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Antebellum Awakening (The Network Series Book 2) by [Cross, Katie]
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Antebellum Awakening (The Network Series Book 2) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, 15 Oct 2014
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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch.

Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage.

Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos, endangering any witch around her. She has six months left to destroy the curse that will kill her and fulfill her contract with the most cunning enemy of all: her former teacher Miss Mabel.

Bianca must make a choice: learn to control her restless powers, or let the powers control her.

Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the thrilling new fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a haunting tale about tragedy, loss, and the power of moving on.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2622 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Antebellum Publishing (15 October 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00O972EF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Absolutely loving this series. Can't recommend it strongly enough.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corrected some of book one's issues, but then developed some new ones 29 October 2014
By M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave book one in this series, Miss Mabel's School for Girls (The Network Series Book 1), three stars. I use that rating sometimes when I feel a book is "just OK" - you know, good enough, but not really worthy of a strong opinion, positive or negative. That wasn't the case with that one, though; I found it surprisingly enjoyable in some respects. The problem was, in others it fell short. Between those shortcomings and the cliffhanger ending (cliffhangers royally tick me off - they come across as calculated to entice us to buy a sequel for a series that ought to be good enough to stand on its own merits), I wasn't sure whether to bother with this one.

I did end up buying and reading it, obviously, but I'm sad to say this one isn't getting a better score. Funnily enough, some of the stuff that bugged me about the first book - the caricature of the Bad Guy, the cliffhanger, the lack of world building in such a fascinating world - wasn't as much of a problem here, and that's great. This sequel had a proper ending. It didn't ramp up the world building much, but my experience with Miss Mabel's had me feeling more tuned in from the start. Miss Mabel was still a caricature, but she played a much lesser part in this volume. (There were others to take her place, though. Maybe I just resigned myself to it?)

And I might have given this one four stars, except for one thing: Bianca. The main character. The one who impressed me so much in Miss Mabel's for her pluck and determination to do what she had to do in order to overcome impossible odds.

She...regressed or something. Now, don't get me wrong. If someone goes through a tragedy like Bianca's, I have some measure of understanding regarding regrettable behavior. But...how to do this without spoilers? Hmm: instead of taking a situation seemingly ready-made for crystallizing all that determination into a hardened, mature, unstoppable protagonist and force of good, she turned into a brat. Whining. Bad decision after bad decision. Sheer idiocy in some cases. I can see not wanting to make her into her own opposing caricature, a model of perfection, yes. But just like in the first book, where I complained about a lack of balance, a good author can give a character flaws, can leave room for further growth, without leaving the MC completely unlikeable. It's hard to write a glowing review when you're not fond of the MC, you know?

That's my strongest complaint, but not the only one. There were other aspects of the story that bugged me as well. Plot elements that never really amount to much... Potential for character development that could have given the story layers upon layers but went unfulfilled... The story wasn't bad at all. But it wasn't great, either.

Anyway, Bianca grew out of her snit...eventually...mostly. And I'm left with a book that, even though it ended on a supremely predictable note (yeah, saw that ending coming by about chapter two), even though I still don't think it lives up to the hype, nevertheless entices me to read on. If book three doesn't take too long to come out, I'll probably read it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books like this one are why my to-do list is always full! 16 October 2014
By AlaskaGrown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh my gosh this book blew me away! Ever since I finished Book One, "Miss Mabel's School for Girls," I have been waiting (im)patiently for Book Two. This book did not disappoint in any way.
I am totally a "series" kind of person. I love watching tv shows with lots of seasons, I love trilogies and novel series. But sometimes season/book 2 has a lag....like the writer knew where they were starting, (Book/Season 1) and where they want to eventually go (Book/Season 3) but the middle gets a little bogged down. You know what I mean? If you don't, read the Divergent books. (Or don't, since it's not worth it.) Well, since Katie Cross is a new author, I worried that The Network Series was going to suffer from some of that. There was SO much momentum, depth/evolution of characters in Miss Mabel's School for Girls, I wasn't sure how she could maintain that.

I'm still not sure how she maintained that, but she totally did. Antebellum Awakening picks up shortly after Miss Mabel's School for Girls left off, and once you are back in the Network, good luck getting out until you turn the last page. Everything I loved about Book 1 was there again in Book 2, but if anything, it was even better. I remember that the year between 16 and 17 was transformative for me, and it is for Bianca, too. With the backdrop of a magical world apart from mine, and with the fate of that world hanging in the balance of her actions, life is examined and developed in a way that is still very familiar to us mortals.

Loss, with its associated pain, grief, suppression, and coping are all examined with depth and grace. It's not a sad book (I'm SO not into those) but Ms. Cross paints these topics with a masterful brush. Familial relationships (both blood and surrogate) are displayed in all their intricacies. Friendships and budding romance (and faux pas) are exhibited with all of their beautiful and hilarious facets. And everything is woven into the story so perfectly that while you see all of it, you aren't shown anything irrelevant to the gripping plot that is developing on the center stage.

