PRAISE FOR THE AWEN TRILOGY
"Urban Fantasy, near-future SciFi, and an Alien Invasion. - Take these three genres, set them in an imaginative mythos, and then tie it all together with a great plot, explosive action, and moments of tenderness. The novel is cinematic in scope, and immerses the reader in a fully realized, dynamic world just begging for spin-off stories. And although rooted in the fantastic, the characters are alive, believable, and complex. There's a lot here, and through a wonderful flare for writing, she makes it work--as if by magic. Pick this one up, folks. You won't regret it." ~ William (Billy) Willey, Departmental Assistant, Ingram Library, University of West Georgia
"Good Read - Book one has Druids, wacko lizards, dragons, an insane shaman/witch aka stalker, and a few that want Emily dead. But amid all the chaos, she has found her true family. Some humor, no sex, and some danger. Highly recommend if you like urban fantasy." ~ Granny G.
"Fun Book! - An epic tale with a strong female lead who isn't snarky or dumb or depending on sex appeal - I love it! Plot line complex enough to keep me interested, with good writing & copy editing, & I really like the subject matter of dragons & magic. One of those "couldn't put it down" books." ~ LucyBlue
"There's Druids in them thar hills - Awen Rising is, to me at least, something new and different: Near future pre-apocalyptic urban fantasy. In 2042 tsunamis, cyclones, and volcanoes are in full spate. Enter Emily, a former disaster specialist who’s now homeless and on the run from forces she’s not certain even exist. Oh, and heiress of a magical legacy that might just be the key to stopping it all.
This story has sooo many things going on—Druid magic, sentient animals, dragonic guardians (who are, by the way, feeling very thwarted), and an exceptionally nasty reptilian race of beings intent on breaking free from their underworldly prison and claiming the earth for their own, unless the good guys can get their act together and stop them. And we can’t forget about the quasi-religious (and ultra-creepy) shaman Shalane, who is stalking Emily for reasons of her own, none of them boding good for our dauntless heroine. Ms. Barre juggles a lot of plates here, and it all works.
Ms. Barre has done a great job of world-building--can I just say, as a former Georgia boy born in Atlanta, that I love the use of the Druid Hills area for this tale. Well played, indeed! Her magical system is well thought out. And I especially appreciated her deep dive into the historical roots of her druids—hearkening back to William the Conqueror, whose life was saved only by the intervention of the first Awen.
Emily, it seems, is heir to the awesome Druid powers of that first Awen—if she can somehow manage to figure them out. There’s also the hunky Druid priest who’s teaching her combat skills, along with some lessons of the heart. There are puzzles and internecine infighting and disasters galore, building tension to a crescendo. And then… and then…
And then we’re left almost literally hanging on a cliff with Emily and her team. And while I’m not generally a fan of cliffhangers, this one was so well played that I can overlook it as I look forward to grabbing Awen Storm, which is slated to drop in May.
Overall, Awen Rising is a nicely done first outing with engaging characters, intriguing world-building, and a fascinating story line that's well worth a read." ~ Author Keith Willis, Knights of Kilbourne
"AWEN RISING Makes Reading Long Books Fun Again - With a long book – such as Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, you immerse yourself in a world that is enveloping, absorbing, that takes you on a long journey. You get your money's worth.
More and more, long books in print use tiny fonts. But not Awen Rising. Its font is large and readable. The latest trend is to read books around 200 pages -- something you can digest in an evening. But that is hardly worth the effort of page turning, is it?
Game of Thrones taught us the pleasure of immersing ourselves in a complex, magical world of conflict, ambition, and dueling strong-willed characters. Want dragons? Awen Rising has them. ... and reptilian adversaries on par with the danger of the White Walkers.
Emily Mayhall is an overwhelmed woman few, especially Emily herself, would think of as a champion for a world bruised by natural disasters and supernatural attacks. A Druid heritage and supernatural beckonings are insistent Destinies that refuse to take NO for an answer. Set in a time only a decade or two from now, O. J. Barré's tale is one that will catch you up and not let you go. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed." ~ Author Roland Yeomans
"Incredibly well written - I loved Book 1 and was thrilled when Book 2 came out. It is almost better than the first which considering how much I enjoyed the first book it is quite an achievement. Kudos to O J Barre.
The new characters fit in perfectly and compliment the original ones. I love the inclusion of creatures as part of the Druid world. This book is a beautiful marriage of sci-fi/ fantasy with lots of mayhem tossed in where needed. Looking forward to Book 3. Thanks" ~ Margaret B
"Awen Storm is a win for urban fantasy fans - Awen Storm, the second installment of O.J. Barre’s pre-apocalyptic Awen Trilogy picks up right from the ending of Awen Rising, and carried me right along like a rushing river, deeper into the intricately crafted world Ms. Barre has developed. This is a very complex, urban-fantasy storyline, primarily dealing with the modern descendants of Druid myth, combined with a reptilian “underworld” intent on conquering “Upper Earth”.
Ms. Barre keeps the tension and excitement ratcheted up to a high level, as Emily Hester, the Awen-in-training, learns to manage her Druid powers while navigating challenge after challenge. And at last we are introduced to the “keepers”, ancient beings charged with protecting our world, and with preparing Emily to meet the momentous tests sure to be coming her way.
My one quibble was in trying to keep track of the large number of characters in the cast, each with their own subplot. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the ongoing story, and am looking forward to the finale, in Awen Tide, to see how Ms. Barre wraps up the multiplicity of plot threads developed in the first two books. Awen Storm is a win for urban fantasy fans, with excitement, adventure, fascinating myth and world development, and a bit of romance." ~ Author Keith Willis, Knights of Kilbourne
"Exciting - Like the first, this second book in the Awen Trilogy is well written and complex. There's plenty going on, and a fair amount of characters to keep up with. That's not all that unusual in Urban Fantasy, but it feels like this series has more than the norm for the genre. Fortunately, I have read the first book, so I already know something about our heroine and the Reptilians, so this is where I advise reading Awen Rising first, so you know the key points of the story and what's going on. I love Druid lore, so this trilogy attracted me based on that alone. However, it held me with that and so much more. O. J. Barré has penned a well written, complex Urban Fantasy that's full of rich characters. And the world-building! The world-building is terrific. The author certainly knows her stuff when it comes to painting a scene. It's detailed enough that I could easily close my eyes and see it, but it's not over the top. What it all boils down to is that this is an entertaining book in an entertaining series, and I'm not going to give spoilers, so I'll just sum up by saying this second in the trilogy is exciting, and I'd say anyone who enjoys Urban Fantasy and/or Druid lore would enjoy this series." ~ Momma Becky, Top 1000 Reviewer, Amazon Vine Voice