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Alien Huntress #1

Awaken Me Darkly

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RIDDING THE WORLD OF EVIL, ONE ALIEN AT A TIME: THAT'S MIA SNOW'S MISSION.

Snow is in the forecast.

In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department. Heading up her expert team of Alien Investigation and Removal agents, Mia's unmatched at battling the elusive enemy among us, and she's the perfect girl for the job. She's seen her brother die at the hands of aliens. She's earned each of her scars. And she'll die before she cries. Now, a series of killings have Mia and her partner Dallas tracking alien suspects—but a sudden blast of violence leaves Dallas fighting for his life.

They are ice and fire.

The chance to save Dallas appears in the form of a tall, erotic stranger. An alien. A murder suspect. Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species, holds the power to heal the injured agent but not without a price. For Mia Snow, that price is surrendering to Kyrin's forbidden seduction...and embracing their electric attraction. She's walking a knife's edge, risking her badge and even her life. The closer she gets to Kyrin, the more Mia learns about her own heart, her human needs—and the shocking secret that will shatter everything she's ever believed.

306 pages, Paperback

First published May 10, 2005

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About the author

Gena Showalter

245 books26.6k followers
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over seventy books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series, the Gods of War series, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Forest of Good and Evil series. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs and cats.

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5 stars
4,075 (34%)
4 stars
3,893 (32%)
3 stars
2,864 (24%)
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313 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 599 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,049 reviews1,802 followers
July 31, 2015
REASONS I DON'T LIKE THIS BOOK:
1.) FEMINISM DOES NOT EQUAL MAN-HATING. Okay, so the main character is just going around, talking about castrating men, forcing steel pipes down their throats (o.O), ripping out their voice boxes, kicking men in the balls, and saying stuff like,
A tide of anticipation was already rushing through me at the thought of putting these men in their places - at my feet.

Um...NO.

One of the men had actually pulled my hair and scratched my cheek, like a sissy girl who hadn't gotten her way. What a pussy.

Um,..NO. This goes on and on throughout the novel. It makes me sad and I don't like it.
...

2.) OVERDOING THE "I'M A BADASS" FACTOR. Mia Snow is a badass. Such a badass. And she won't stop talking about how badass and tough she is. She goes on and on and on about how she never cries, loves beating aliens up, loves killing aliens, has no mercy, has no remorse, has no guilt, has no conscience etc. etc. etc. It's a never ending barrage of how badass she is and I want to scream, "I GET IT. YOU'RE TOUGH. SHUT UP ABOUT IT!" Sheesh. Instead of making me think that she's a strong woman, she comes across as a complete sociopath who can't control her violent tendencies.
...

3.) THEN, after all this man-hating and also proclaiming of her badassness - she chooses the WEIRDEST times to flirt with men and say sexual things to them. It's super-creepy.

For instance, when she goes with a co-worker, a fellow cop, who's picking a lock.

Smiling, I said softly, "I love it when you do this." His ability to break past any barrier gently and efficiently, without anyone the wiser, was how he'd earned his name. "I swear to God it turns me on."
"Any time, baby," he said. "This is just one of my many talents with my hands."


Um, what? This is a man, who earlier in the book she said these words to:

"The last breathing man who let me near his goods dropped to the floor in a fetal ball and begged for his mommy."

If I were a man I would just be terrified of this woman - one minute (actually, every minute I'm with her) she's threatening to hurt me, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, she's talking to me in a breathy voice about how much I turn her on? When I pick locks? WTF? It doesn't make any sense, but it DOES convince me she's mentally unstable.

AND THEN she is going to arrest this guy, this slimy guy who is a wife-beating woman-hater, okay? Lowest of the low. And when she breaks into his house to arrest him, she finds him on the floor, having sex with some woman. And before she arrests him or anything, SHE TAKES A MOMENT TO STOP AND ADMIRE HIS SEXUAL TECHNIQUE. I can't believe it. I just can't believe this is happening. WHAT? WHAT??!?!? It doesn't make any sense at all. I thought she was a badass man-hater and here she's confronted with what by all accounts is a super-scummy man who actually deserves the scorn she has for all men, and she's like, "Oh, he's actually pretty good in bed, hur hur hur." o.O

Continuing on this theme, when she meets the hero in the hospital room of her dying friend, and the hero says he has a way to bring her friend back from the brink of death, she instantly goes all sexual and weird on the dude.

