Four generations have passed since the giants of old, the Nephilim, returned to dominate the world with an iron fist. After eliminating three-quarters of the human population with an engineered plague, these sons of the fallen angels have enslaved mankind to satiate their lust for power, gluttony and sexual avarice. Yet hidden among the rubble and decay of a vanquished civilization are scattered bands of survivors, raiders, who press their fight for freedom and the ultimate annihilation of the race of giants who once again threaten to lay waste to the earth.
Nora is a tall and beautiful young woman whose skills in guerrilla combat have earned her a position as leader of a small team of raiders. While away on a mission to destroy an outlying Nephilim communications post in old New Mexico, Nora’s clan is nearly wiped out in a Nephilim attack. The survivors, including Nora’s father, are taken for slave labor deep inside the Kralen Dominion. Nora sets out to rescue her father, but along the way she’s held captive by a secretive resistance group, and uncovers a dark secret that puts her in the center of the war against the brutal giant overlords.
Age of Giants: Awakening was a great read for me. I found it contained three styles, all of which I love, and the combination of those added to the mood the story created. There’s a mix of dystopia, post-apocalypse, and one of my favourites that can be utilised in any genre, journey.
I was expecting a dystopian style post-apocalypse story, got what I asked for, and more. The story is set in more of a desert clime, with vestiges of society from before the Nephilim came around (such as billboards and abandoned houses going to ruin), but what’s left over of civilisation is more in the shadows now. They’re more or less living in their separate clans, as strays, tribes, and raiders. There’s a sense of family in some of these groups, living on the fringes, and trying to survive. There’s also the sense of going feral with other groups harassing those who wish to live amongst their family and eke out a living in peace.
I found the dystopia part came into play with more than the Nephilim, but they are the focus. They’re using the humans as slaves and while the post-apocalypse survival theme is probably the more dominant, the dystopian aspect of society being overcome and worn into the ground by these horrible creatures is always there and guiding the story.
My favourite aspect, the journey, is both physical and emotional. While I could discern the emotional side of it, the physical aspect is what stood out for me and I felt it was a great way to learn about the world and the characters by following the physical path they pursued.
When it comes to the emotional, I wonder if that is in part because for me Nora doesn’t come across as having a very distinct voice. I think this may have to do with Nora not showing her emotions as much as one would expect, in another style of story, but her attempt at keeping her feelings close to her chest match the hard life these people live. I may have wanted more emotionally from Nora, but I’m not sure if it would have fit the tale. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t appropriately emotional during certain scenes, and I believed it, but I did find it hard to identify with her.
There were times I felt as though the story was telling rather than showing. I believe a reader can pick up quite a lot of information when characters are allowed to tell the tale, either via their actions or through dialogue, instead of back-story and information dumping. The way the story was told, following Nora and her crew, involved a large amount of explaining details in-between the action and sharing what characters felt or their analysing.
For the most part it was ok, the line of telling and showing wasn’t crossed on a major scale. When it came to back-story and explanations, I don’t feel it dragged down the story or made it tedious. In fact I’m grateful for it, as I was able to grasp how the world worked and what the Nephilim society was like.
The reason I mention this is because I found Age of Giants to have an unhurried pace about it, not in a boring sort of way, but in a more creep-up-on-you-and-ensnare-you-before-you-know-what-is-happening way.
This might not be a good thing for those addicted to non-stop action and drama, but I loved the steady pace, and when something happened I appreciated it all the more. At some point I was completely hooked and had to force myself to stop reading. It’s safe to say I’m going to be following this series. There’s some great world building going on and I really enjoyed the implications of what happened. I can’t wait to read further and discover what will happen next.