Title: Dark Awakening
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Release Date: July 1, 2011
Dark Awakening is one of those books where after I was done with it I immediately thought, “How do I summarize that?” Kendra Leigh Castle has created a great new world with her new Dark Dynasties series. Much like Karen Marie Moning’s “Fever” series or J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, I feared that I’d go into information overload and merely never remember any of it. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
In Dark Awakening, vampires are an ancient race, dating back to the time of Cleopatra. In fact, her sister Arsinöe is the ruler of the Ptolemy dynasty. There are several dynasties and each has a specific power or ability that they are known for. Also, each vampire from within the dynasty wears a mark much like a tattoo. It signifies who you are and is basically created from the blood within your system. The Ptolemy and Cait Sith are the two main dynasties in Dark awakening. The Cait Sith are “lowbloods” or “gutterbloods” while the Ptolemy are considered “highbloods.” The Cait Sith can be considered to be low class who have no leader and don’t tend to stick together. They serve the Ptolemy dynasty and can shift into cats. The Ptolemy use the Cait Sith as servants and their power is lightening fast speed. The other known bloodlines of the United States are the Dracul, Grigori, and Empusae.
Tynan MacGillivray is a member of the Cait Sith bloodline and is a favorite of the queen. He’s been gone for about a year searching for a Seer. Members of the Ptolemy dynasty have been dying after a gypsy curse referred to as a Mulo has been slowly attacking and killing them. One night, while leaving an amateur ghost hunt, Lily Quinn sees and is then kissed by a man in the parking lot. Ty is instantly attracted to her, craves her blood even, but can’t hear her thoughts – a key sign of a Seer. If he bites her she will lose her powers. Ty sees on Lily what she refers to as a tattoo her birth parents put on her when she was a baby before they died. He questions if she is a Seer, but then what is she? Humans can not wear vampire marks.
Ty manages to convince Lily to go with him and that she will be returned after her service to Arsinöe is complete. When they are attacked at her house, Lily, who has a deep seeded uncontrollable power within her, is protected by it. It’s nothing like Ty has ever seen before. What follows are twists and turns with dashes of mystery, romance and suspense as Ty tries to find out what Lily is, how to protect her, and ultimately, what to do with her since he has fallen in love with her. They could never be together since he is a lowblood. Ty tries to convince himself that he will get Lily safely to Arsinöe and then never seen her again. Together they are hunted as Arsinöe’s lover, Nero, tries to seize control of her dynasty.
I’m not one of those people who usually takes a good guess at what’s going to happen, so Dark Awakening really had me questioning what was going on the entire time. I don’t want to give away too much, but I really enjoyed this first book in the Dark Dynasty series. When I was finished with it, I had that feeling like, “Oh no, it’s over?!” If the romance aspect had been ramped up just a bit I would have given it a solid five stars. I can’t wait for the second book in the series, Midnight Reckoning, due out in January 2012. If you like paranormal romance with vampires with a dash of mystery, revenge, adventure, and suspense, then you should try Dark Awakening!