Rising Up with Ren Crown
Welcome to The Awakening of Ren Crown Tour! Today as part of the tour, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on the first book in the Ren Crown Series! Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win some great prizes including an Amazon Gift Card, Special Edition poster and coloring book and pens!
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Seeing a teenaged character suddenly discovering that she has magical powers isn’t a unique plot… but I thought that there was an interesting twist in this book. I found Ren to be a really intriguing character and she was really easy to empathise with.
I liked the opportunity to be able to see Ren interacting with her brother at the beginning of the book. I enjoyed seeing hints of their relationship throughout the course of the book and how determined Ren was to bring him back… even though the magic she was performing extracted greater and greater prices from her. I was surprised that there was little detail on the pain she felt, though… and not really any times when she had second thoughts about what she was trying to do.
I found it really interesting to see what power Ren was developing, though I was a bit confused about why her ability only really worked with certain art mediums. I would have liked a bit more detail about how her magic worked, but I really liked the fact that she was learning and experimenting with what she could do… and the images of the gophers going through the portal (no matter how confused I was by it) amused me a lot.
I wasn’t sure I really understood everything that was going on in the magic… and I didn’t get to see much of the classes available for the students. I did enjoy being able to see Ren’s friendships with the other students, especially with Neph and Will. I was intrigued by Olivia’s personality… but I really didn’t like Delia as a character.
I thought that the idea of the different Layers was an intriguing one, but I would have liked the opportunity to see more of them and the different creatures that existed on each of those levels. I did find it a bit confusing that there was no question raised by the fact that Ren was being punished for using paint, which wasn’t actually illegal. While it might have been an addiction (and I thought those problems came across really well), it seemed strange that the students in charge of discipline didn’t actually raise the issue.
I would have really liked the opportunity to see more of some of the secondary characters, since most of them were well-developed… but it was harder to see the motivations of some of them. Even so, I would really like to read the sequel to this book at some point in the future.
About the Books
Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game.
Needing to hide from those who wish to enslave her, Ren gambles everything on her determination to succeed, putting herself in plain sight of those who could capture her. Constantly needing to figure out who to trust–a cold, powerful roommate, a genius magical engineer, the most powerful combat mage of their age, a mysterious muse, a cunning and brilliant tactician, a charming terrorist, an influential politician, or the voice of her brother…the hardest thing may be trusting her own heart.
Barely surviving her first term at college, all Ren wants to do over break is relax and bond with her roommate—not get eaten by a sentient building or attacked on the street. But with increasingly open warfare brewing between the magical factions and Layers of the world, this time, Ren will not fail in making sure everyone she loves stays safe and protected.
That includes doing things like filling her parents’ house with personal art heavily embedded with wards, bubble-wrapping her increasingly imperiled roommate, and even making sure that a certain sexy thorn-in-her-side continues to breathe free air.
Finding herself on duty protecting the entire university alongside campus god Alexander Dare…was not what she’d had in mind.
But this time it’s not only her life on the line. And Ren will do anything to protect those she loves.
Reeling from what the students at Excelsine University are calling “Bloody Tuesday,” Ren is determined to regather her magical family. But the events of the attack were not without multiple costs. Magically broken and exposed, Ren is ripe pickings for multiple factions that want to use and chain her, and the Department is the scariest of the pack.
With only a limited amount of time to save her friend, and confined with the rest of the student body awaiting their fate, Ren stands a mere hairsbreadth from losing her freedom completely with each and every decision she makes.
Anne Zoelle has loved books about fantasy, magic, math, wit, and imagination since devouring A Wrinkle in Time, Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and the Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Split between the midwest and west coast, she writes books for all ages, as well as for furry monsters, sentient libraries, and adventuring aliens.
Anne Zoelle is the pseudonym of a USA Today Bestselling Author. She is currently working on the fourth book in the Ren Crown series.