“Awaken” reads like a pre-quel to all the other vampire stories I’ve heard before. Well, maybe not all of them. But it tells the coming-of-age story, so to speak, of a group of teenagers, some of whom are growing into supernatural powers and roles but who don’t know it til it starts to happen.
There’s vampires, witches and shape-shifters — oh my! The fun part of the story, I thought, was trying to figure out which characters were morphing into which and how the changes were going to affect their relationships with each other.
The story centers around Alee, whose origins are so significant she is placed with adoptive parents and is not allowed to know her true identity until tw0-thirds through the tale, at which time her family can’t hide it from her any longer.
Author Nina Soden is very creative with her descriptions of how these young people begin to discover that there’s something special about themselves. One of my favorite descriptions is when Alee can hear the blood moving through the veins of the friend in front of her but she doesn’t understand how or why she can do this.
She took his hand, and in an instant realized that what she had heard wasn’t rushing water, but she wasn’t willing to believe her own ears. She had heard the rhythmic sound of his blood quickly flowing through his veins. She jumped back pulling her hand away as if she had been burned. She was confused and afraid.
The details in Soden’s story shows that she is very knowledgeable about the world she is writing about — the world of vampires, witches and shape-shifters. In fact, when I asked Soden why she wrote this book about these subjects, she said it’s been a long-time interest to her. “Ever since I was little I’ve loved the vampire, shapeshifter, fairy, etc., stories (books, movies, shows). This story has been swimming around my head for years, and I finally found the time to write it.”
“Awaken” is the first of three planned books in the Blood Angel series, and there are lots of avenues and relationships Soden could pursue in the volumes to come. Subtle foreshadowing teases several potential future plot lines as so many relationships are affected by everyone’s transformations and the knowledge of who everyone really is.
I received a free e-copy of this book for this review.