ABR's full Dark Awakened audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
Dark Awakened by HD Smith is the urban fantasy sequel to Dark Hope, part of the Devil’s Assistant series. What an amazing follow up to the first novel! The main character, Claire, was the Devil’s personal assistant in the first novel and somehow escaped from that responsibility, but she constantly tries to maintain her freedom. But fate has other plans for her. With a prophecy and with newly discovered non-human powers, she finds out that somehow she has a role to fill in the future of the realms. But of course, she has to do this while politically battling for her freedom and against the machinations of those more powerful than her. Once again, to save her life she sets out on an impossible quest, while a myriad of obstacles try to stop her.
I enjoyed the first book a lot, and the sequel was also fantastic. As before, HD Smith masterfully released bits and pieces of information that constantly kept me thinking and trying to figure out what was happening. In this novel, Claire’s sarcastic, rebellious attitude is combined with experience which allows her to make smarter choices and it is clear that she is working to get onto equal footing with the big three rulers of the realms, the Devil, Mab, and Harry. All of the characters have so much depth and there are a lot of characters and mostly all seem to be important and have a purpose, which makes the whole novel richer.
The sequel introduced more information in the way of the overall storyline and of course introduced more questions that will easily transition into the next novel. One of the pet peeves that I have with sequels, especially with one as complex as this, is when it is impossible to follow what is happening from one book to the next, but luckily within the first 20-30min, most of the information needed to know what was happening and be invested in the novel was revealed.
As before, Lauren Fortgang did a fantastic job with the narration. All of the characters’ voices were true to their characters and the changes to tone of voice for different situations were well done. The production quality was great. The one issue that I had with the logistics of listening to this novel was that certain details/clues that were constantly referred to throughout the book, were sometimes difficult to remember and it would have been useful to have a hard copy to refer to. It resulted in a little bit of confusion. I recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy with strong central female characters and I’m looking forward to continuing to read this series.
Audiobook provided for for review by the author.