"Please. Please help me. Help Dallas. I'll beg you, if necessary, to save him. I'll fall to my knees right here, right now. I'll do anything you ask. Anything...Is that what you want? Me on my knees?"

What? Where is this even COMING FROM!?!?!?!? I can't... I can't.... This is just too weird. You need to see a sexual therapist, lady. You've got serious issues that need to be addressed. I mean, you are really messed up in the head. Seriously.

And the relationship between hero and heroine is ALWAYS a battle, always. She beats him up about 11 times in the book. Before they have sex, after they have sex, as foreplay... Even at the very end of the book, when they're supposed to be a bit more stable and less at odds with each other, she's still threatening to kill him. None of this is in a BDSM way, but instead in a "he is dating a flippin' nutjob" way.
...

4.) Not to mention the normal tropes I'm sick and tired of. She's 5'6'', 120 pounds, but she can kick any man's ass - even men 3x her size. No matter what she eats (double bacon cheeseburger with chili cheese fries) she "can't keep any fat on her." "I had uncommon metabolism." Yes, of course you do. *rolls eyes I'm so sick of both these tropes.
...

5.) Then there's the only black character, a man named Ghost. Yes, and in addition to being named "ghost" he also is described as "chocolate-colored" and "chocolate-skinned" about a bajillion times. Then they throw in this gem:

"Hey, babe, don't worry. I'll cover you," Ghost said, a lusty edge to his words.
She smiled over at him, even ran her nails over his arm. "I like the thought of your body covering mine. You are so dark."


I just don't have any words for this.
...

6.) THE SEXISM. The men in here who are actually sexist are the kind of men who go around saying stuff like "A woman's place is on her knees." and "Bitches should be taught a lesson." and "I had to put her in her place." and crap like that which I found very over-the-top and ridiculous. Most men who are sexist are a tiny bit more subtle than this, ESPECIALLY WHEN TALKING TO A FEMALE POLICE OFFICER WHO HAS A GUN AND A BUNCH OF MALE OFFICERS WITH HER. Stupid. It was just stupid and I couldn't take it seriously.
....


Overall, I don't find this book sexy in the least. Mia Snow is a hugely messed-up person who needs to see a mental health professional IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. I'm baffled as to how she became a cop. Don't they have psych evals? I was laughing hysterically throughout this book, and shaking my head in wonderment because it was just so bizarre.

Avoid at all costs.

P.S. You know I'm extra gentle with romances, right? So if I say it was terrible, you know it was really terrible.

ZERO REAL STARS, ZERO ROMANCE STARS
Profile Image for Anzû.
550 reviews1,106 followers
December 4, 2013
Hmmmmmm look at what I’m reading… Ignore the stupid title and clichéd series name. And the perverted cover. Geez there are lots of things that would make a person avoid reading this. I’m not sure why I picked it. Oh wait.



Muahahaha I couldn’t help myself!

Well well… What can I say about this Awaken Me Darkly? It’s mostly typical UF to my entire disappointment. I like a good UF as any cool and important person but my dear Huntress of Aliens is not the most special kid in class. The story is mediocre BUT, and that’s a big butt, I’m fascinated by Gena’s writing style and Mia’s badass level. She’s a pro I tell you. Plus the white haired hottie is a bonus. Guess my sci-fi mood will shift into painting sci-fi guys with white hair and violet eyes. Gah I’m so predictable!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT!

...

Before you poke my eyes out with a spork I know this is NOT UF. Heh, actually…. Funny story there. Let me tell you how I got to think this is f*cking UF… And how I found out it isn’t…



So that’s my story… Pretty gruesome huh? ….. What I would give for a machinegun right now…

Aaanywhore, I’ve been judging the book as an UF and since the misunderstanding raped my mind I’ll take a star from its score. Because I’m cruel, that’s why!

