I tend to shy away from YA Paranormal since I'm still recovering from reading paranormal romances even before I crossed to the YA genre, so I always am skeptical to try new books. Boy, this book just made me enjoy YA paranormal again!
Author: Ednah Walters
Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons, but no one told her she is not supposed to fall in love with one. At approximately 87,000 words, THE AWAKENING written by my client Ednah Walters is a compelling young adult paranormal romance novel.
Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware she's a Guardian—a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. But when she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers.
But Bran has a secret that can destroy their growing relationship. He's part demon. But in her heart, Lil knows Bran is not evil. So when her grandfather is kidnapped by a powerful nature-bender and Bran is the only one who knows where he's being kept, Lil convinces the other Guardians to trust him, not knowing her grandfather is just the bait. And the truth that she discovers in the demonic enclave may just destroy everything she believes in, unless she makes the right choice—love and sacrifice.
How do I begin my review of this book? I'm not really sure, because this impressed me so much. I have this certain level of delight I want to maintain when I read a book, and reading Awakened did not only sustain that, believe me. I enjoyed reading this book a lot.
Lil is an orphan, raised by her eccentric and strict grandfather. Moving from place to place, she was never able to live a normal life, owing the need to wander around the country to the wanderlust contributed by her gypsy heritage. But when Lil turned 16 and started getting powers, she was thrusted into a new world where Demons and Nephilim exist, and she was one of the Guardians, and a powerful one at that, tasked to kill demons and save humanity.
As if coping with her new powers weren't enough, Lil started hearing voices in her head. Finding out that the voice belongs to Bran, a boy who may or may not be a demon, who might also be targeting her powers, and he's asking her to help him. Help him with what? And just who is Bran? And why does he always seem to be in tune with her?
As Lil struggled to come to terms with being a Guardian, training to use her powers effectively and trying to make friends, little by little she's starting to find out things about herself, secrets her grandfather has been keeping.
And Lil just might not be who she thought she was.
I very much liked Lil's character. I always admired female protagonists who are headstrong, sometimes stubborn, but with fire in them. She's very strong-willed and willing to sacrifice everything for her loved ones. Though she struggle to find out things about herself, she was determined to know who she really is, and what role she'll play in the battle between the Demons and Nephilim.
Don't you just love Bran? I guess the mystery behind who he really is is what made Bran an irresistible character. I wanted to find out more about him as I read on. It didn't help that he's charming as well. Like Lil, he struggles with himself, set to prove to everyone that he isn't evil, redeeming himself the only way he knew, and that was to help the Guardians get rid of the demons for good.
The supporting characters were also very well-written. I'd like for Lil's "human" friends to have more exposure, but I understand that her fellow Guardian trainees were an integral part of the story, thus she spends more time with them. Remy was the "older brother" in the group, Kim was the more vocal, queen bee (I still don't like her for dismissing the humans as if they're lowly creatures though she redeemed herself quite a few times), if Kim was evil, I guess Izzy was the nicer and more sensible one.
And Sykes! I loved Sykes. If Bran was brooding and have monumental mood swings even Lil couldn't predict, Sykes was the exact opposite. He's a big tease but his personality is lighter and more outgoing (typical jock?), which makes him the perfect guy to compete for Lil's attention.
As for the book as a whole, the plot development is solid. Eventually you'll have questions as you go along (like who are the Nephilim? what are they?) and I have to admit that I thought I was going to have a hard time remembering the terms used since there were so many at the first few pages, but Ednah was able to explain everything clearly. The questions are eventually answered one by one, and the story flow is smooth.
The way Ednah wrote about Lil and her life as a gypsy is so vivid, I can just picture it in my head, clear as a bright summer day, the setting, where she lives, how she is as a person. You think it'll be difficult to imagine a world where Demons and Nephilims exist? Not in this book.
Ednah gave life the Angels and Demons, the battle between Good and Evil in a crafty way that will get you hooked from the first page! I did get hooked, right after I read the first four pages. There were a healthy amount of action scenes that made the read more engaging, and of course the twists and turns and surprises you come across that there isn't a dull moment while you're reading!
There are countless of books about Angels and Demons out there, but for me this was one of a kind, definitely one of the most refreshing YA paranormal books I've read so far. I'm definitely re-reading this once I have the time.
I'm also looking forward to the next book in the series! I wonder when it'll be released?
Rating: ★★★★★ : AWESOMENESS! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!