Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Awaken Me Darkly (Alien Huntress, Book 1) (4/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Alien Huntress series by Gena Showalter. I really liked her book "Playing with Fire". I was a bit leery about this book's called "Awaken me Darkly" and it has a scantily clad woman in a black corset on the cover; it kind of screamed romance to me. Well, it is not a romance. It is a tightly packed paranormal crime novel, with back to back action scenes and a sex scene thrown in for good measure.

Mia Snow is part of AIR, Alien Investigation and Removal Agency. Basically she is an Alien Hunter; that takes out any aliens that are walking on the wrong side of the law. When she gets drawn into a murder case where nude males are left dead in plain site, she finds that the politics involved are extraterrestrial. When her partner, Dallas, is fatally wounded she finds that the super hunky alien Kyrin en Arr is the only on who can help him. Too bad Kyrin is the prime murder suspect, also too bad that Kyrin is the one who can help Mia unfold her dark past.

This book moved at a fast clip. The plot was tight and well-done. I really enjoy Showalter's writing style. The murder investigation and action scenes dominated the book. Anyone who picks this up thinking it's a romance will be deeply disappointed. There is some tension between Mia and Kyrin and one really hot sex scene, but that's pretty much it for romance. Overall I really liked the book. Mia's kick butt attitude reminded me of Anita Blake before she went all succubus on us. Although Mia's character could have had a bit more depth and been a bit more tempered with something other than anger; I still thought she was a pretty good lead.

I was also a little disappointed that they didn't go into more about the different aliens and their culture. Kyrin does go into Arcadian culture somewhat; but not in great depth. I also thought most of the aliens were a bit too humanoid, but well, I guess that's the author's decision.

Overall this was a very engaging and entertaining read. I liked that the story had a more sci-fi focus; it was interesting to read something paranormal-like in genre that took place in the future and with aliens. The book tied up all the main plot points but left some minor ones hanging. It doesn't look like Mia Snow is featured in the rest of the books in this series. Either way, I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series. I am hooked on Showalter's writing style.