Mrs. Showalter, I wanted less of this



And more of this



So I would appreciate if you make the future books cooler.

Peace out!
Profile Image for Sharon.
505 reviews254 followers
June 20, 2017
Hhmmm… I am feeling somewhat ambivalent about this – about the characters, about the plot, about the romance – not bad, not great. Just blah.

Plot
I am guilty of comparing this to Showalter’s other series, Lords of the Underworld. I have to admit that I am partial to mythology-based storyline, so that is part of the reason why I prefer LOTU. However, besides that, I think this plot is too slow for my taste. I read this book quickly, but mainly because I was eager for something amazing to happen. The beginning is mainly building up the background (as the first book of a series should) and establishing the mystery/crime of this book. I think my complaint here that the plot is rather slow (and the romance is even slower).

Characters
In addition, I just do not connect to the characters. I think a factor to that lost of connection is that this book is told in 1st person point of view. Usually, 1st person helps me connect with the protagonist better because you read his/her thoughts as they are, but here, I just felt a bit bored of Mia’s perspective. I think if this is 3rd person with switching perspectives, I might have enjoyed the characters AND the romance better. Kyrin is alright, but I feel like I do not really know him. I suppose the 1st person POV is a deliberate choice because this book is a mystery and we, as the readers, are supposed to learn and get clues when the protagonist gets them. So Kyrin not having his own perspective makes sense because the protagonist and the readers are questioning, “Is he good? Is he not? What’s the deal here?” It makes sense, and again, this is only a FACTOR to why I think I do not connect with these characters, but I just wish something captivated me.

Final Thoughts
Overall, I’m giving Awaken Me Darkly (Alien Huntress #1) 2 stars. It is slow, a bit bland, but I think I am still curious about what will happen in the later books. For a lot of series, the 1st book is so-so to me, but I end up adoring the series as a whole when I read the later books and get introduced to new characters. I hope that is the case here, and this series will soon knock my socks off. Fingers crossed.

Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)
Is there a happy/satisfying ending?
Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level?
Tears-worthy?
Humor?
What age level would be appropriate?
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Weird, but possibly awesome alien buddy read with Rose~~ ❤️
May 4, 2010
I wasn't at all sure what to think of this storyline, since the alien bounty hunter plot seems very different, but I ended up liking it very much. My first read by Gena Showalter was The Nymph King, which I absolutely loved. From that point on, I have been reading her books. This is very different. Early on in her paranormal romance-writing career, Gena Showalter seemed to focus on writing lighter paranormal. The Alien Huntress series is a big departure from that, at least in my opinion. If I could describe the tone of these books in one word, I would use, "noir." Very dark, quite grim. That is the atmosphere I picked up from reading this book. There is a good mystery, and the sci-fi elements are well-developed so that I was able to buy into the alien concept fairly well. I liked the storytelling voice that Ms. Showalter uses in this novel.

I'm not big on aliens as a paranormal theme, but I appreciate what Ms. Showalter did with the concept. Of course, you have the steamy romance, the alpha, brooding hero, and a very believeably tough heroine in Mia to round it out. And there are good secondary characters that make you want to follow up on them in their own stories. It's been a while since I read this one, so I don't have a lot of details. Having said that, I don't have any complaints. It's a solid four star book, and intend to read the other books in this series.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 14 books594 followers
April 4, 2011
Mia is a hard-ass A.I.R. agent who never lets anything stand in her way, but from the first time she lays eyes on arcadian Kyrin, she can't get him out of her head. But when her partner Dallas is hurt and near death, Kyrin can save him...for a price. He wants his sister Lilla released from the A.I.R. holding cell, then he'll save Dallas. Mia tries to set him up, but he captures her and they get to know each other. I love the way the ending leaves a happily ever after, but also there's enough leeway for the next in the series.
I never thought I'd like the Alien Huntress series, but I love Gena Showalter. futuristic stuff is really not my thing, but this series has me hooked.
Profile Image for Meagan.
28 reviews4 followers
May 8, 2015
I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a PNR or UF, but unfortunately, it didn't work for me as either. In short, I don't like it very much. As a warning, there are unmarked spoilers below, as I have used specific plot “twists” to illustrate some points.

