Book Review: Divine Awakening by Lia Davis
This book starts right in the middle of the story, with our protagonists Desiree and Lex trapped in the underworld trying to find Desiree's son Matthew and fight their way out. I expected this to be the prologue, in the way some books do; teasing us with the Big Finale before going back to the beginning and telling us what led up to that point - especially since the blurb tells us that Desiree calls on Lex for help finding her missing son.
Three chapters in, I realised that wasn't going to happen. That this book is in fact basically just a chapter (the final chapter, apparently) of the Dark Divinities series. And that unless you've read the first three, you are not going to have the FAINTEST clue what is going on. There are entire chapters devoted to characters and scenarios that appear to be nothing to do with the plot, that are clearly revisited from earlier books in the series.
We don't see Lex and Desiree meet. There's no physical description of either of them, there's no 'recap' of how Desiree's son was taken by a demon. Nothing makes any sense.
When you are writing a book in a series, it is important to remember that your readers may not have JUST finished your last book. That there may have been many stories read in between your last book and this one, and that therefore it is incumbent on you to at least remind the readers of what has happened previously - and hopefully to welcome any new readers who may have picked up this last book on a whim. If you DON'T do that, then your book isn't a book; it's merely a chapter in a larger story.
It's clearly a complicated world with some unusual rules of magic that the author has created here. I feel like she is trying to create something similar to Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, but the fact is that you can pick up any book in that series and jump right in. Try that with this series and you'll end up utterly confused.
I did give this book a fair go, because if I'd enjoyed it I'd have gone and bought the others in the series to figure out what was really going on, but I just couldn't get engaged with the characters. The (couple of) love scenes were brief, lasting no more than a page, and skimmed perfunctorily over the sex act.
The paperback edition of this title is 118 pages. Double that page count to turn this into its own book instead of just a chapter in a larger story and it might be worth reading. As it is, I just cannot recommend it. Two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book for review through NetGalley.