18 April 2013

Awakening: The Watchers Trilogy book 1 Review

What they say: Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream. On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she's just met in the Grizzly Pub... The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana's world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she's been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all. It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate - one that is lost between two worlds.

What I say: It took me a long time to finish this book and I have to admit that it very nearly became one of a small number that have ended up on my did not finish pile. I  had to force myself to finish the last 20% (I did like the last few pages). Karice Bolton spent her time writing Awakening so I felt I could at least take the time to finish it.

I'm not saying that the book was terrible, because it honestly wasn't. Let me explain. It's just that I found myself getting more and more irritated with Ana.  As a lead character she's, for want of a better word: annoying! Paranoid and wimpy, she's very dependent on Athen and I found her really needy. I suppose a lot of this is down to how Athen treats her, but I still found it irritating.

I actually really enjoyed the first section of the book (hence the 2 stars) as the concept was interesting. It did verge on being very similar to Hush, Hush or Fallen and other angel books at times.

I liked all of the stuff about Whistler, but wasn't sure of Athen and his family. This is usually the point where I'd been swooning over the hot mate lead, but something about Athen just didn't seem right. He had too many secrets and often came across as less soul mate and more preachy arse! I did think Athen's surprises for Ana were sweet, but Jace Wayland he wasn't. I am particularly partial to a brooding mystery guy, but Athen didn't really fit that bill either.

On the sex, or lack of! Athen's avoidance of 'doing the deed' felt very forced. It was all a bit too Edward Cullen ish for my liking. Ana had my sympathy here. I'm not saying I always expect smut or sex scenes, these can easily be done off the page to keep the content YA. And are often not needed, but they talked/thought about sex so much it was annoying.

I think some of the reason I struggled with the book was all the insta-love/soul mate stuff has been done a lot recently. To the extent that a story needs to be spectacular and really original for it to work.

The book ends on a cliff-hanger, which pretty much reverses the situation at the beginning of the book. My hope for book 2 is that we don't get the same story repeated with Ana and Athen's roles reversed. I also hope this forces Ana to be less needy as it'll vastly improve the narrative. The series has potential, but feel that it hasn't been reached yet. I like my Nephilim more bad ass like Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters!

2 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • I could drive myself insane trying to figure things out that were impossible.
  • Even Scrooge would have had to come around to the Christmas spirit with Arie around.
  • I was pretty sure being sexy didn't include being a full-time klutz.

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