First, I don't like the heroine, Mia Snow. A government-sanctioned alien hunter, Mia is pretty much a bigot when it comes to aliens. I almost stopped reading three pages in because she was so hateful. Although we are eventually given the reason for her racism, I still can't like her given that for the majority of the story, Mia never questions these prejudices, or acknowledges that circumstances in her history might have given her a skewed, less-than-rational view of aliens. This lack of doubt on her part suggests to me that she is either i) aware that she's a bigot, but too hateful to care, or ii) too stupid to realize that her views are bigoted. Not even when she finds out that she herself is half-alien do we see Mia spending much time questioning the validity of her (I assume by then, former) views. We don't see her feeling any guilt about having ruthlessly killed aliens, or any remorse for having bigoted views. Rather we see her being angry at her father for lying to her and “misleading” her into hating aliens. To me this indicates a serious inability or unwillingness to acknowledge her personal responsibility for her past actions/views.

This emotional immaturity is a facet of her character that I really dislike. While I'm sure Mia is supposed to be the typical "strong heroine" associated with urban fantasy, as she can kick physical ass, is ruthless as an alien hunter, and supposedly has an “indomitable will”, while reading I felt that Mia lacks mental/emotional strength. For example, when Mia first learns that she is half-alien, and that the murderer she was pursuing was her biological mother, we see Mia wanting to inwardly scream in defiance of the truth, and we also see several instances of her refusing to listen to the truth (eg. her screaming at Kyrin to shut up, cursing at him, slapping him, etc.). These repeated references of her unwillingness to face the truth[1] indicate an unjustified emotional immaturity. Now, Mia doesn't actually scream in defiance (usually), which I suppose might be meant to show that she has some sort of mental fortitude, but we're never shown her struggle with these issues. She just wants to scream at the unfairness of it all, but doesn't. So instead of seeing her as vulnerable, and overcoming her vulnerabilities through an admirable emotional strength, I got the sense that she was emotionally weak...and that her actions were completely disconnected from her emotions/internal state. In general, I thought that Mia screamed too much, either out loud, or silently. When a story is written from a first-person point of view, even though the screaming is silent, it it occurs continuously it's annoying.

As for her ruthlessness in hunting, which I expect was supposed to show her badassness, well...it troubled me greatly. In fact, it came off rather like power-tripping irresponsibility. Thus not only is Mia emotionally irresponsible regarding her own personal conduct, she is also irresponsible regarding the rights and personal welfare of others.

Exhibit A: The situation where Mia ordered all of the citizens, at what seemed to me like a peaceful protest, to be arrested.

Note that she herself had instigated the protest as a scheme to trap Kyrin, who also plays the role of her "love interest", for questioning in a serial murder case[2]. Mia never even tells her underlings on what grounds to arrest the citizens - and this is obviously because there are no grounds to arrest the citizens! It was just part of her ploy to make sure Kyrin did not escape her trap.

Ok, right. I'm sure this is an obvious point but: this completely tramples over the rights of the citizens that she is supposedly protecting! This, to me, shows that the heroine completely lacks a sense of responsibility towards the public she has supposedly sworn to defend. Her claims that she hunts aliens to protect humans is a lie. She hunts aliens because i) she's a bigot and therefore hates them, ii) she wants revenge because aliens killed her older brother, and iii) because she's trying to make her alien-hating father love her again. If Mia's ruthlessness actually stemmed from some honourable source, like wanting to protect the public, I may have been able to accept it (maybe...), but it doesn't. It stems from what I felt to be weaknesses in her character. For me, this would only be acceptable in a character if that character were the villain of a book, not the heroine.

Exhibit B: Mia's parroting of laws that are obviously ruthless and unjust - for example, any aliens involved with crime are to be eliminated/executed. They don't have to be guilty, they just have to be involved.

