The Awakening by Adina West

July 29, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★½

The Awakening by Adina WestThe Awakening (Dark Child #1) by Adina West
Published: June 1st 2013 by Momentum Books
Format: Ebook, 432 pages
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Purchased
GoodreadsBuy the audiobook
3.5 Stars

Lately things have been getting weird for pathology technician Kat Chanter. She's been craving raw meat, and having dreams so realistic they're scary. When she accepts a job offer from the prestigious Hema Castus Research Institute, she hopes she'll have the chance to discover what's wrong with her, but instead, her move to New York thrusts her headlong into a treacherous hidden world, where the wrong move could be fatal . . .

Tarot, witchcraft and astrology all take on a frightening resonance in Dark Child's richly imagined alternative reality where vampiric beings live among us, hidden by magic. Dark romance tangles with paranormal fantasy and page-turning suspense in this enthralling tale of dark child; Kat Chanter, half-human and half-vampire, who has woken an ancient prophecy and must face a formidable destiny.

Since I started the sequel to this book before realising my mistake, I began The Awakening with a rough idea of what happens. But this book didn’t turn to be like what I’d imagined. Kat is more a passive character than I’d hoped and the plotting is weaker than expected.

We meet Kat as she notices she’s becoming hungry more often and feels weaker than usual. She doesn’t really think there’s anything wrong with her: after all, she’s never been sick before and has no reason to suspect she’s in anything but perfect health. Her super-immunity never struck her as weird, even though her chosen profession is pathology.

And this is basically the contradiction of Kat: she knows she’s always been faster, smarter, and healthier than anyone around her, and admits to hiding these traits from others, but she’s never thought herself anything other than normal. very weird!

Even when confronted with undeniable evidence that she is surrounded by beings that aren’t human, Kat resists, even as she admits the explanation makes sense, and that she’s always suspected there was something more to her heritage than her mother had admitted.

On the run from dark forces who seek to control her, Kat stupidly calls her mother from her mobile phone and the caricatured Bad Guys obviously track her to her ‘hide-out’. This is not the first or the last stupid decision our heroine makes, but it’s definitely the most amateurish. Does she not READ or watch TV?

Otherwise the plot was interesting, but like I said, too simple for my liking. There were lots of secondary characters with their own motivations, which I liked, but I found it hard to keep[ track of them because they just blurred into a group of bad Guys and a group of Nice and Sexy Shape-Shifters.

Although romance definitely isn’t the focus of this book, the half-hearted love triangle in The Awakening didn’t capture my imagination – I feel that it should have been left out all together because it wasn’t convincing (actually it felt to me like Alek had bullied Kat into tolerating him – the Alpha-male dominance thing doesn’t scream romance to me, it screams emotional abuse).

I understand the characters in Coven’s Rising better now, and finally know what they’re talking about when they reference all those mysterious past events. Kat also makes more sense now, because I can see how hard those days were for her. I think I’ll enjoy Coven’s Rising a lot more now that I have read The Awakening.

I certainly have a greater understanding of the world now. It’s not a new concept: all blood-drinkers and shape-shifters are part of a nigh-immortal race living hidden among man-kind, but the concept is pulled off well, with the society integrating themselves into medical research centres for obvious reasons.

The Awakening is an enjoyable read, but honestly nothing like I’d expected it to be! It is, however, essential reading if you’re thinking of picking up Coven’s Rising, and I think fans of paranormal stories will like it.

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