Two denizens of New York City, both with a mysterious amnesia, turn out to be connected to each other and to interdimensional intrigue with the fantasy realm of Aandor in Edward Lazellari’s debut novel Awakenings. Given that the other realms and the greater universe are offscreen and only referred to, what the novel comes out to be is an unusual take on urban fantasy, where the fantastic intrusion is from a fantasy realm rather than from, say, Faerie.
The novel’s point of view primarily alternates between the two amnesiac characters. Cal MacDonell is a model NYPD cop with a wife and a young daughter. Straitlaced, straight-up family man who does his job and holds to his word. He’s the archetype of the stalwart, respectable police officer who takes “to protect and serve” seriously. This icon of order, and he does feel like an archetype, might even take that to extremes. As we learn more about him and his past, the revelations slot in perfectly with the character as he currently exists.