Dawn of Wonder is a long book that covers a few years of a 12 year old boy as he matures along with the many struggles and friendships he has to deal with. I know this book is only the first in a series, however I would have liked to have had more times of action in the storyline than there was. Even if said action involved side storylines, etc. Along this same line, I would have like to have had more world building so I would have had a better mental picture of the adventures they were going on. At times there were chapters following chapters of very descriptive story telling, however much of this did not include any action or tension, and for the overall story could have been removed without impacting the main story; this aspects might be more important in future books.
The author was able to produce an epic YA coming of age story without having to use any vulgar language or adult themes. My daughter read this book, she enjoys Sanderson’s fantasy work, and she would put it on par with his series; such as Mistborn. I did not find this work as deep or detailed as Sanderson’s books, but for an initial series it was enjoyable.
For me, I think the book’s characters were rather flat or cardboard like. I’m not sure I would have any deep emotion if any of Aden’s friends were lost or killed in future books. This is not to say that I do not like them, but I did not feel an attachment to them and I have had in other books. I do not think the characters had as much back story about them for me to care one way or another. I would say that my strongest emotion would be towards his father, and as you read the book you would understand why.
Overall I enjoyed the book and I think the author did a good job telling the story and keeping it clean, I would have liked to have had more scenes of action or adventure. There were a few points where they snuck off and had mini adventures, which I enjoyed very much, but these seemed far between. This also helped to show how the friends were bonding with one another over time.
If I was to pull one of the memorable moments for me out of the entire book, I would say it was when one of the characters met the ancient. The author did such a good job of describing this scene and the overall awe it involved. This portion of the book gave me goose bumps in a good way. Well done sir, well done.
For the audiobook, the narration was done well. Overall the narrator was able to voice the many different characters without any issues. During times of action he often was able to raise his inflection, but at other times he did not. I will say that at the slower times I would listen to the book at 1.25x and have no issues following along.