Dark Child (The Awakening) by Adina West

dark childDark Child (The Awakening) by Adina Westpublished by Momentum in 2013.

Author. Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository. Barnes & Noble.

Source: I received an e-book from the publisher via Netgalley. A huge thanks to Momentum!

Genre: paranormal fantasy.

Note: the book was previously published as a series of shorter parts; this is the omnibus edition of the first instalment in the Dark Child series.

Lately things have been getting weird for pathology technician Kat Chanter. She’s been craving raw meat, and having dreams so realistic they’re scary. When she accepts a job offer from the prestigious Hema Castus Research Institute, she hopes she’ll have the chance to discover what’s wrong with her, but instead, her move to New York thrusts her headlong into a treacherous hidden world, where the wrong move could be fatal . . .

Tarot, witchcraft and astrology all take on a frightening resonance in Dark Child’s richly imagined alternative reality where vampiric beings live among us, hidden by magic. Dark romance tangles with paranormal fantasy and page-turning suspense in this enthralling tale of ‘dark child’ Kat Chanter, half-human and half-vampire, who has woken an ancient prophecy and must face a formidable destiny. (Goodreads)

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My rating: 3.5/5

This was a rather strange book to read, but I liked it. As I wrote in the note, it was previously published in a serial form (I think four or five pieces) and it’s clear that this is why the tempo is slightly different from what you’d expect in a traditionally published story – here, the “episodes” are still somehow visible in the flow.

The story starts off really slowly, which could be a bother if I didn’t like the heroine, for example, but I did. About halfway through, however, the pace picks up a little and I was sucked into Kat’s world. I like this slow beginning, actually, because it also means that the world-building isn’t too abrupt (info-dumping about the fantasy elements in a world is something I really dislike), we’re eased into this world of strange creatures that Kat begins to encounter.

I did have a bit of a problem with romance, which is more sudden than I’d like. Here is one instance where the division between “parts” of the book is clearly visible – Alek, the gorgeous, rude guy is introduced (and his POV starts) and the attraction between him and Kat is something primal, animalistic, even. The development of the romance isn’t so problematic, only the beginning is, at least for me. I think this is one of the instances where a new “part” began with too little thought of general coherence in the novel.

Most of the book is written from Kat’s POV, and while she’s kind and interesting, she could do with a serious character flaw or two. She’s got this slight damsel-in-distress vibe going and while I’m not saying all heroines should be able to kick ass (I’ve complained about this before, actually), she could… I don’t know… be really grumpy in the morning? :)

All in all, Dark Child was a fun, cute read. What’s interesting is that I thought (from the Netgalley page, the synopsis and all) that this would be a YA novel, but it’s not – it could, I guess, be classified as New Adult (though I don’t have much experience with those so I’m not sure if it qualifies). I’m basing my classification on the age of the heroine (she’s in her early 20s) and the level of *adult* content (no steamy scenes here, but there’s some smooching involved).

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Have you read Dark Child?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or read your review!