Cover Image: Haven Wakes

Haven Wakes

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Member Reviews

This was a quick read for me. I enjoyed the story very much. This is a mix of Sci di and fantasy. The magic system building was great and built out. There were a few sections in the book that felt rushed, or not as fleshed out- but overall it was a really great first book in the series. I'll definitely read more in this series to see what happens to Steve!
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Now I ain't lying when a say this but this book right here was something out of this world, yes it took me a while to read it but oh wow I took my time with this one as I didn't want to miss anything out, as you can see I am very happy that a came across this book.
This book was so different from what I have read over the course of 2022, and I ain't gonna stop here with this one, I am going to read the rest of the series to see what other adventures await for my new favourite characters that a met in haven wakes.
Now I am on my way to read book 2, so excited to meet them again.

I have posted my review onto my Instagram and good reads page. 
Thank you netgallery for allowing me to read this masterpiece am so excited to read the second one already.
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I've never liked making comparisons because that tend to confuse the reader in the long run, so I'm just going to say that this book might be to the liking of fans of Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl.  
Set in the relatively near future, Haven Wakes follows the adventures of Steve Haven, the son of a renowned archaeologist, a normal teenager with a normal life, who is sent to boarding school in the absence of his parents.  From that moment on, Steve's life will take a magical turn, literally speaking.
A very easy to read book, quickly written and full of well-defined characters, that can turn a boring afternoon into an afternoon full of magic.
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Haven Wakes had a really snappy opening, but the plot got confusing very quickly.  It wasn't clear why one of the protagonists was getting treated as a second-class citizen by his school, especially when it seemed like he was from a wealthy family.  The prose was serviceable but it didn't sing to me enough to pull me along.  But, the reason I decided to DNF this book 50 pages in was that it feels like a middle-grade novel. It might fare better with readers looking for a fantasy adventure for that age group.
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It is the year 2110. 12 year Steve’s father is an archaeologist. There is a falling out between his uncle Rex ‘robotics genius and philanthropist’ and his father. He is lonely, his parents are always away and are ‘a team.’ He is stuck at school, feeling sorry for himself but… a massive adventure is about to happen!


It becomes clear that his uncle’s death is a murder and there is a lots to get to rips with… what with auras, and characters who ‘seethed wiith magic,’ a darkling… and a place called dark acre.

It’s funny in bits and definitely entertaining!

““You’d get on with my chemistry teacher,” said Steve. “He’s never happier than when he’s blowing things up.””

“The sight of the fire imp had scared off his hangover and he felt in dire need of a weapon to defend himself.”


And some lovely character descriptions, this is of Frobisher the gatekeeper:

“Frobisher sat in a deckchair beside an archway that stretched between two red-brick terrace houses. His hair was patchy and his baldness, plus his frown, emphasised the generous size of his nose, which jutted out like it wanted something to be hung on it.”

This is for you if you like: Magic, pixies, goblins, revenants, fairies (darklings) travelling magic, fire imps and devourers! A fun packed and imaginative adventure. Really enjoyed. Entertaining and funny in parts. Loved the characters and the magic! The ending wrapped up any loose ends and opened up the potential for book 2 which is on my reading list. Looking forward to continuing this series.
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It is the year 2110. 12 year Steve’s father is an archaeologist. There is a falling out between his uncle Rex ‘robotics genius and philanthropist’ and his father. He is lonely, his parents are always away and are ‘a team.’ He is stuck at school, feeling sorry for himself but… a massive adventure is about to happen!


It becomes clear that his uncle’s death is a murder and there is a lots to get to rips with… what with auras, and characters who ‘seethed wiith magic,’ a darkling… and a place called dark acre.

It’s funny in bits and definitely entertaining!

““You’d get on with my chemistry teacher,” said Steve. “He’s never happier than when he’s blowing things up.””

“The sight of the fire imp had scared off his hangover and he felt in dire need of a weapon to defend himself.”


And some lovely character descriptions, this is of Frobisher the gatekeeper:

“Frobisher sat in a deckchair beside an archway that stretched between two red-brick terrace houses. His hair was patchy and his baldness, plus his frown, emphasised the generous size of his nose, which jutted out like it wanted something to be hung on it.”

