published a sci fi novella, Strangely Constructed Souls, which asks ‘what the price of revenge and how far would you go to right a wrong?’ Her short story The Girl from the Haunted Woods, about friendships, secrets, and witchy curses, won 2nd place in the Journey into the Fantastical anthology contest. Besides writing, J. Lynn recently became the Indie Reviews Editors for the Historical Novel Society (historicalnovelsociety.org).

J. Lynn’s always had a flare for the dramatic, graduating college with a theater major and a dance minor. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two kids where her shelves are overrun with books, her kitchen is overrun with loose-leaf tea, and her workroom is overrun with Funko Pop figures. She enjoys sketching, reliving her 1990s by watching the latest X-Files episodes, honing her Fruit Ninja skills, and randomly busting out into song and dance. She believes in unicorns and practicing random acts of awesome.

http://www.teasippinnerdymom.com/