Title: Awakening (Book #1 in The Watchers series)
Author: Karice Bolton
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Purely Persistent
Length: 312 pages
Genre: Paranormal fiction
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.
All in all, Awakening was a good read and an interesting start of a new trilogy. What made me interested in the story in the first place was its mysteriousness, the fact that Ana (the main character) meets this guy but she feels like she already knows him. I was looking forward to finding out what happened and in this respect, the story didn’t disappoint me.
What I like about this book most was the fact that Ana asks the exact same questions the readers are thinking about. One day, soon after meeting this mysterious guy called Athen and his family, she learns that she belongs to them – they are fallen angels whose aim is to protect human beings from making bad decisions or be influenced by the dark demons. Which is a lot to take in all at once. Just imagine that you’re working as a bartender in a local pub one day when you meet three people and within two days, it turns out that you’ve known them for centuries and you are, in fact, a fallen angel. Bolton portrays Ana’s confusion very well and she asks questions we’re all wondering about.
Another thing I really liked about Awakening was the concept behind the story. The way the author describes the fact that these fallen angels can feel other people’s emotions is definitely thought-provoking. It’s interesting to think about life like this – that there are greater forces behind all of our decisions in life and there’s a constant battle between the good and the evil side.
Even though the concept was great, there were a few things I didn’t particularly like about this book. Ana falls in love with this really handsome guy called Athen – we can say it’s a love at first sight kind of thing. And then, all she can think or talk about is him. Her obsession with Athen and his family (ie. his sister and her fiancé) put me off, unfortunately. I know the point was that she felt like she’s known him for a long time and she felt an instant connection but it made me feel like I was reading the same thing over and over again. How great Athen is, how gorgeous he looks and how much she wants him.
Another thing I didn’t really like, or understand rather, is that the story seemed to focus on just four people having fun. Ana meets them, falls in love with Athen and she feels like she belongs to them. Which is all right but then the focus shifts to how much fun they have when they go dog sledding together. Then they go on a road trip to Seattle, they go shopping, they start decorating the Christmas tree… and I’m starting to wonder, where is this story going exactly? I felt like it dragged on a little bit, to be frank. The story ends with a cliffhanger which partly makes up for this lack of action in the first half of the book.
To sum up, although Awakening wasn’t as action-filled as I expected it to be, it was a great way to start the series and introduce the characters and the main idea behind the story. The ending definitely made me interesting in what is going to happen in the sequel and it looks like it might be a little bit more fast paced than Awakening was. If you enjoy young adult fiction with a touch of fantasy, this one might be perfect for you.