Rating: 4 stars
The Vega twins are alive.
Those five words circle in my mind like an oncoming storm. They change everything about the future we thought had been set in stone. They challenge everything we were raised to be and the stability of the entire kingdom.
They’re coming to our academy looking for the life that was stolen from them, but we can’t let them take it back. So much hangs in the balance and we can’t risk the arrival of two naïve princesses destroying everything we worked so hard for.
I have trained in dark magic, overcome all challenges, and stood in the shadow of Lionel Acrux for far too long already. I won’t let them come between me and his downfall. Which means they have to go before they discover how powerful they truly are.
This is a retelling of the first book in the Zodiac Academy series from the point of view of Orion and the Heirs and should be read after you have finished the original story. It includes scenes from alternative points of view as well over 50k words of additional content and scenes which have never before been revealed. So prepare to step into the dark minds of the Zodiac boys and watch out for the heartbreak and carnage that will ensue.
Oddly enough, I enjoyed reading this retelling of the first book in the Zodiac Academy series better than the first book. I don’t know if its because of having read the whole series before coming back to read this and having a better understanding of the Heirs’ characters than when I originally started reading these books. But I enjoyed reading The Awakening As Told By the Boys better than The Awakening.
What I enjoyed about it was seeing the first book told from the perspective of the Heirs along with Orion. As the reader, I saw how they all reacted to the twins appearing at the academy along with what their motivations were to get them to leave the school. I will say it doesn’t at all excuse their behavior to me in this book, but I do feel like I have a better understanding of their actions and what motivated them to go as far as they went.
I especially enjoyed seeing Orion’s point of view in this retelling as his reactions from the first time he met Darcy were adorable. I also felt like out of everyone here, he was the most logical when it came to the twins being a threat. I feel like him and Caleb are the first ones here who realize that maybe things aren’t what they seem and that maybe the twins aren’t as big of a threat to them as they expected. I especially loved that at the end when he discovered what the Heirs had decided to do to try and put the twins in their place, he was concerned with their actions instead of being completely on their side. It was like he realized that what was going on wasn’t right and that things should’ve been handled differently. It made me like his character even more than I already did because it showed he wasn’t completely biased when it came to everything the Heirs did.
What I also enjoyed about The Awakening As Told By the Boys was continuing to see Orion and Darius’s relationship. I especially enjoyed seeing them going after the Nymphs and trying to find out where they were hiding. I felt like having this information about them was important to understand their actions later in the story. I continue to enjoy the dynamic between Orion and Darius even if the relationship they have with each other at this point was forced upon them because you can tell even with the bond how much they both care about each other.
What I didn’t like about this retelling, however, was seeing a lot of the same scenes that were in The Awakening, just from another character’s perspective. While I loved having these character’s perspectives on what happened in the first book so as to better understand their actions, it also felt like déjà vu and like I was reading The Awakening over again. I know it’s a retelling of the first book, and that the point is to get other character’s perspectives on what’s happened, I just wasn’t fond of seeing all of the same scenes again. Especially when there’s some content added, but its not much other than what we can expect when it comes to Darius’s father Lionel. Then again, Lionel’s actions here weren’t a surprise to me and were exactly what I was expecting.
Despite how much the Heirs have grown on me, I will continue to also dislike the ending of this book and how they treated the twins throughout. The only thing that made it more bearable for me here is Orion’s reaction when he finds out what the Heirs did. Even knowing what I do from reading this retelling, I still don’t agree with their actions because it shows at this point in the story how they’d treat those who they perceive as a threat to them even if those they deem a threat truly aren’t.
But overall, I enjoyed reading The Awakening As Told By the Boys. It was nice to see the story told from their perspective despite feeling like I was reading The Awakening over again and to get a better understanding as to why they acted the way they did throughout. I’m looking forward to reading the novella that’s also a part of this series The Big A.S.S. Party next as I know I’ll enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read with regards to this series.