Dark Awakening: Number 1 in series (Dark Dynasties)

Dark Awakening - Kendra Leigh Castle Some background infoThe vampires here have different dynasties of vampires. Within the dynasties, you have a caste system (the “highbloods” and the “lowbloods”). A quick explanation of the dynasties:• Ptolemy, they are super fast and pretty damn arrogant. They believe they are better than everyone else. They are led by Queen Arsinoe.• The Dracul, they can take the form of a bat. The Ptolemy would like the other dynasties and their own vamps to believe that the Dracul are trying to destroy the Ptolemy with a super old voodoo curse. They are led by Vlad (yes you heard me, Vlad of Dracula fame)• The Grigori, they are believed to be able to fly. Not a lot is known about the Grigori but I’m guessing that is coming in future books. They are led by Sariel.• The Empusae, they can take the form of smoke. They kind of hang out with the Dracul since they share the same territory. They are led by Hecate.• The Cait Sith, they can take the form of a cat. They are not really a dynasty, and instead are considered the “lowbloods” of the Ptolemy dynasty (the “highbloods”). They have two choices, either work in servitude to the Ptolemy, or hide and live a life on the run. The Cait Sith that do work as servants are called “pets” or “guttercats”.Here is what we learn at the beginningSomeone is killing the Ptolemy. The Dracul is a fairly new dynasty and the Ptolemy is not happy to have them ruling along side them.The Ptolemy is on the lookout for a Seer so they can “see” who is killing their own vamps.The Ptolemy is ready and willing to blame the Dracul for the killing.The charactersTynan MacGillivray- he is a Cait Sith. He turns into this beautiful cat, is strong, an excellent hunter and is a hottie when he shapeshifts back into vamp form. He is steadfast in his servitude to his queen. He doesn’t question her decisions, and will perform his duty to the best of his abilities or die trying. He feels that even though he is only a lowly Cait Sith, he needs to set a good example for his fellow Cait Sith and in return, he might be able to help them out. Lily Quinn- she is a human, a college professor, and a survivor of a very screwed up childhood. She was adopted by high profile celebrities. When her adopted mom suddenly became pregnant, Lily’s significance in their life was zero. Lily also had some weird, funky powers that came out when she was extremely upset. These powers showed themselves when Lily learned of the new baby when she was only 5. The storySo Ty, the ever faithful servant, is going on a search for the Seer. His queen says, “jump” and he says “how high” (ok, not literally but you get my meaning right). Ty really believes his queen has his best interests when he has been looking for this Seer for almost a year. He finally finds this Seer and oh no, she is quite the good-looking, good smelling hottie woman to Ty. Oh well, she is only a human and he is ever the faithful servant.Lily begins to suspect something is not right when she keeps running into Ty. Sure, he is gorgeous but he also has a knack of turning up when everyone is gone and then disappearing just as quick.Due to interference by another character, Ty must go on the run with Lily. He notices that she might be a bit more than a Seer (those powers I mentioned before, well Lily was able to use them again).So why am I telling you all thisThe story is about Ty’s growth and belief that he is more than the labels others give him. He starts to question the people (ok I know they are vamps but for the sake of argument, I’m calling them people) he thought he could trust, and starts to trust the people he was trained to hate.The story is also about Lily’s growth. She discovers that she is not alone, not an oddity, and she has potential to be great if she only believes it.Yes, the two main characters have similar struggles and the author does a good job showing the character’s growth without it sounding cheesy.What I didn’t likeI was going to put in a spoiler but I don’t trust you not to look! So, at the very end something happens to Lily and well, Lily was just fine right afterwards. I would be freaking out even if I expected it. But no, Lily didn’t even miss a step. In fact, she was really all “excited” afterwards. It just seemed weird and wrong. OverallI really don’t like doing reviews for PNR books. The entire insta-love thing rubs me the wrong way and so I’m always wary of recommending a PNR book. In this book, while there was instant attraction, Ty and Lily still used the brain on their heads when making decisions. I liked that. I also really enjoyed the side characters, the vampire structure, and watching the characters learn and grow throughout the book.Update- You know how cats purr when they are being stroked & rubbed, well it seems to have the same affect on cat-shapeshifting vampires (even when they are not in cat form). In other words, Ty can purr. :)