Author: C. C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 10, 2011)
Source: My Choice; Own
Warning: Some spoilers for Born at Midnight below.
Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities. But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold.
To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away. When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...I was in the mood for a story with a heavy romance/sexy vibe. Since Born at Midnight satisfied that urge several months ago when I first read it, I figured Awake at Dawn by C. C. Hunter was a good pick.
It was and it wasn't.
Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the book. This is the type of book that I literally fly through. It's not the most amazing literary writing I've ever read, but it doesn't claim to be. It's a fantasy romance, not literary fiction. There's tons of fun fantasy creatures, teenage friends and humor, and also a good mystery brewing. Oh, and did I mention the sexy angle? Because it definitely has that. It's not just the romance pairings that make it sexy, it's even the situations the character gets into and the language used.
My disappointment comes from two sources:
1) Lack of Lucas
2) Rushed climax
Okay, let's start with Lucas. Lucas is the super hottie werewolf that was friends with Kylie when she was young. He left partway through Born at Midnight and I've been mourning his absence ever since. He doesn't show up till well into the story, though there are some signs of him throughout via letters, dreams, and memories. While I enjoy reading about Derek and Kylie (who wouldn't?), Kylie seems to always have Lucas on her mind. Which makes me have Lucas on my mind. I think Awake at Dawn suffers from Book 2 Syndrome. To increase tension and not completely satisfy readers (if we were completely satisfied, there'd be no reason for book 3), the romance stuff in Book 2's tends to be jumbled or lacking. That's what I felt happened here. There's a decent about of romance and sexiness, but I get the sense it's with the wrong person, and the book was front-loaded. Good sexiness in the beginning, but it faded as the book continued.
Then, there's the ending. Throughout the book, anticipation builds with this mystery that Kylie thinks someone is following her. The tension grows till you almost can't handle it anymore. Then, the whole climax was rushed. We could have spent much more time with Kylie during the climax. So much was going on and it was over almost before it got started. To me, the climax would've had even more tension if it was stretched out a bit, and all the tension and anticipation that had been building throughout the story would have been more satisfying with more page space. That said, the ending itself wasn't rushed.
What the story didn't lack was interesting fantasy creatures and abilities. Kylie's still trying to figure out what she is and I'm right along with her. She gains some interesting new abilities that will keep me guessing until I can get my hands on Turned at Dusk. I really enjoy the setting of a camp full of fantastical creatures, each with their own rituals and customs. Beyond that, all the characters have their own quirks and habits, making them well-rounded.
Overall, this was a fun, quick, sexy read. It didn't completely satisfy my mood, but I'm hoping that's just because it's a Book 2. I'm seriously hoping Turned at Dusk gets the romance back on track and we finally get some answers about Kylie!
Final thoughts: If you're into fantasy romance reads, it's worth buying. If not, borrow.