It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the song goes. Athen and Ana have their tree up, and their friends Arie and Cyril are coming over. There’s woodsmoke in the air, and the first snowfall is nigh.
If only that pesky local hospital wasn’t evil, and potentially filled with soul-possessing dark demons. Alas, eggnog and fruitcake will have to wait.
Athen, Ana, Arie, and Cyril are White Demons, good creatures who protect humans from the nefarious dark demons. Dark demons are evil, and it’s the White Demons’ job to destroy them.
They do surveillance on the evil-seeming hospital, and yup–Ana and Arie witness dark demons performing dark deeds. They kick a little dark demon butt, which helps a little. What they need, though, is a chance to snoop around more thoroughly. The best way to do that is to get jobs at the hospital. For the most effective snooping, Ana and Arie must become mortal–the dark demons would sense White Demons’ presence.
They investigate the hospital, and find that your standard dark demon foot-soldier is the least of their worries. A seriously powerful dark demon from the home office waaaay downstairs has made an appearance, and he’s dead-set on wrecking Christmas for Athen, Ana, Arie, and Cyril.
Karice Bolton’s novella “Taken” works as a nice intro to the actual trilogy. I like that when the four White Angels go after their dark counterparts, they really kill the hell out of them. They snap, smack, kick, stab, squeeze, crush, beat, fold, spindle, and mutilate them indiscriminately. Another nice touch: the two couples have apparently been together for centuries. Ms Bolton allows them to have a realistic physical relationship. I’m certainly not saying there are explicit nookie passages in the book–there aren’t. However, it’s a pet peeve of mine when a couple have been lovestruck teenagers for centuries, and they barely hold hands.
In her Dedication, Karice Bolton thanks all the bloggers who took a chance on “Awakening” (Book 1 of The Watchers Trilogy). In today’s market, sites like Goodreads help promote books beyond what any newspaper ad or magazine spread would do. I’ve gotten dozens of great suggestions from Goodreads and other people’s book blogs.
Ms Bolton also thanks Amazon.com, et alia, for helping get an Indie author’s work into potential readers’ hands. Indeed, between Amazon and book fan sites like Goodreads, the publishing world is very different from just 10 or 15 years ago. It is cool that Karice Bolton acknowledges that.
Still, no matter the medium nor the delivery system, if a book fails to entertain, it will fail to sell.
This is not a problem with “Taken.” There’s a nearly perfect amount of action, suspense, “advanced kissing & stuff,” and violence to keep most YA readers ensorcelled.
If nothing else, “Awakening” got pushed to the top of my reading list.