The only good excuse you might have for not starting this book RIGHT NOW is if you haven't read book one yet. And if that's true, then buy them both immediately. You'll thank yourself.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty entertaining 7 September 2015
By Cin Ngo - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I read this book pretty quickly, I just really need to know what was going to happen after the previous book. It was entertaining, though quite a few steps along the way were rather predictable. In general it was a good read.

Mildred and Marten: I honestly didn't realize how much I loved these two together until I was reminded once again that they never truly got to be together. They were such a strong couple and the love for each other, along with their willingness to sacrifice for the network is really amazing. I was genuinely sad over what happened to Mildred and how their story ended. Even after all the time that has passed it is clear that these two belonged together.

Bianca: Her initial refusal to face the truth was quite annoying to me. I get that she want to be strong but she shouldn't do so at the expense of her sanity. Additionally, her confrontations with Mabel all grew very reckless - I kept finding myself thinking about how illogical her actions were getting. But I guess when you're dying logic is one of the least of your problems. However, when she finally overcame her fear and emotion I was very happy for her and I'm glad that through it all she had her friends there for her.

Merrick: Let's be honest, we all knew he would be the one to help Bianca realize her problem dealing with grief. That being said, I liked him enough. He is like a combination of her father and Marten. And it many ways the type of person she needs on her side. He doesn't let her run from things easily her pushes her, forces her to face things on her own but at the same time he listens, he understands. There is still a lot I want to know about it, but I'm not sure we'll find out.

Bianca-Merrick: These two work well as a team. I really hope they make it work in the end. I have this feeling that they'll both be faced to decisions similar to couples before them. And they'll have to decide between love and duty. However, I hope the network is reformed by then and they can choose both.

Derek: I think Bianca's father is pretty awesome. He went against the tradition of the network and was willing to give up a position of power all because he loved Marie. He did something a part of me always wanted Marten and Mildred to do. That being said, he proved that even with a family he was a strong and capable witch that more that adequately served the Central Network. He is great.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Tale of Sacrifice, Joy and Finding True Inner (and Outer) Strength 16 October 2014
By GS_Jennsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who does not make a habit of reading YA fiction, to me one of the most interesting (and enjoyable) things about Antebellum Awakening is that though it is a young adult novel, it never shies away from serious, difficult topics. The struggle of how to deal with loss, move forward and grow stronger, the reality of facing evil in the world, the heavy weight of responsibility and the nature of sacrifice—all these themes run like intertwining rivers through the book. The author handles them all with a respectful, understated touch, which has the inverse effect of magnifying their emotional impact.

This is not to say that Antebellum Awakening is a depressing book. There are dark moments, yes, but there are also moments of levity, humor, beauty and, most importantly, extreme badassery :). The struggles Bianca and those close to her face lead up to a heart-stopping, thrilling climax that is among the best I’ve read. The final 25% of the novel ratchets up the intensity to a fever pitch and keeps it there to the final page.

Sword fights, old magic gone wild, dragons—and at the center of it all stands one young woman who, when it matters most, discovers just how strong she can be, in truly spectacular fashion.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story for Teens who Love Fantasy, Sword Fights, Dragons, and for Anyone Still Seventeen at Heart 20 November 2014
By Evelyne Holingue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Antebellum Awakening is the direct sequel of Miss Mabel's School for Girls.
In Book I the author Katie Cross had planted the roots for an original fantasy trilogy called The Network Series.
Good and evil witches inhabit the Network, a world divided geographically and strategically. Miss Mabel fights restlessly and evilly for exclusive power. To fulfill her goal she must get rid of a few people.
Among them Bianca Monroe.
Due to Miss Mabel’s diabolic curse Bianca has already lost her beloved mother in Book I and has been ordered to kill her father who stands in Mabel’s way.
In Antebellum Awakening, Bianca is almost seventeen years old. On her birthday she will also die if the infamous ancient Book of Spells is not found to stop the curse.
The range of emotions that affect Bianca’s choices and decisions work beyond the fantasy world of the Network.
Since I’m not a huge fan of fantasy this is already what I liked in Book I and liked even better in Book II.
The character of Bianca is now fully fleshed. Her relationships with her friends from Book I are more developed and play a more important role, especially in the last crucial scenes. The feelings that all these girls experience are typical of teenage girls coming out of age and we can only feel and fall for them.
Compelling boys are also introduced in Book II and they add a perfect layer of light romance and believable tension between the characters.
In addition to the plot that moves along well despite a few lengthy passages, Cross’s competent and writing, which was a good surprise in Book I is even more confident in Book II. I particularly appreciated the choice of strong verbs, similes, metaphors, and the vivid descriptions of nature and food. It is obvious that Cross loves both the outdoors and good food and she succeeds at passing this affection through her writing.
Although Bianca experiences with significant loss in several different ways, she learns how to cope with the pain and grief, as we all have to do in real life. Her fight against despair feels real and renders this girl believable and likeable.
The ending of Book II is satisfying. There is no real cliffhanger but the promise to meet Bianca, stronger than ever and determined to fight for her Network now at war.
This is a story for teens who love fantasy, swords fights, dragons, and also for anyone who is still seventeen at heart.