So the absolute first thing I am going to yell about this YA Fantasy book is that not only does it have a black female protagonist - who looks hella cool on the cover, too - but it is actually written by a black female author.
... Sorry, you needed another reason than that to jump on it? *sigh*
Alright then, here's my actual review.
Katya's pretty, popular... and different. She desperately wants to be normal, but the things she sees won't go away. When she unwittingly crosses the path of a Kyrios, one of the guardians of Death, her powers begin to grow exponentially and she has no choice but to learn control, or endanger everyone around her.
There is a large cast of characters in Awoke, and a lot of world-building, but everything was introduced quite gradually. There was no sense of info-dumping and no stage at which I was left thinking ‘wait, who’s that again?’ Instead, K.T. Conte introduces characters one or two at a time, skilfully giving everyone their own distinct personalities and quirks.
This is a fascinating story with lots of twists and turns, including a couple I saw coming and a couple I really didn't. I read it straight through in one session. And it's not exactly short at 417 pages. It's just that interesting. While the language feels a little junior high at times, maybe it's just that I don't read a lot of YA. Katya is, after all, 18 and she does act like a teenager, regularly compromised by her own feelings and lack of worldly experience.
In short, Awoke is a great start to a new series by an author I hadn't encountered before, and I'll be eagerly looking out for more of K.T. Conte's work. Five stars.
Awoke is available now in paperback and will be released in ebook form on October 1st.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through Reader’s Favorite.