Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jenn's Review: Awake at Dawn

Summary:  From the moment Kylie Galen arrived at Shadow Falls Camp, she’s had one burning question:  What am I?  Surrounded by vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies and witches, Kylie longs to figure out her own supernatural identity…and what her burgeoning powers mean.  And now she’ll need them more than ever, because she’s being haunted by a new spirit who insists that someone Kylie knows—and loves—will die before the end of the summer. If only she only knew who she was supposed to save.  And how…

But giving Kylie the most trouble is her aching heart.   Gorgeous werewolf Lucas left camp with another girl, but he’s still visiting Kylie in her dreams.  And Derek, a sexy half Fae who’s always been there for her when she needed him, is pushing to get more serious—and growing impatient, especially when Lucas returns.  Kylie knows she needs to decide between the boys, and it’s tearing her up inside. 

Yet romance will have to wait, because something from the dark side of the supernatural world is hiding in Shadow Falls.  It’s about to threaten everything she holds dear…and bring her closer to her destiny. ~product description

Review:  I absolutely adore this series!  I am very grateful to our friends at St. Martin's Press for turning me on to it by sending me the first book of the Shadow Falls series to review as an ARC last year, because it's one I may not have come across on my own ...and, oh, do I love these books!

I was glad to see the story picked up shortly after things left off in Born at Midnight.  I was afraid that C.C. Hunter might jump ahead to the fall,  when the camp was promised to turn into a boarding school.   It would have been easy to gloss over the rest of the summer, and I'm glad the author did not choose this route.   There we're many loose ends in Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn spends some time wrapping those up, while unraveling some others.

I'm not a huge fan of angst-y love triangles and this one isn't.  It's one of the many things Hunter does so beautifully.  Yes, Kylie is interested in two boys, but she knows she needs to sort herself out first before she makes any big decisions, not to mention the boys need to figure some some things out for themselves as well.  

Hunter's characters are all flawed but likable.  Kylie is hard on herself, but not as down on herself as she used to be. She's making great strides at being comfortable with who she is, even though what she truly is seems to be more elusive than ever before.  Kylie's vampire friend and roommate Della's story is becoming more interesting too, and I hope we will be spending more time with her in the future.  I love Derek and I love who he and Kylie become when they are around with each other, but I'm worried that his ever growing powers will be more than he can handle. I still don't quite trust Lucas, but I look forward to him proving himself. ...And here I am talking about the characters as if they're real people, again.  A sure sign that the author has hooked me.

There are a plethora of supernaturals at camp and that makes for a story that is deep with layers.  It's wonderful to watch all the side stories develop, and see which ones the author brings into center stage now, and which ones will simmer on the back burner for a later book in the series.  At the same time, Hunter keeps introducing new facets to keep things interesting.

The many dimensions pulls the reader in and makes it hard to put down.  I wanted to savor this one since  book three, Taken at Dusk, won't be released until April, but every time I tried to put it down, I found myself returning to it.   Luckily, there is a preview of Taken at Dusk at the end of Awake at Dawn, so I'll have something to tide me over until April...

Final Take:  5/5


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