This is for you if you like: Magic, pixies, goblins, revenants, fairies (darklings) travelling magic, fire imps and devourers! A fun packed and imaginative adventure. Really enjoyed. Entertaining and funny in parts. Loved the characters and the magic! The ending wrapped up any loose ends and opened up the potential for book 2 which is on my reading list. Looking forward to continuing this series.

⭐⭐⭐⭐
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This is a great story about a young boy that stumbles his way into a magical world.  He is not magical himself, but he is befriended by magical sorts that help him as he deals with the murder of his uncle and the absence of his parents. He finds a place within this magical community and develops the confidence to succeed in his boarding school as well.  The quest is a rich series of adventures that include finding a magical object, dealing with robots with AI, collaborating with a shadow of a person and other mystical beings.  It is a wonderfully imaginative world with unique creatures and experiences, and the life lessons are relevant to children today.  I fully enjoyed the book and look forward to the subsequent installments (the book ends, but the story definitely continues ...)!
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this book seems like a fun fantasy! would recommend to all fantasy lovers. This is a book that made me feel so comfortable and cosy.. A good read for all fantasy fans that like a well written easy read. The book starts when Steve is dropped into an adventure when his Uncle dies, his mother rushes off to find his father leaving Steve at boarding school and a package is mysteriously left for him. Magic is not far away, and Steve’s eyes are about to be opened, and news friends will be needed to help him over come the villains’ dastardly plans. This is the first book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone; the book finishes this part of our journey with Steve.
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What a fun book!     A little bit of Harry Potter, A lot futuristic.    I loved the characters and the premise.   Well done!
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This book was absolutely filled to the brim with action. It’s detailed and completely sucks you into the world created by Fi Philips.
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This is a book that made me feel so comfortable and cosy.. A good read for all fantasy fans that like a well written easy read. The book starts when Steve is dropped into an adventure when his Uncle dies, his mother rushes off to find his father leaving Steve at boarding school and a package is mysteriously left for him. Magic is not far away, and Steve’s eyes are about to be opened, and news friends will be needed to help him over come the villains’ dastardly plans. This is the first book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone; the book finishes this part of our journey with Steve. Thank you to Burning Chair Publishing and Net Galley for letting me read an ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given.
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Massively Jumbled Mess 

NOTE: I received early access from NetGalley, for this manuscript, in exchange for writing an impartial review. Completed on 6/14/2022.

The largest problem I had with this book starts from the very beginning, and continues to snowball it's way through the entire novel, stemming from the fact that the author attempts to combine SciFi, Fantasy, and Magick together. This includes sub-genres of robotics, smatterings of mythology and folklore, and some components of time travel, and this is all while trying to give the impression this is occurring while in a dystopian society in the year 2110.  As well, everyone from the magic side has their own unique ability that even one from this "dark" ( Phillips word, not mine) world admits is too difficult to explain.  All 3 genres have a light undercurrent, with none being particularly more enhanced than the other. These 3 never cohesively merge together, especially with the mishmash of all the other crowded sub-genres trying to compete for space.

Details are sporadic and light on the world building, as well as flushing out any character depth, details, and/or descriptions.

It all leaves you a bit overwhelmed, and mostly fuzzy and grainy, similar to an out of focus photograph. Just as you spend any amount of time and sense as it's coming into focus you're pulled out of "there," wherever there might be, and your off and running to the next location of these pecul world environments.

The minute the 3 main characters finally meet back up and go to tell the supposed trusted ally what's been going on, there's deception and lies written all over this particular character. You can see it coming a mile away. Especially since it's hinted at way at the beginning of the novel. Similar to a spoiler being planted in a review. 

There's also another character early on in the book that's being developed, referred to as a darkling. She is in and out, quite frequently, of the storyline up to 17% of the book, or location 775 out of 4446, in and out of the first 16 chapters and then suddenly there's no mention again until briefly at 71%, location 3175 out of 4446, in chapter 32 out of 40. At 77%, location 3415 out of 4446, chapter 33, we're finally introduced to the character and her story. I guess the actual page numbers are 312, but for some annoying reason, it doesn't give page numbers.

