Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Awake At Dawn, by C.C. Hunter

Awake At Dawn
(Shadow Falls,  Book 2)
Trade Paperback, 383 pages
St. Martin's Griffin
Oct. 11, 2011
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Source: Barnes & Noble bookstore

Book Synopsis: Step into the world of Shadow Falls, a camp that helps teens tap into their special... talents. Once you visit, you’ll never forget it—and you’ll never, ever be the same.

From the moment Kylie Galen arrived at Shadow Falls Camp, she’s had one burning question: What am I? Surrounded by vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies and witches, Kylie longs to figure out her own supernatural identity…and what her burgeoning powers mean. And now she’ll need them more than ever, because she’s being haunted by a new spirit who insists that someone Kylie knows—and loves—will die before the end of the summer. If only she only knew who she was supposed to save. And how...

But giving Kylie the most trouble is her aching heart. Gorgeous werewolf Lucas left camp with another girl, but he’s still visiting Kylie in her dreams. And Derek, a sexy half Fae who’s always been there for her when she needed him, is pushing to get more serious—and growing impatient, especially when Lucas returns. Kylie knows she needs to decide between the boys, and it’s tearing her up inside.

Yet romance will have to wait, because something from the dark side of the supernatural world is hiding in Shadow Falls. It’s about to threaten everything she holds dear... and bring her closer to her destiny.

This highly-addictive series has grabbed me and just won't let go! Once again, I was unable to put down this book until I had finished it.

As in the first novel, Kylie's life is complicated, and getting more so. She is discovering new supernatural abilities in this second novel in the series. Furthermore, she actually has an unexpected experience -- a mysterious, and rather embarrassing, growth spurt. And, of course, there's the whole situation with Derek and Lucas. Plus, she has to deal with a dangerously jealous she-wolf -- Fredericka, the girl who considers Lucas her property, and not Kylie's. I LOVED it when Fredericka got sprayed by Socks, Kylie's kitten that Miranda accidentally turned into a skunk, and whom she can't turn back into a kitten. Fredericka SURE deserved this!

As mentioned in the synopsis, there's a new ghost that Kylie has to deal with, too. This one is a woman, and she keeps telling Kylie that someone she (Kylie) loves will die unless Kylie does something. The poor girl is getting anxious and very frustrated at the ghost's inability to tell her who exactly is going to die. Time is running out....

The same old question is also still plaguing Kylie; she still has no idea just what sort of supernatural creature she is. At least she's finally accepted the fact that she's not entirely human. Her new talents lead her to suspect, first, that she might be a vampire, then, a werewolf. But nothing is clear. I must admit to a bit of impatience regarding this issue, which was still not resolved by the end of the book. However, since I love this series so much, I decided to, er....cheat! So I visited a Shadow Falls fan site, and now I know just exactly what kind of supernatural Kylie is. So, now that this burning issue is resolved, I can get back to enjoying the rest of the books! Lol. Of course, I'm not spilling the beans!

I was glad to see that Kylie's relationship with her mom had improved tremendously, ever since Kylie found out the truth about her dad. And now that they're getting along so well, it's rather ironic and poignant that Kylie wants to go to the new Shadow Falls boarding school (the camp is being turned into one). Her mom doesn't want to let her go, which is quite understandable, considering that their relationship is now what a mother-daughter relationship should be.

All of the other great characters are back, of course, including Holiday, whom I like so much, since she's like a big sister to Kylie. Holiday even helps out Kylie regarding the dreaded falls, where death angels are supposed to lurk. 

In this second installment, the tension between Burnett, the vampire, and Holiday, who is a fae, gets even worse. He has finally come clean and confessed that he feels a HUGE attraction for Holiday. She, however, is loath to admit the same, so the game is on! To make matters worse, a new character, Selynn, who is a werewolf, is introduced, and there are hints that she and Burnett may have been previously involved. Holiday won't admit to being jealous, but she definitely is.

There was more action in this novel, especially toward the end. It seems that Kylie has unwittingly drawn some VERY unwanted attention to herself, and there's a bizarre plot to kidnap her and....well, you'll just have to read the book!

I also liked how Hunter brought out more insights into Della and Miranda's families. These are Kylie's best friends at Shadow Falls. While they empathize with Kylie's own troubles, they also have their own problems to deal with. Della still has her family's suspicions to handle, as well as nostalgic memories of an  old boyfriend, while Miranda is trying to pretend that she's completely over Perry, the shapeshifter.

One of the characteristics of Hunter's narrative is that she smoothly flows from one plot point to another, and each main character's conflicts are somehow tied in with those of other main characters. This gives a lot of coherence to the whole story. 

This is yet another wonderful novel in this wonderful series, and I've already started the third one, Taken At Dusk! I'm looking forward to the rest of the books!

Needless to say, I highly recommend this entire series to all paranormal fans, especially those who also love the YA genre!


C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central.

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply.



  1. Oh, Maria, your excitement for this series is contagious! I was given a beautiful copy of Taken at Dusk and Whispers of Moonrise earlier in the year; but because they are not the first books of the series, I only displayed it on my shelf *gasp*. I can see now that I need to look up the series order and start with book one since you have me super excited to get to book two! I love the supernatural elements in the series, and I had to laugh at you "cheating"... I've had to do the same thing with another book. Sometimes the impatience is just too much! This also sounds like a series I could share with Mckenzie? Thank you so much for your lovely review and for letting me know I need to bump this series up the list!
    Happy Halloween, my friend! *BIG squishy hugs* <3 <3 <3

    1. Hi, Michele!

      I'm glad you've caught the excitement! I should mention that this series isn't as close to my heart as The Twilight Saga, but it's still great! (Heck, not even the Vampire Academy series will EVER bump Twilight from first place, lol.)

      What I LOVE about this series is the AWESOME characterizations! The books are not heavy on action, as I've mentioned in my reviews. There is some action, but the emphasis is on the characters, and they SHINE!

      About my "cheating".....yeah, that's one thing I didn't like -- Hunter keeping the reader guessing for so long about Kylie's supernatural identity. I would have thought she would have resolved that by the end of this book. So I had to find out, lol.

      This is a YA series, but I found some things in it that might not be altogether okay for Mckenzie. I don't know.....I'm thinking of altering my review to reflect those things.

      You're very welcome for the review! Thanks for the lovely compliment and lovely comment!! Happy Halloween to you, too!! *BIG squishy hugs back!!* <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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