Book Review: The Awakened (The Awakened Trilogy #1)

the awakenedTitle: The Awakened

Author: Amanda Carol

Pub. Date: July 13, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Aria and her twin brother learned the hard way that some myths are very real. After a vampire takes their parents from them, they travel across the country, revenge their only thought. When their crusade brings them to New Orleans, they find out there are secrets that could change their lives. Forever.

Son to the Alpha of the NOLA Pack, Hunter has doubts about taking over from his father one day. While hunting a vampire in the St. Louis cemetery, he comes to the aid of what he believes to be two humans. Not everything is as it seems. As truths come to light, danger lurks in the shadows. When evil stalks the streets of New Orleans, can Hunter and his wolf pack help keep Aria and her brother safe, or will all be lost?

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to the author for a copy of her book, in exchange for an honest review.

Amanda reached out to me, through a mutual friend, asking if I would be interested in reading her book. I agreed, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here right now. My expectations weren’t wildly high, but my friend told me that he loved them, so I expected I would as well. And guess what, I did!

Not shocking lol.

This book made my Supernatural (the show), Greek Mythology and paranormal loving heart so happy. If you liked Vampire Diaries, Supernatural or The Oringinals, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It also gave me The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout vibes. That’s one of my favorite series, so I’m not complaining. I inhaled this book and I’m definitely going to be finishing the series. It’s a bit cheesy, but I happen to love cheese. You get sucked in, and the next thing you know is, you’ve finished book 1 and need book 2.

I need to know what happens next. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this review, I’m purchasing book 2. I need more Hunter, and definitely more Bennett.

I mean, vampires, wolf-shifters and witches? What more could I ask for?

Not much. Honestly. I’m quite content.

Seriously, though. This book filled a void I didn’t know was even empty.

There’s even a unicorn. A unicorn named Sparkles!

I like Aria and Declan – their close bond that they have with each other. Their parent’s death bonds them, and they care deeply for each other. I love a close sibling bond in books. I also really liked how, despite being fiercely protective of each other, they still bicker and poke at each other in the way only siblings can. The, “only I can call my brother/or sister a dumbass, not you” kind of relationship – I have your back, it’s you and me against the world.

Ugh, that may actually be my favorite kind of non-romantic relationship.

I’ll get to Beta wolf Hunter in a second, but omfg I loved Bennett.

Comedic relief? Check.

All around good guy? Check.

Loyal? Check.

He had me actually ‘lol-ing” at some of his lines. He’s such a freaking cinnamon roll and I can’t get enough. I really hope he develops a really close friendship with Aria. I love their moments together. Even though the spot is filled by Declan, I think he’d appoint himself as an older brother figure in her life, and honestly, I’m here for it. He gives me major Cassian (from ACOTAR) vibes and I can’t ask for more. Other than, Amanda, please don’t do anything to harm him. I beg.

Now, Hunter. I mean, he’s the hot, swoony, 8-pack abs, love interest. He’s also a wolf, so he’s a tad possessive. He struggles with being second in command and has a difficult relationship with his father. I can’t say I didn’t like him lol. I’m also a sucker for a male character who is seemingly burdened with power he doesn’t want and struggles under the weight of expectations. He’s really cute with Aria, and I liked that he got along with Declan. Between the two of them, I’m surprised either of them have bottom lips left…if you like the “zeroing of gazes as the other pulls their bottom lip between their teeth”, look no further!

It was like someone turned the heat up every single time they were together.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next with the two of them. I think their relationship is a tad insta-lovey, but I’m here for it. I have a feeling it’s tied into who and what they are, so I’m not being too critical.  And even though their relationship felt like it progressed quickly, Hunter was patient and kind, and took the time to do things right and at a speed Aria was comfortable with.

While I absolutely enjoyed this book, the characters, the world, I do have two smallish technical complaints – other than the insta-love that seems to be every character’s relationship.

I don’t think either of these things seriously detract from the story or ruins it in any way.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the pacing. Days seemed to pass very quickly, or very slowly? I’m not entirely sure. There were a couple of instances where I thought Aria had been training all day, and then suddenly it would only be lunch time/midafternoon, or there would be hours left until dark. It’s kind of a minor thing, and didn’t pull me out of the story, but I did have to re-read 1-2 scenes to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

There was also a lot of repetition – phrases, words and just background information. It doesn’t really add anything to the story, but I don’t think it hurts it.

Overall, this book was fantastic and engaging and pretty solid as a debut. I would say it’s an Upper YA/NA read. The world is inviting and vivid, the characters are full of personality, and the plot will continuously surprise you. There were quite a few moments where, plot twist! It has a fresh twist on the creation of Vampires and with a heaping dose of Greek Mythology, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! If you’re a fan of The CW and its paranormal shows, then I really suggest checking this book out. Just sit down and read for pure enjoyment.

I know at the beginning of this post I said that I was going to buy book 2 after I finished writing this review, but somewhere in the middle of this, I paused and went on Amazon. I can’t wait to start Rising Moon! I need to know what happens next!

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