I wanted a shortish audio book to listen to while I did chores this afternoon. While I have audio books I could have listened to, I decided to see if I could find one to download from the library that was on theme for my March reading challenge, which I have named the Awakening Challenge. I set out to read eight books titled Awakening. But, like with this one, I’ve been adding books. here and there I call them Bonus Awakenings. They may not meet the challenge criteria I set out exactly, or even if they do, I picked them up after I set the initial challenge. Christine Feehan‘s The Awakening is one such book.
Maggie returns to the place of her birth and her world suddenly turns into a sensual, but dangerous delight. The rainforest holds secrets of her birthright and a mysterious man, as predatory as any of the animals, waiting in the very heart of the jungle for her arrival.
Under the blazing heat of the Borneo sun, a beautiful naturalist’s dream comes true – to live among the feral jungle creatures. But an untamed, irresistible beast of another sort forces her to explore her own wild side.
This was fine for what it is. But it should be kept in mind that what it is is a bit of erotic fluff written over a decade ago. The Paranormal Romance genre has come a long way since then, but Feehan’s The Awakening is an example of what it used to be. Heroes were meant to be predatory and virginal heroines swooned and became ‘aware of their femininity’ (code for sexuality) in their presence. It tiptoes awful close to the men-writing-women meme sometimes, even though it’s obviously something else entirely. But the descriptions of all but anthropomorphized breasts can comes close.
There’s not much to this honestly. The plot is just a backdrop to paint the angst and eventual sex on. The relationship is based on sexual attraction and the mythical shifter mate bond. It didn’t light me on fire in any manner. But, again, it is what it is and should be judged accordingly.
I won a $10 credit to The Book Depository and Grave Witch, by Kalayna Price is the book I chose to purchase with it.
Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say.
As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around…
To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life…and her soul.
I generally enjoyed this. It suffers from many of the faults of Urban Fantasy/PNR published a decade ago—the hero/love interest is an asshole for half the book, the cast isn’t very diverse, there’s a possible love triangle thrown in at the end—as well as some just generally questionable things like solutions presenting themselves in easy and coincidental fashions. But I liked Alex. The writing is super readable. I was invested in the story and would happily read more of the series.
I won an ARC of Karl One Knausgaard‘s Spring.
Description from Goodreads:
Today is Wednesday the thirteenth of April 2016, it is twelve minutes to eleven, and I have just finished writing this book for you. What happened that summer nearly three years ago, and its repercussions, are long since over.
Sometimes it hurts to live, but there is always something to live for.
Spring follows a father and his newborn daughter through one day in April, from sunrise to sunset. A day filled with everyday routine, the beginnings of life and its light, but also its deep struggles and its darkness.
Generally lovely. It wonders a bit (as I’m told Knausgaard is known for), I had a certain nagging sense that this should have been his wife’s story to tell, not his, and narratives where people paint themselves too well are always a little suspect. But as a book written by a father to his newly born daughter (a fourth child), it is very sweet. There is real love apparent here. In a world saturated with stories of toxic masculinity it was a real pleasure to read about a father valuing his children and family. Despite not reading the previous books in the series (and my copy anomalously missing the 8 pages between 102-111) I followed this without issue and would be happy to read more.