Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Darkness Awakened" by Katie Reus

 Years ago he ended things between them to protect her…

As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.

This time, he’s not letting her go…

Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process

Darkness Awakened is book 1 in Katie Reus' new Darkness series. It is a second-chance story between two clashing species, the shifters and the vampires. These two species have been long-time, violent enemies, and ultimately, that is what forced them apart 17 years ago. Now circumstances are such that she is forced to seek his help. In doing so, they are confronted with a larger conspiracy to wreck havoc in the world.

I thought the world-building in this book was intriguing. It is a setting of shapeshifting werewolves, vampires, dragons, and demons. The book revolves around the Romeo and Juliet-like story of Finn Stavros (I love the hint of Mediterranean background. It makes it much easier for me to envision what he might look like) and Lyra Marius. They are young lovers separated years ago by the dangers of two feuding species getting together. It is one of Finn's biggest regrets in life. As fate dictates, he gets a second chance at winning Lyra back. I enjoyed the idea of changing and evolving alliances and and the introduction a new species into the mix. Being a first book in the series, I can see how the story is foreshadowing future stories.

My critique of the book revolves around the second chance storyline. Normally, I am a sucker for these stories. I love books redemption themes. But this story left me a little cold. It felt like I was dropped into the middle of an on-going journey and never got a firm foundation from the past. I did not feel like I knew either character well enough to really understand their attraction to one another, or maybe I was a little skeptical of the initial attraction and why they became a couple in the first place. It did not ruin the book for me, but I felt a little less emotionally invested in the characters.

However, I am looking forward to the following books. There are lots of intriguing questions that need to be answered and, as a fan of this author's previous work, I am curious to see how and where she will take this story.  

Thank you to the author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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