Author: Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 214 Pages
At a Glance: You’ll want to set aside a full day to read this one because you can count on not getting anything else done until you’ve finished.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: The staff at AURA has had a busy summer. Between chronic understaffing, dealing with warring goblin factions and an unusual number of hazardous Events, everyone is overworked. Sinistrus the incubus, newly hired as an AURA medic, actually enjoys his busy new life of responsible employee and faithful lover to his gorgeous police sergeant, Ness the centaur. Life would be perfect, except for a niggling suspicion about a colleague. Everyone else seems to disagree, but Sin’s certain something’s not right with that pixie.
Kellen, a pixie crossover, loves his job working in AURA medical, even if he is something of an outsider. His job and the friends he manages to make are happy spots in an otherwise dark and secretive life. As the rest of AURA tries to discover the root of the inexplicable rise in violence and large scale Events, Kellen fights to preserve his own life and what dignity he has left.
These two unlikely heroes must put their differences aside and navigate tragedy and ever-escalating disaster together in order to stop the sinister forces that hold Kellen in thrall.
Review: How do you review a book that rips your heart out, stomps on it, buries you, dances on your grave, and then brings you back to life just to do it again? I swear the authors must get joy out of tormenting their readers, because this book is an emotional ride that grips you and does not let go. I ended up starting this later in the evening one night, and finally put the book down, completed, at five the next morning. I then had only one hour of sleep and was just a mess all day.
The third book in the AURA series brings back all the old, loved characters, and throws new Kellen into the mix. Kellen is a pixie that works for the medical side of AURA, and Sin does not like him. He loves to torment him whenever he can, and even a certain yeti can barely reign him in. When tragedy strikes, the two find mutual ground and begin to work together as well as they can, and when Kellen gets in trouble, it’s up to Sin to help him.
Despite how much this book hurt to read, I loved it. I had the pleasure of meeting Angel Martinez at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City and was able to introduce myself. She warned me not to read this book on public transit, and now I know why. As it was, I sobbed no less than four times, all of them while in bed reading late at night. It’s a miracle I didn’t wake anyone up.
Sin and Ness are back as two of the main characters, alongside Kellen. I enjoyed seeing their relationship progress. Sin was such a loveable, pitiful character before, being a gay incubus, and while he still needs to feed from females, he’s struck a deal with Ness so that he can feed and maintain a healthy, loving relationship. I mean really, the two of them were so sweet, and it was wonderful seeing Sin happy and not drunk in a bar, causing havoc.
Quinn and Val are also in the book, but to a much lesser extent. It was a bit disappointing because I do love them so much, but the pieces revealed show Quinn working well at AURA and Val getting into stride as the captain. The same goes for Flax, Sage, and Ash. They are briefly on the page (Flax the most of the three), and while I wanted more, I understand it wasn’t their story.
Kai and Tenzin have a much more prominent role, however. Tenzin is Kellen and Sin’s direct supervisor, so it makes sense that he would be around. Seeing him in this new role was fascinating because most of the time he is just portrayed as Kai’s lover. There was a lot of character development for him. And Kai is there because, well, as Tenzin’s lover he’s going to be around. Plus, he’s involved in a pretty big plot point that I can’t reveal here because it would ruin part of the story.
Kellen is the new character. It seems he’s been around for a while, but now is his time to shine. I just wanted to snuggle the little pixie so much during the book. He is good at his job, but he has to hide part of who he is due to dark magic connected to him. Again, what it is I cannot reveal, but seeing more of what society was like for these creatures before Events brought them to our world helps explain more of not only who they are, but why they do what they do.
Fans of the AURA series will love this book, but be advised, you need tissues. And I would also suggest waiting to read this when you have a large chunk of time because you will not want to put this one down!
I cannot wait for the next book to see what it brings. I might even forgive the authors by then.
You can buy Kellen’s Awakening here: