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December 29, 2015

Review: Awakening by Catrina Burgess

by Donna Huber

cover Awakening

"You want to learn the Death Arts?"
The look on his face was hard to read. It couldn't be everyday that someone wandered into the shop and made such a request.
I tried to look more confident than I felt. He couldn't tell my hands were trembling slightly inside my jacket pockets, could he? I forced to keep my gaze steady and resisted the urge to take my heels and run out the door.

The Review

The last review of 2015!

I chose to read Awakening by Catrina Burgess, not because it is something I would normally read, but because it looked like something my niece would read and I try to at least sort of keep up with what she is into. I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the story. When I discovered that the series had been on Wattpad I asked her if she had read it since I know she reads a number of stories there. She didn't think she had, but said it did look interesting.

I really liked 95% of this book. I loved the characters - Colina and Luke are great together. The minor characters are well rounded and used effectively in the story. The plot moved at a good pace that kept you wanting more, but didn't feel rushed. Right up to the end I couldn't put it down.

I thought Burgess could have done a bit better with the world building. I couldn't decide if they were in the real world with the added magic of Healers and Death Dealers or if it was a completely new universe. I'm leaning towards the former, but then I had trouble figuring out if it was the US or Europe. Colina mentions Scottish clans as being her people which made me think UK, but then there were other things that seemed a bit more American. Not having a clear idea of the setting was unsettling to me throughout the book.

I'm not typically into the dark stuff, but even the possibility of zombies didn't turn me off as the main story line was too good. I still had a quarter of the book left and I was already anticipating the next book in the series. But then there was a twist and my love for the book was crushed. I won't give it away, but I think it was a very big risk the author took. Seeing as the series had over 3 million reads on Wattpad (source: Goodreads entry) I guess others weren't as turned off by it as I was.

Awakening is a very dark book. It gave me the same feel as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.

Buy Awakening at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (336 pages)
published: October 2015 by Full Fathom Five Digital
ISBN13: 9781633700833
genres: horror, fantasy
target audience: young adult
source: Netgalley
read: November/December 2015

A free ebook was provided for this review. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


  1. Don't think this one is for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  2. The opening you shared intrigues me, Donna. I ran to look up the book as a result. It sounds like something I might like--but I admit that after your comment about the twist, I'm not so sure now. It's always a bummer when that happens.

    1. The twist was just a risk the author took, but another popular author did it too just not in the first book. It is a great book and I'm curious as to how the author will finish with the setup she has created.

  3. Probably not my kind of read, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. Guessing that this is not a me book by intro and cover. Hope you enjoy it Donna.

  5. I'm not sure it's a book I would read, but I do hope you like it.

  6. Sorry the book didn't live up to your hopes. How interesting that it put you off. That tempts me to look at it.