Book Title: Darkest Nights: Awakening
Genre: YA Horror
Author: Lee Ferrier
Date Published: 27 June 2015
Eighteen-year-old Jewel Hudson thought she was going to have the perfect Christmas. But that was before the murders started. Fear and paranoia soon take hold of her hometown and the police are holding back a secret. The corpses are beginning to heal from their lethal wounds and the only explanation is a Supernatural Force. Jewel is thrown headfirst into the investigation when she meets half-werewolf Peter Wharton and his best friend Lucy Beaumont, a very talented witch. They are then roped into helping Dante Tybalt, a vampire investigator, and Scott Baxter, a below-average wizard, who are both seeking the killer for their own personal gain. Only Jewel can get them the information they need to solve the string of murders and to prevent any more deaths.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an intriguing YA Horror story. I loved it!
Peter Wharton is a wonderful character. I loved him as soon as he was introduced. He is a half-werewolf. "How can he be a half-werewolf?" I hear you cry. Well, for that answer you will just have to read the book to find out for yourself. He has a wicked sense of humour that just screams "practical joker", but he has a more serious side which I loved too. He is a bit of a rebel, but he has a strong sense of duty and loyalty to his family.
Lucy Beaumont is a wonderful character too. I liked this feisty young woman. She is a very powerful witch and is also Peter's only friend and confidant that knows who and what he is. She also happens to have a girlfriend. When several murders of supernaturals begin to threaten to expose their world to the humans, Peter and Lucy find themselves on a race against time to find and stop the murderer.
Jewel Hudson is a difficult character to describe. She is likable enough I suppose, but I felt there was many layers to this young woman that were not fully explored within the story. She does seem to have a sensible head on her shoulders, but I felt that she was way out of her depth within this storyline. She is an ordinary human teenager (or is she?) thrown into a dangerous world of murder and supernatural beings.
I had the great honour of being one of the first people to read this book in it's raw form whilst editing it. This review is my own honest opinion and I have not received remuneration for it.
I fell in love with most of the characters and laughed and cried as the story unfolded. I found myself on occasion reading it instead of editing, so had to go back over it at times. However, what struck me about this book was how well developed most of the characters were. They came alive on the page. The story is told through various characters' points of view, which made this book most intriguing as the reader gets to see their thoughts and feelings. I liked meeting Dante (a vampire policeman/investigator) and Scott (a wizard) too. They are like chalk and cheese, but when they team up with Peter, Lucy and Jewel they make a formidable team. However, I felt that Jewel's character (who is meant to be the lead character in the book) is over shadowed by Peter and Lucy. They are such strongly written characters that they (I felt), rather than Jewel, should have been the leads. I mean no disrespect to the author when I say this. I felt a little envious of Peter and Lucy's friendship. They are fun to be around and the love and respect they have for each other touched me deeply. They have been best friends for years and have a tight bond that has seen them through some rough times. I wish I had them as my friends!
This is a dark tale of murder and mayhem, not to mention horror, that had me completely riveted. There are a whole array of supernatural beings in this story, from vampires to werewolves, witches and even zombies and a ghost! The mystery, suspense and uncertainty of who the murderer was kept me hooked, as well as their motivation for the gruesome deaths. I must admit feeling completely surprised at finding out who the culprit/mastermind was. I certainly didn't see that twist coming! However, I couldn't make up my mind whether this person was evil, or completely insane! I did think that the rationalization the killer used for the murders fell a bit flat and not entirely believable. But, then again, if they are insane, it doesn't matter if their motives are believable to anyone but themselves. Right?
I loved the descriptions of certain scenes and giggled or laughed at quite a few, but there are some decidedly chilling and creepy ones that had the hairs standing up on my arms and a chill running down my back. The chase in the library was especially terrifying! I also found myself shedding more than a few tears during one shocking scene as my heart broke, and I cursed at the author for doing that to me. I had to put the book down long enough to mop up my tears whilst shouting "NO! WHY!!" up at the ceiling.
This story took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion from beginning to end. Speaking of which, this book does end in a cliffhanger, but this just made me want to read the next book as soon as possible.
Please note: This book is written in British English, so some terms and spellings may confuse American readers.
Lee Ferrier has written a fantastic debut YA horror story. I love his fast paced writing style and the flow was wonderful. This is an author who is not afraid to tread into dark places and kill off characters. In this respect he is similar George R.R. Martin (so I have heard, as I haven't read his books yet). This is one British author whose career I will follow with interest and would definitely read more books written by him in the future.
There is a lot of violence (fighting and/or bloodshed) and, on occasion, gore that may upset sensitive readers. There is also mention of sex (M/F and F/F), though implied and not explicitly shown). Therefore, I do not recommend this book to those who would be upset by this. However, I highly recommend this book to teens aged 15/16 upwards and those adults who love dark young adult supernatural/paranormal horror novels. - Lynn Worton
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London based urban fantasy writer. Loves Japanese anime and blue hedgehogs. Lifelong goal: to own a husky...and a life sized Dalek named Jeff. Currently have twenty-one stories stored away in my Mind Palace and will eventually get round to writing them all. Favourite colour: blue. Scared of circus folk. Fan of cheese and noodles. Can't live without my notebook and laptop.