Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Dark Awakening
~Kendra Leigh Castle

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1609418379
ISBN-13: 978-1609418373

From the author's website:
Tynan MacGillivray has spent the better part of his three hundred years serving at the pleasure of the queen of the Ptolemy dynasty, her prized hunter in a world where blood is destiny. But the lowblood cat-shifter gets far more than he bargained for when his new target, a human woman whose rare abilities make her the only hope for saving the greatest of the vampire dynasties, turns out to be far more than she seems. Lily Quinn is an innocent whose beauty hides secrets that could change the world of night forever…and Ty will have to choose between the loyalty that has kept him alive, or a love that promises more than he ever imagined…if it doesn’t destroy them both.

The story:
Tynan MacGillivray is a vampire.  In the vampire world, there are several sects; Ty is a "lowblood", a cat shifter who works for the Queen of the Ptolemy. Someone has sent a Mulo, a crazy dead thing, to attack the Ptolemy when they are in groups - effectively killing off the sect.  As their numbers dwindle, the Queen has sent Ty on a quest to find a Seer; someone who will be able to tell them who sent the Mulo and where to find  it so they can destroy it.

Lily Quinn lives a boring life that she's happy with.  Ever since "the incident" when she was a child, she's known she's different, so she tries hard to fit in and be normal.  She meets a handsome stranger at a friend's ghost hunt party, but after a searing kiss he quickly disappears.  She meets him again a few days later in the parking lot where she teaches, and their meeting leaves her unsettled. When she gets home, she is attacked by a vampire, and she loses control of her carefully compressed emotions, causing damage to everything in the room.

Lily reluctantly goes with Ty once they figure out there is more than one vampire sect looking for her. They travel through the underbelly of vampire society, trying to find answers about why the Queen really sent Ty on his quest.  Things are not what they seem and he finds he's reluctant to deliver Lily to the Queen, but if he doesn't, the Ptolemy may die out forever.

My thoughts:
I am a fan of Ms. Castle's MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, so when I saw that she had a new series coming out, I was thrilled!  I knew that this book would be nothing like her previous books, so I had no illusions going in.

That being said, I really didn't enjoy this story as much as I would have liked to.  I really liked the idea of different dynasties of vampires, and their potential for conflict and interaction, but I felt like the author didn't pursue this part of the storyline as much as she could have.  We learn there are different  dynasties and they don't get along, but that was about it. Tynan is a vampire who can shapeshift into a cat, placing him at the bottom of the vampire "caste" system. 

I was also disappointed in Tynan's character - he seemed to be more a shapeshifter who was called a vampire, but I never really saw any vampiness.  This could have been due to the fact that he was constantly referred to as a cat, but it seemed to me like all his vampire action took place "offstage".

I did like was the Lilith storyline, although again I felt like it could have been fleshed out a bit more.  I'm wondering if possibly due to the worldbuildling some aspects of the story had to be sacrificed?  I'm hoping the next book in the series, Midnight Reckoning, will be more character oriented since the world has already been established.  Midnight Reckoning will feature Ty's friend Jaden, who's story is hinted at briefly in Dark Awakening.

My Rating:

This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Nice review :)
    Dunno if it is for me, I could not get a grip of the book, would I like it? Just do not know

  2. I didn't love this one either. Just same old same old for me.

    I do want to try her other series though.

  3. Blodeuedd: I'm hoping I'll like the second book more.

    Mandi: I really enjoyed her other series.

  4. sorry this didn't quite work out for you. i haven't heard of the author before. will have to check out her older work then.

    thanks for stopping by our WoW yesterday! :)


  5. Great review Patti. I don't think I've heard of this author either. Sorry this book didn't quite do it for you but I'm happy so see that you will try the next book in the series out just to see if you might end up liking it as much as her Werewolves Trilogy.

  6. Great review! I have this one on my TBR for review pile. I’m hoping to get to it in August. Sometimes it seems like plot takes a backseat to world building in series debuts.

  7. chellyreads: Her werewolves are great- Alpha and sexy :)

    Deanna: I usually try to give a series at least the first two books before I decide to quit. Since I like her previous stuff I'm going to wait and see.

    Christie: I'm seeing quite a lot of great reviews and only a few meh, so I hope you love it.