This is just two examples of some of the issues which should've been caught in editing, or in an effort from the author to see any glaring defects that could've been addressed before going to publication.

I couldn't originally find a target group this was aimed toward, but soon discovered through the mentions of other reviewers, it's considered YA, and I should've known it wouldn't be quite as fleshed out as I would've liked.

Furthermore, I  should've look closer at the description on NetGalley. This has been in publication since October 2019, and is still on NetGalley trying to drum up reviews, readership, and a following. The next in the series is due to be released in August of this year, 2022. I'm shocked on Amazon it has an average rating of 4.2 and on Goodreads 4.3. It's hard to believe that more than mentioned, didn't receive this as an early release, and wanting to stay in the good graces of the powers that be, we're afraid to go any lower in their rating. And trust me, it unfortunately happens more than you'd like to think.

It is categorized as fairy tale, mythology, folklore/folk tales. I'm not sure why when it's not until almost 65% of the book being completed, that Philips finally tosses this in. Almost like she had a checklist she wanted to include in the book and she was working down through it to be able to put the little check mark next to it, indicating done. (Or possibly a little gold star lol) Maybe this has to do with the targeted age group, the genre to list it under, or who knows what else, in order to qualify.

By the end, I was just as happy to check it off my to-do list as being completed, and to be able to write up and submit my review. 
I won't be reading any further in the series, and can't even say I'd recommend this for the YA crowd.
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Review
What an unbelievable gem Haven Wakes turned out to be. I was astounded at how quickly the book drew me in. The time simply evaporated as I sat reading this inventive, imaginative and exciting piece of young adult Science fiction. Futuristic magic, mystery and mayhem at its very best.
It all begins when young Steve Haven finds that Rex, his uncle, has died. His uncle has left something in his care, and now Steve has suddenly become the guardian of a strange artefact known only as the Reactor.
His dad and mum have gone missing, and some very sinister individuals are after the Reactor. 
But he finds some unlikely allies in Hartley and Blessing. Magical beings from seemingly just a magic door away. With the help of Abel, the man servant of Rex (and a whole lot more besides), plus a few more accomplices, they must keep the Reactor safe from a would-be power crazy unknown. Life has suddenly gotten very complicated for Steve Haven.
I had quite a few flashbacks to old books and movies along the way whilst reading Haven Wakes. This is not in any way a slight on the book. 
For example, the various automatons, whether domestics or self-drive vehicles, had images of I-Robot (the movie) springing to mind. But it just added substance to an already exciting narrative. 
Similar with Hartley and his Purple Chalk. A variation on a theme used before (The Portable Door - Tom Holt being my ultimate favourite) but an excellent concept in its own right.
Heart-warming visions of Compo Simonite (Last of the Summer Wine) flashed through my mind as Hartley got out his secretive matchbox. But as with Compo, the secret has yet to be revealed. Maybe we will see it again in another book, who knows.
As the story developed, it became riveting, as the main protagonist found himself in one scrape after another. Self-inflicted at times may be but mostly, through no fault of his own. Steve has that naive but flawed charm you like in the main character. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, as the saying goes.
There are some unique aspects to the story that I have never come across before, and the many creative elements of future earth were fascinating. The use of jars and vials was a feature of the narrative that I would have liked to have seen expanded on a little as the ingenuity shown was intriguing.
The world-building was decent enough, especially for such a short book. I would have liked to have visited Darkacre in greater detail. Perhaps that is for the future. What little time we spent there was fascinating and deserved further exploration.
Haven Awakes is an immersive and fun book to read. A captivating and breathtakingly exciting story with a cast of likeable and interesting characters. A real page-turner that easily fulfils its agenda.
Some of the elements of the story were left unresolved, which could mean a follow-up or spin-off. It did not spoil the climactic conclusion one iota. In fact, I am eagerly anticipating the next instalment because I am reasonably sure we have not seen the last of Steve Haven.
Haven Wakes is aimed at the teen and young adult demographic. But I think adults who enjoy the Potter, Fowl, and Pleasant novels will appreciate it. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it most readily.
Thank you, NetGalley and Burning Chair, for the advanced copy of this sparkling book.
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