Now this is obviously a problematic law. If Mia were a child, I could understand how she could parrot these laws and not question them...but she isn't! Here I am in a similar situation as regards to her bigotry: I can't decide if this is an example of her ruthlessness - i.e., if she realizes these laws are wrong, but doesn't care, because it lets her kill more aliens, or if it's an example of stupidity, because she doesn't realize these laws are unjust. In either case, I care for Mia less and less.

For all of these reasons, I found it impossible to admire or like Mia. And thus I found it beyond annoying whenever I was told or shown that the majority of the characters in the book did admire and like her.

As for the hero, Kyrin? He could have been a computer for all I could tell. To me he seemed little more than a requisite plot device. Sure, he was described as powerful, beautiful, and given the requisite bad past to atone for. And I suppose the way he continually overrides Mia's free will with either i) physical binds (eg. tying her up) ii) a magical armband (which inflicts pain on her if she tries to escape his house), or iii) drugs, are indicative of the requisite domineering aspects we expect from an urban-fantasy alpha-hero[3]. But I never got a sense as to what his character was like. There is a part in the book where Mia describes what she has concluded about Kyrin's character, given the state of his home, but as we were told instead of shown these things, I didn't really buy it.

Needless to say, the romance didn't work at all for me. It was pretty much doomed since I didn't like either the hero or heroine, but even so, I didn't see them getting to know each other at all (I could refrain from making the actual joke about “know” in the biblical sense...) There was no sense in which I felt they complemented each other, or, actually enjoyed each others company.

So in short, this book didn't work for me as an urban fantasy, because what I look for in an urban fantasy is i) a strong heroine and ii) a good plot[4]. Nor did it work for me as a paranormal romance because what I look for in a romance is i) likeable heroines and heroes, and ii) scenes that show the hero and heroine are falling in love. I didn't find any of those in “Awaken me Darkly.”

Will I read another book by Gena Showalter? I think I would, if only because I think this is one of her earlier books. Perhaps she hadn't hit her stride yet. And I didn't read the book all that carefully - it may have been the case that the things above all jumped out at me, and I missed the significance of things that may have changed my mind about my assessment.

Prose: C (I wasn't too fond of the writing style - there was more telling than showing, I felt)
Plot: C (predictable, but not terrible)
Characters: F (...obviously, I did not like the characters)
World-building: C- (I wasn't very drawn in by the world, but I'm not big on aliens in the first place. And since this is the first in a series, maybe it gets fleshed out in later books.)

-----------------------------------

[1] A truth, which really, she must have, or at least should have, suspected.

[2] When I say "a serial murder case," I should actually probably say "the serial murder case” since this murder case forms the backbone of the plot.

[3] Right, I haven't even voiced my opinion on how these actions by Kyrin are, to say the least, problematic. But that's because although now that I've listed them, I see objectively how problematic they are, but I didn't really care when they happened in the book. This is probably because I didn't (and still don't) buy Kyrin as an actual character, whom I might expect to have admirable characteristics.

[4] I haven't mentioned the plot above. Basically, I felt it was rather predictable. I saw it coming that i) she was half-alien, ii) Atlanna was her mother, and iii) that the brother Atlanna referred to would be Dare, and not Kane. But that may be because I've been reading quite a bit of Carol Berg recently, which has primed me to look out for plot twists. Although I must say, this is the first novel I've ever read where the heroine uses a poisoned whip to whip the villain to death.

...Also, there is a part where Mia tries to glean insight from an Atlantis myth, into the motivations of a suspect named Atlanna, purely because "Atlanna" sounds like "Atlantis". If that's representative of the type of police work that Mia uses to link suspects to crimes, the aforementioned laws are even more problematic than I thought
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,645 reviews699 followers
May 12, 2011
First in the Alien Huntress paranormal romance series. It will definitely be my last in this series.

The Story
Mia Snow has been called out to a homicide. A man, William Steele, has been found nude in a dicey neighborhood and it's only luck that Mia and Dallas each find a clue that narrows the list of suspects down. All on that list are aliens, which confirms that their unit, AIR, is in charge.

