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Crystal Awakening cover art

Crystal Awakening

By: Andrew Rowe, Kayleigh Nicol
Narrated by: Travis Baldree, Emily Lawrence
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Publisher's Summary

A team of adventurers enters an epic trial of wits, magic, and monsters in this thrilling new fantasy series set within the Arcane Ascension universe.

Parties attempting to claim the treasures of the Tortoise Spire of Dalenos are usually composed of six professional climbers. But following a near-disastrous climb, Team Guiding Star Legacy finds itself two challengers short. With Nieve as the frontline fighter, Sage as the strategist, Lani as the healer, and Emiko as the spellcaster, they need a couple powerful allies to round out the squad.

The first new recruit, Hane, is a fighting and stealth specialist, while the second, Aldis, has quite the talent for teleportation magic. Though their individual reasons for scaling the spire vary—wealth, fame, favor—the team’s shared goal is thus: fight, win, ascend, and repeat. All in the hopes of one day making it to the top, where the goddess awaits to grant them the objects of their deepest desires.

To achieve this goal, they must master escalating levels of fire and ice, dangerous creatures, and confounding illusions. Whether facing a threat to their bodies, their magic, or their minds, each of the climbers accepts the risks. And bending the rules is part of the challenge. Some call this cheating; others call it winning.

But no test is ever straightforward. Because Guiding Star Legacy is being judged, and their next contest is one they aren’t meant to survive. Ascend or fall, the quest is only just beginning.

©2022 Andrew Rowe (P)2022 Podium Audio

Critic Reviews

"Nicol’s fantasy novel offers a promising start to a new spinoff series, set in former role-playing game designer Rowe’s popular Arcane Ascension world...surprising elements and shocking twists [lead] to a harrowing final life-and-death battle and [set] up an intriguing premise for a continuing series....Fans of anime, RPGs, and the authors’ previous work will be eager to follow Guiding Star Legacy’s further adventures." —Kirkus Reviews

What listeners say about Crystal Awakening

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The female narrator (Or the author) can't stick to pronouns or names.

I like that pronouns were used that's totally fine, but seriously don't use they and him in the same paragraph/sentence. And 6hrs in one chapter is constantly switched between Marney and Larney. While talking to Harny (that's not the spelling) omg I had to slow the speed and read twice. Someone's editor didn't do a great job. Such as shame as all other Arcane Ascension books have been faultless.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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crystal awakening

excellent book very enjoyable and we'll performed can't wait for the next one to come out

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story ruined by woke pronouns.

Having to hear constant they/them bs did my head in, it has 0 real effect on the story and is obviously just there to tick woke boxes.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too many PoV characters.

The editor worked hard to give all the characters PoV chapters, but it wasn't needed. However, It's rare the ending is so untraditional that I don't expect it. Nice.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I don’t know if it was my fever

I don’t know if if it was my fever but this sent chills through my body and tears down my face, however the pacing was a bit questionable to me.But loved the book overall and am ready for the next :)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible ending

I enjoyed most of the story, but the ending left me cold. I really hated it, not sure that I will continue with this spin off series, after that ending I don’t really care what happens to the characters who are left. It’s a shame as I really like the other books in the related series.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

ohhh wow

I really enjoyed it awesome characters and great job from the narrators, my only problem was the prospective being changed every few chapters between narrators kept pulling me out of Emersion, I'd just get sucked in then they would switch, but apart from that loved it

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disjointed

I really enjoyed the first two thirds of the book but then when the big reveal comes about a a certain item it felt like a disjointed story line and then tried to piece the story back together. it didn't fit right from there on out.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ruined by unnecessary character "representation"

First of all I think the narrators did an amazing job. 5 star performances for both.

For the most I enjoyed the characters, their adventures and battles etc. Was a great journey. I feel as though the stories use of confusing plural pronouns for one of the characters confused a lot of the dialogue and combat scenes where multiple characters took part. It added nothing to the story apart from confusion and was an un-needed addition.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good story but the dual narrator approach hurts it

Liked the storyline it is definitely an interesting spin off of the other series by this author. But the decision to have two different narrators really makes this a difficult one to get into. If they had Emily doing the female voices and Travis the male with a third Narrator doing the actual narrative that would of been great but swapping between Travis and Emily after a few chapters means each character has two different voices, Which is really jarring I also find Emily’s voices to be so similar it is hard to tell them apart. If they ever re-release this with just one narrator I would buy that if they do this with the next in the series though I won’t continue to follow the story.

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