Dark AwakeningDark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

My rating: 4.5 of 5 flames

I’ve been looking at Kendra Leigh Castle’s MacInnes Werewolves series for a while, in fact I have the trilogy on my nightstand. But you know how it is, something always comes up, or blog obligations come first. When I saw her latest title at netgalley I jumped on it. I am soo glad I did! I was hooked from the first chapter. I am absolutely itching to get into her werewolves now.

This is the first book in what looks to be a very exciting series. The vampire world is changing, and there are many who would have it stay the same, or worse, revert to the ancient ways. Each “house” of vampire has a talent unique to his own caste. So all the Dracul can turn into bats. All the Empusae can turn into smoke. And the Ptolemy has lightening speed. They feel all of the other dynasties are beneath them, since they turn into animals. Vampires hate the werewolves, and the House of Ptolemy feels the other houses of vampire aren’t much better than the wolves. Unfortunately, no house can stand alone.

The vampires remind me of these overly-bored aristocrats who have nothing better to do than to plot at their various courts on how to kill out the other dynasties of vampire. It really was like court intrigues and gossip were the only entertainment for these immortals.

Tynan MacGillivray is the [reluctant] hero, and in this world, even though he’s a vampire, his house is the Cait Sith, and they turn into large cats. The Ptolemy use the Cait Sith as little more than servants, but the Caits aren’t powerful enough or organized enough to break away. So they basically think, well it’s better than living in the gutter, with no protection. The snobbery in this book is unbelievable. I love how Lily keeps Tynan looking at his culture through fresh and modern eyes.

Tynan is charged with the task of bringing a seer to his queen. Eventually he finds Lily. Lily is as close to a normal heroine as I’ve ever seen. She is realistic, she has the most normal and realistic reactions to the paranormal world. I loved her. My favorite line came from Lily, and it cracked me up:

“It figured that she’d finally met the perfect man for her, and he turned out to be a cat-shifting vampire with issues.”

Lily is human, but she has the mark of something else. (I can’t spoil this one guys! ::Highland Hussy zips her lips::) But what I can tell you is that Lily will rock the vampire world and its out-dated caste system. She will turn it upside down and I canNOT wait for the next book!

Tynan is less of a hero, and more of a broody, reluctant anti-hero. For any Buffy fans, remember in the first season of Buffy, where Angel was helpful, but…not? Like he was all broody and cryptic and only concerned for himself. That’s who Tynan reminded me of. Concerned about laying low, looking out for numero uno, and absolutely in denial that he would be able to turn Lily over to the Ptolemy Queen.

The only thing that bugged me, was at the end, I really wanted to see some closure with Bay-I mean, Lily took a huge chance, risked a whole lot to make that phone call to her friend. A phone call to let her bff, the only person who’d ever cared for her, know that she was alright. She told Bay not to call the cops, who of course DOES call the cops. And then, more importantly, we see that the manhunt launched by Bay and the cops actually helped the assasains pinpoint their location…and we’re left with that. No call to Bay that she’s found her place in this crazy world, no call to say let’s do coffee…at midnight…so you can see I’m fine. Nothing. If it had just been Bay left hanging, I probably wouldn’t complain, but we have the cops and the media in on it…that’s too much of a loose end for me.

The world building is easy to follow, but there is a lot there, use that glossary-bookmark it if you have an ereader so you can flip back easily. I loved the new take on vampires and their beginnings, but I loved how several legends were built into that world. I think that the next book will deal with the fall-out of what happened in this one (I purposely didn’t torture myself by reading the excerpt for Jaden’s book). Final verdict? I loved this book, it doesn’t suffer from First Book in the Series Syndrome, and it’s a bit darker and grittier than normal PNR, but soo worth it. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good, new series to sink your teeth into.

**There is a glossary that you should definitely read, and luckily it’s right at the beginning, so you can’t miss it.
**ARC provided by www.netgalley.com