Blog Tour ~ Awakening (The Dark Rituals #1) by Catrina Burgess ~ Review by Jaime and Giveaway!

Awakening (The Dark Rituals #1)
by Catrina Burgess
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Release Date: October 7th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural, Horror, Fiction, Fantasy
Rate: 3 Stars!!!


In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.

Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.

Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.

As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?

Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series originally appeared on Wattpad with over three million reads. Awakening is the first book of four and was named Wattpad’s Best Suspense Story of 2014.

 Colina, our 17 year old MC, was raised in a clan of Healers, and that has always been the magic she has practiced. She was taught to fear the Death Arts, and despise those mages who wield this magic. But after a devastating occurrence, the Death Arts becomes her mission; to learn it, to wield it and to seek revenge. But at what cost? 

 Colina was an interesting character, but not one that I necessarily loved. I liked her in the beginning, and she definitely held my interest as a character study, but she made so many decisions that just... threw me. And while she grew as a character, that growth wasn't the endearing sort. Luke was a little more balanced, and maybe more likeable than Colina, but I never really felt like we got to KNOW him. The story revolved very much around Colina, and what was going on in her head.The other characters in the story all had depth and distinct personalities, but I never truly connected with any of them. And the romance between Colina and Luke was very insta-lusty. The night they meet, they are standoffish, and distrustful of one another, but after a fight in an alley, and one night sleeping in the same apartment, they are talking about their connection to one another. It was a little groan-worthy!

 I promise it wasn't all bad though! And here is why... The idea behind this story was so good! I loved the idea of the different types of magic wielders, and their specific magics. Colina had to undergo three rituals in order to become a death dealer, and these are the parts of the story that held me to the pages. The parts of the story where she is learning this magic, and undergoing the rituals was absolutely my favorite part of the story, My only wish was that we learned more about the world that these characters are living in. Why there are different magical clans, why the animosity between them, why nobody ever decides to learn more than one magic? These are questions that I asked myself throughout the book, and I really hope they will be answered in the sequel. 

 And finally, to the ending. WHAAATT? What the heck, man? Talk about knocking the wind out of your sails? And no, I can't tell you about it because it would be a major spoiler. I will only say that it isn't something that I expected at all. Anyway, should make for a very interesting book 2. 

 I know this review sounded like I didn't really enjoy the story, but that isn't the case. Yes, I had some issues, and I really hope that some of these (the world-building, the character growth, a little less cliches) are worked on in book 2. But this story had a lot of good things going for it.  I wouldn't have any problem saying go ahead and give it a shot to someone. So, go ahead and give it a shot someone! And thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for letting me be a part of the tour! 

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I write because it helps keeps the darkness away and reminds me that there is magic in the world. I live with one husband, two dogs, and a cat named Shitty Kitty in a small mining town in Arizona. At night this place is definitely spooky. I swear I’ve heard the wind giggle, and sometimes there’s a very odd breeze. Luckily, I love all things that go bump in the night. I adore old movies. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan.

I’ve been known to eat pizza and cold Chinese food for breakfast, and I’m the queen of the board game Stratego. I’ve never been beaten. NEVER!

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