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Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Dark AwakeningDark Awakening 
Dark Dynasties #1
by Kendra Leigh Castle
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Forever
ISBN 1609418379 
Courtesy of publisher
Enter the world of the Dark Dynasties . . .         For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan MacGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer-a human woman with a special gift-who can secure victory for their clan. Ty's search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the Seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he's never known . . .                                                           Lily Quinn has always been different. Since childhood, she's had vivid nightmares and an eerie sixth sense. When a sexy, silver-eyed stranger demands her help, Lily plunges into a new world of danger and sensuality. With Ty, she discovers sizzling passions she cannot deny and powers she cannot control. Soon, it is clear that Lily is much more than a Seer-she holds the key to ancient secrets and unthinkable destruction. But will a vampire's vow of eternal protection stop these evil forces . . . or unleash her dark destiny?

My Thoughts:
Dark Awakening is a dark & sexy novel that exceeded all my expectations, and what a sensational start to a new series!


Tynan MacGillivray is a Lowblood, a Cait Sith, and a hunter for a Highblood faction. When he is sent on a mission to find a seerer to help save his Queen's dying race he finds Lily Quinn. Ty is determined to bring her to his Queen no matter what, but when he sees Lily's strange tattoo and realizes that she is more than just a seerer Ty knows that he must find out the truth behind her mark before he can deliver her.  
Lily has always been aware of the strange presence inside of her but has fought the darkness with in her entire life. She knows that it can only lead to destruction. When Lily meets Ty she knows that he is something more and feels an instant connection with him, but she also knows that she cannot trust him, especially with the secrets she carries. When assassins threaten her life though and war beckons Lily must put herself in Ty’s strong hands and go on the run with him. Navigating the vampire world and skirting danger these two set out on a quest for answers while discovering a passion that cannot be denied.

If you like Urban Fantasy but tend to shy away from it because of it's lack of romance, then this is the book for you. Dark Awakening is dark, gritty and suspenseful, but with plenty of sexual tension and romance to keep you emotionally involved with the characters. The story arc that Kendra Leigh Castle has created is unique and interesting. There are several vampire factions that consist of Highbloods and Lowbloods, but the author provides a glossary at the front and I for one very much appreciate when authors do this. The world building is complex and action packed but seamlessly woven together, leaving the plot to flow smoothly.

I loved the main characters of Ty and Lily. Ty has been labeled as gutter trash his entire life but has learned how to survive on his wits and fighting skills, rising to the top of his bloodline. Angst ridden and sexy, he strives to protect those of his blood and later Lily. Lily is strong and independent, weary of letting others get to close though because of the secrets she carries. Together, these two not only learn to love each other, but to love themselves as well.

My only complaint would be that the ending felt rushed. There was all this building up to it and when everything finally came to it's climax it was over within 20 pages (of a 300+ page novel), I wanted more! This is a great start to a new series though and the ending left it open for many more stories centered on secondary characters. I can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for us!  


Quote: If she could only find a well-educated, Shakespeare-quoting bad boy who still had a thing for sexy tattoos and maybe a mild leather fetish, she might at least have a shot at avoiding her probable future as a crazy old cat lady. -pg 15

Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses


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6 comments:

Jen said...

I really enjoyed this one as well! I loved the world-building --and Ty was a swoonworthy hero.

I'm anxiously looking forward to Jaden's book!

Jen at Red Hot Books

HighlandHussy said...

Fab review!! Thanks for the link. I loved this one too
--Laura Hunsaker

diva donna said...

I'll take a sip of this 4 glass book. I just purchased it yesterday. I love this Author's writing. You say she left you wanting more. SNEAKY!!!

redzsm said...

Great review Crystal. Thank you for sharing!! This sounds like a series I will enjoy. Just added it to my wishlist :)

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Fab review! Thanks for the introduction into an interesting (sounding) series.

Amber said...

I haven't read this one but I definitely will be. Awesome review.