Awaken Me Darkly (Alien Huntress, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Downtown Press (US: 1st March 2006; UK: 4th June 2008; AU: 5th May 2006)
Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.
In New Chicago, Mia Snow works for Alien Investigation and Removal, hunting out predators and protecting humans. Not every alien is evil, but the ones who are keep Mia in business. The latest serial killer’s identity has been narrowed down to one of the Arcadian females, and on the chase Mia’s partner is near-deathly wounded. To survive, he needs special blood, and the only provider is the brother of the case’s lead suspect. Kyrin en Arr’s ultimatum is to set his sister free, or else he won’t keep Mia’s partner alive, but letting loose the most likely serial killer is hardly ideal for Mia.
I’d read the two teen Alien Huntress books prior, but with the months that have passed since, my memory faded. I remembered Mia being in the teen novel, but couldn’t remember her history. And it’s an absolute ripper, so it’s probably wise to read Awaken Me Darkly first. I know “this time it’s personal” sounds so cliché, but that’s basically the situation here, and the author does a magnificent job with it.
The killer’s motives are intriguing, and the investigation is thrilling stuff. I was enjoying this book, but then it took a turn for the worse. Namely, the romance subplot, and if you want to be specific: destiny, meant-to-be. I’m not much of a romance fan, but this kind pisses me off the most. (My suspension of disbelief only goes so far.) I’m hesitant to use the term “alien abduction”…yet it seems oddly appropriate. Does it count as Stockholm syndrome if you kind of fancied someone before they kidnapped you?
Romance aside, this is a corker of a novel, and I plan to now dive straight into the second Alien Huntress book, Enslave Me Sweetly.