by Katie Cross
Series: The Network Series #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch. Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage. Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos, endangering any witch around her. She has six months left to destroy the curse that will kill her and fulfill her contract with the most cunning enemy of all: her former teacher Miss Mabel. Bianca must make a choice: learn to control her restless powers, or let the powers control her. Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the thrilling new fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a haunting tale about tragedy, loss, and the power of moving on.
Antebellum Awakening is the second novel in Katie Cross’s Network Series. I am really enjoying this young adult paranormal fantasy filled with witches, dragons and one determined protagonist. Katie Cross continues to flesh out the world and its characters. I quickly became caught up in the events unfolding in Chatham Castle from danger to political maneuvering.
Our protagonist sixteen year old Bianca Monroe is a cursed, powerful and inexperienced witch. She is mourning the loss of her mother and trying to come to terms with the twisted predicament she finds herself in. Bianca and her father, along with her closest classmates are tucked within the safety of Chatham Castle, nestled on the edge of Letum Wood. Bianca’s grief has her magic building, and when frightened or angered she is unable to contain it. With only six months left before the curse will engage she has no time to think of romance or balls.
In Antebellum Awakening, we see Bianca grow as a character. First she must learn to control and hone her powers if she has any hope of confronting and destroying her enemy. She is a strong character, and these tasks are not easy, but she is smart, determined, and inquisitive. One of the things I admire most about her is her unselfish attitude, most sixteen year olds would be caught up in the curse, but Bianca’s first thought are protecting those around her. Bianca is far from perfect, and there are moments when she truly is just a sixteen-year-old girl who misses her mother. I liked how realistic she is portrayed.
The High Priestess has a young Guardian train her in sword fighting in an effort to burn off her excess magic and prepare her for battle. I enjoyed the time these too spent together, and while Bianca took notice of how handsome he was, she was far too concerned with her quest. It is nice to have a young adult series free of insta-love, triangles and angst but I am secretly hoping that their relationship continues to flourish in book three. Her friends are well developed. I can close my eyes and see them spring to life. Camille is more concerned with a certain young guardian and loathes her schoolwork. Leda is always in the library studying and you just know there is much more to this young woman. Our villain Miss Mabel is deliciously evil. She is the type you love to hate.
The tale unfolds slowly in Antebellum Awakening, and picks up speed in the final quarter of the novel as the danger escalates and Bianca approaches her seventeenth birthday. Time travel, spells, clues, and allies kept me engrossed. I loved the dragon aspect and other side threads. If I had, my way those threads would have been furthered developed. The ending was satisfying and left me eager for the next installment.
I really enjoyed reading the prequel, Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, and Antebellum Awakening is high in my reading list. Great review, I had no idea Bianca was learning sword fighting, it sounds totally marvelous. I can’t wait to read this now!
Enjoy and yes we see some exiting things
Just added Miss Mabel to my to-read list, thanks for sharing 🙂
Awesome ..enjoy them!
I’ve not heard of this series, Kimba…the author but not this series. You have my curious though. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this second installment. I’m off to add it to my tbr. 😉
Different author Brandee. This series was a surprise find thanks to a fellow blogger. I mistakenly thought it was Kady Cross as well. So glad I tried book one:)
Wow! Witches and dragons… sounds mighty tempting Kimberly!
It is a fun series Naomi
Tyler H Jolley
I’ve been following this series through you reviews, it sounds like it’s getting better and better.
I also gave this book 4/5 and agree with the dragons and side threads. I wanted to know more on those aspects too.
I love dragons and so hope they play a role in the next book.
Jenny’s cover! That’s pretty much how I see this book. Kidding. I seriously do want to read the first book soon.
Right. She is so talented. Her audio cover rocks for book one
Book one is now on audio!!!!
Oh boy! Here we go, I have to check if I have this already on my wish list on Amazon, I can’t recall just by the name of the series. Witches can be cool, I haven’t done many with a witch as the main character, but Kelley Armstrong does them really good.
I have to go check and see what’s up with this series about audio 🙂
I haven’t read the first one yet, but I do love books with witches and dragons. Sounds like a series I will have to start reading. 🙂 Great review! Thanks for sharing.
These are well done Jess. I hope you give them a whirl
Okay, I need to get my mind out of the gutter. When you wrote, “…she has no time to think of romance or balls,” lol. Balls, yep.
hehehe..yes naughty girl..this is historical and YA.
Thanks for the post!
You’re welcome Angela 🙂 this was engaging.
Melissa (Books and Things)
Yea, you know this one is speaking my name. I’m off to check to make sure that first book in on my wishlist. This is my kind of holiday read. 😀
Enjoy them Melissa 🙂 I love the blending of fantasy and paranormal
Wow Kim, I’m hooked. Thanks this is going on my wish list 🙂
Good, enjoy them Debbie 🙂
Sounds good Kimba, I have a weakness for witches.
I do too Aurian 🙂
She’s been on my TBR list for Miss Mabel’s School for Girls but this one looks interesting too. Plus the cover is pretty awesome. All right Kimba, you win today. Another one on the TBR!
This is book two, and I’ve enjoyed these Katherine 🙂
Good witch books are hard to find. I have heard some terrific things about this series and I am happy you loved it. I must get it. The cover is amazing, right.
Love the covers, Jenny made them. She did the audio too. Ooo maybe you could try the first on audio 🙂
You’re the bomb, Kimba.
*blushes* thanks Katie 🙂
I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series too!
I am..all thanks to you sweetie 🙂
Oh! This certainly sounds interesting! I haven’t read a decent paranormal series in a very long time. I have to change that! I’ll have to look more into this, but I’m interested, especially because no insta-love or love triangles!!
Great review, Kim!
If your looking for a good one in YA, this is it Nick 🙂
At one time I thought I didn’t like paranormal but Goodreads has shown me that I read a lot of mysteries that have paranormal about them. I think this book might be added to my TBR list
I was the same way years ago Betty, but my husband bought me an Amanda Quick book called Second Sight and I discovered I liked it 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything with witches, but this series sounds interesting! Thanks for introducing me to her books. Awesome review!
You are welcome Grace, I hope you get to try them 🙂
Well crap, I had no idea this series was that good! Now I need to add it to the pile. 😉
hehe..yes you will like these Ali 🙂
I don’t remember the last time I read a book that featured a witch as the main character; they tend to be my least favourite supe, but perhaps that’s just because I haven’t met the right one yet. Could Bianca Monroe be her?
You didn’t like Rachel Morgan?@$!
I didn’t make it past the book 1, although that was years ago. I need to try again.
I hadn’t realized Katie Cross wrote this series. I’ve read one or two by her before I thin, but it was a while ago. I remember like them. I’ll have to check this one out.
different author…that is Kate Cross you are thinking of. I did the same thing the first time..LOL
Oh whoops! You’re right. Haha!
Wow, sounds really good! I always liked witches and its good to see that you’re enjoying it, Kim! Great review, as always 🙂
I enjoy witches too and hope you decide to try these Madiha.
Sheila (Book Journey)
Seriously looks like an amazing read!
Thanks Shelia, this has been a fun, suspenseful and interesting series
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I’ve never heard of this one but I’m glad that there was more character building in this instalment, Kimba! Lovely review 🙂
These are different and I have been enjoying them immensely
YAY a witch book!! I love books about Witches sound so great ,, I will add it to my TBR list 🙂
I love mixing them in Alreem 🙂
I need to check what the words means again…
occurring or existing before a particular war