Category Archives: book review

the awakening by christine feehan

Book Review: The Awakening, by Christine Feehan

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.

the awakening Christine Feehan

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.

awakening churton

Book Review: Awakening, by C.S. Churton

I’m not entirely sure where I got my copy of Awakening (Talentborn, #1), by C.S. Churton. Calibre tells me I’ve had it about a year and a half, and I’d guess I picked it up from a Bookfunnel promo or something similar. I read it today as part of my Awakening Challenge, where I’ve set out to read eight books named Awakening. This was number six.
awakening cs churton

When she hit rock bottom…

…Anna did the unthinkable.

Would the ring she stole change her life?

In the days that followed her desperate act, Anna’s life turned upside down. Strange things began to happen, and she wondered if she was losing her mind. Alone in the world, who could she trust to help her sort out her newly discovered powers?

Scott says he has answers, but will she believe what he has to say?

The deeper she digs, the more she suspects the people helping her have their own agenda. Can she learn to control her powers, or will the AbGen Corporation betray her?

my review

I’d say this was OK, not great but not horrid either. It’s fairly predictable, without any deviations from a pretty linear plot. The romance comes out of nowhere (except that you know it’s coming), it isn’t particularly well developed or anything. Then again, neither is anything else either.

But the book is an enjoyable enough read and the writing is perfectly readable. Though I thought it an odd muddle of UK and American English/culture. It’s obviously set in England, but every once in a while there would be an oddity in the language/plot—the waitress dependent on tips to make rent, for example, or referring to secondary school as high school, etc. I don’t know where the author is from, and maybe as an American married to an Englishman I’m extra sensitive to it, but it pulled me out of the story more than once.

awakening sc mitchell

Book Review: Awakening, by S.C. Mitchell

I picked up a freebie copy of S.C. Mitchell‘s Awakening (Demon Gate Chronicles, #1) from Amazon. I read it as part of my March Awakening Challenge, where I set out to read eight books titled Awakening.

awakening by sc mitchell

Demons among us…

Thousands of years ago, a portal opened between Earth and the demon dimension of Ballor. Since that time, demons have been crossing over to hide among us cloaked in illusion.

Jack Hughes is cursed. Each full moon, his body is taken over by a demonic force. He’s learned to cope by locking himself in a cell each night to keep the demon from breaking free. It’s a dark secret he’s not willing to share with anyone, until one night when the demon breaks out.

Sorceress Anna Brown is one of the leading experts on demons for the Arcanists. She knows Jack’s secret and how to help him, if he’ll let her. The local demons are after Anna. She has a power they want to control. Does she have enough magic to save Jack and keep the local Demon Lord at bay?

my review

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is super bad, though I might say it’s bad. Either way it’s far too simple and uni-dimensional to be called good. There is no depth here, not of characters, plot, mystery, world, anything. It makes for a predictable and uninteresting read.

On a personal note, I work assiduously to avoid rape in the books I read for entertainment. Despite that, it creeps in pretty regularly. It always annoys me. But it is especially annoying when authors use it as a short-hand for evil. Want a character to be an obvious villain? Make him a rapist, no further development needed apparently. But it’s even worse still when authors do this and don’t have the decency to call it rape. Mitchell has a horde of demons who keep harems to breed lesser demons and he references it repeatedly. But the sanitized language hides the horror of what he’s actually suggesting. The word rape isn’t once used in this context, despite rape being referenced multiple times. If you’re going to base a large portion of your plot on rapists raping, then have the decency to use the language.

Speaking of demons, it was painfully obvious that almost no real thought or creativity went into them. Mitchell held in his hands the chance to create something new and interesting, and I thought he might when one of the first demons was mentioned to be sexless. But as soon as we meet the rest of the demons we run right into patriarchal, no-thought plotting. The male thinks about his female mate as a good mate because she knows her place (below him), but he’s ready to trade her for someone younger and fresher. He leers and threatens rape (by any other name), etc. He’s a blunt instrument of a villain and the demons in general are cardboard cutouts.

All in all, disappoint but readable.