The team members of AIR are hoping this isn't a serial killer as Steele is the fifth man who's been snatched in the Chicago area although he is the first to turn up dead. Their boss, Jack Pagosa, gives them til morning to solve it…oh, really…well, that is just so realistic. Fortunately, Mia and Dallas are cynical enough that they suspect Lilla en Aar and the policeman who arrested her so they have lots to do that first night. Now if Lilla only had some realistic dialog and George Hudson weren't so obviously an idiot. If life worked this way in the real world we wouldn't have a lot of criminals skating about.

Then we meet Kyrin en Aar, Lilla's brother who is obsessed with Mia. Leaping into her vicinity with no finesse whatsoever and quickly eliciting a lustful reaction from her…yawn… Then we get to meet Howdy Doody…oops, I mean the steely-eyed sex club owner, Mark St. John.

We finally get to the sex part when Kyrin kidnaps Mia out of AIR headquarters when he strips her and dresses her in one of garments worn by women from his planet and ties her to the bed…double yawn…

I'm sorry, Showalter is [not] trying so hard to create some tension [of any sort] and I'm just not feeling it as she has Mia fighting with Kyrin about his keeping her prisoner, telling her that there are things he can't tell her because she is not yet ready to hear it. So naturally, he gives in and tells her. She rages off with completely unbelievable reactions. Okay, I might believe them if she were, oh, 16 instead of 28. Oh look, read this at your own risk…

The Characters
A.I.R. is short for Alien Investigation and Removal. A branch of law enforcement tasked with hunting down and executing aliens who have broken human laws. Sounds rather like Anita Blake.

About the only positive I find in this story are the interactions between Mia and her team. The dialog is realistic and showcases their camaraderie. If only I didn't have to read the bits in between…

My Take
This could be a good story if Showalter had taken the time to develop it. As it is, the "leaps of intuition" and the inner dialog are embarrassingly lame and I cringed as I read through this really bad space opera. Yeah, Mia may be kick-ass, but she can be stupider than *ahem*. She's a lousy interrogator and it takes her how many pages to figure out that the central theme is fertility?? Then when Kyrin kidnaps her…oh brother.

"…the hem of my black leather jacket danced around my calves." If she's wearing a jacket and its hem is down to her calves, she is short and she must have taken it off and tied the sleeves around her waist.

It "just happens" that hair follicles are found at each crime scene that pinpoint the murderer?

The Cover
The cover is very sexy with its deep royal cast and the sexy woman in her black patent leather bustier. I think she must have wandered over from another story because there aren't any women in bustiers in this one…
Profile Image for Rose.
402 reviews593 followers
June 23, 2017
there's clearly A LOT of issues i have with this book i could rant about, but it was also a fun read so?

~ buddy read with sharon <3
Profile Image for Maya.
858 reviews423 followers
November 15, 2015
description

BASICS

Love triangle?
Cheating?
HEA?
Any Descriptive Sex w/OW/OM/Ex?
Would I read more by this author/or in this series? Maybe, but not for now.
Rating: 3 stars.
Reviewed on Amazon.
Review

Hmmm, I hate to say that I'm a bit disappointed the way this story turned out. I guess I just had too high expectations regarding the romance aspect of the story. The action part was amazing but I wished for for just a bit more romanctic feelings between main characters.

The plot is exactly as described in blurb, all mysteries are resolved and we also get a HEA, so you could say the book is a stand alone. There are some twist that really took me by surprise and I loved it!

I know I'm in the minority with this one but I really liked Mia's character. She kicks ass and makes no apologies for it. She's smart, beautiful and would do anything for her team. Also, I liked how she at times showed her more woundable side. Frankly said, I loved being in her head and enjoyed the ride.

As for Kyrin's character, I still have no clue what to make of him. He's this mysterious guy that, truth to be told, made me at times doubt on which side he really was on. I simply couldn't get a feel for him.

The reason for 3 stars is, as I already mentioned, that I wished for more romance between those two. They fought a lot and getting his dead ex constantly thrown in your face didn't help at all.

Overall is this a great sci-fi action/crimmy read, with a touch of romance. I would definitely recommend!

Safety-gang: It's a safe read. No (live) OM/OW.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,181 reviews373 followers
January 4, 2021
Ugh no. The premise sounded entertaining enough but there so many faults in this book that makes it impossible to enjoy. The characters a terrible, the plot unnecessary and not in any shape and form sexy. Won't continue with the series which is a shame because I really wanted an alien series to read and binge
May 14, 2017

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I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.



Given how my previous encounters with Gena Showalter's books went (spoiler: not well), I'm not sure why I decided to buy this one.



...Oh wait, now I remember. It's about an alien huntress.



Assassins and bounty hunters in books make my ears perk up. Aliens make me come running. If you discovered a bodice ripper about alien assassins, I would probably zoom towards you at a speed that would break the sound barrier. Luckily, AWAKEN ME DARKLY, despite the bodice ripper-like title, is not a bodice ripper, so the sound barrier is safe (for now).



Mia Snow is an agent of A.I.R. (Alien Investigation and Removal). She lives in a world where Earth has already made First Contact and many of the aliens we have encountered have chosen to make their homes on Earth. Most are peaceful, but some attempt to harm or kill humans, and those are the aliens that Mia deals with up close and personal (spoiler: *boink*).



When what looks like an alien serial killer happens on the scene, it's Mia (and her team) who are called in to deal with the situation and nip it in the bud before it causes a panic. Her investigations lead her into the depths of a seedy community, straight into the arms of an alien named Kyrin, an Arcadian alien who just so happens to be of the race of aliens that Mia is investigating.



Coincidence? Maybe. (Spoiler: Obviously, it isn't.)



Reading this book brought back memories of the paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels I plowed through in my early years of college. Good, bad, I didn't care - I read them all. One of my favorites at the time before the series went sour was the Anita Blake vampire series, and in a way, AWAKEN ME DARKLY brought back a lot of those rose-tinted memories of books 1-5. There are a lot of similarities between the two books. Mia, like Anita, is a ball-busting heroine who compensates for her femininity with machismo and showboating. Mia, like Anita, is also a hunter of an immortal species and, like Anita, ends up forging a relationship with a member of the species she's hunting, with Kyrin playing Jean-Claude to Mia's Anita in this case. Kyrin, like Jean-Claude, is also fond of long hair, puffy shirts, and leather pants, and has a condescending paternal air to him that makes the heroine alternate dropping trou with death threats and declarations of her own independence, etc. Even the cover, with its vague hits at kink and taboo, would not be out of place in Anita Blake.



I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did, and for about the first third AWAKEN ME DARKLY was engaging and fun, even if Mia could be a b*tch. It's when the mystery that Mia is investigating comes to light that things get weird (spoiler: WTF), and the abrupt ending did not help matters. Also, the hero's kidnapping of the heroine to his pleasure palace was so eye-roll worthy, it's straight out of a 90s futuristic romance. When she's dressed in gauzy silks, with a beautiful bejeweled armband designed to serve as an electric shock collar, draped in the arms of the blonde alien hunk, I kept picturing Fabio romance covers - especially when he braids his hair. Fabio the pirate alien. YAS.



AWAKEN ME DARKLY has the dubious honor of being the least offensively awful Gena Showalter book I have read. THE NYMPH KING was kill-it-before-it-spawns-sequels bad. AWAKEN, on the other hand, is just cheesy. I think I would have liked it more if it were set in space, like a Linnea Sinclair science-fiction romance. This just felt like a PNR with extraterrestrial window dressing.



1.5 to 2 stars
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews538 followers
March 17, 2010
After reading the third and fourth books in this series, Savor Me Slowly and Seduce The Darkness, I decided to go back and read the earlier books to catch up on the other characters. I guess I had a different set of expectations after starting the series where I did. One of the biggest disappointments was that it was in first person. That was really jarring after reading a few of the other books in third person. It's just really odd to read a series and have one book be in first person and other books in third person. I'll have to check to make sure the second one isn't in first person too before buying it.

Mia Snow is an AIR agent trying to track down a killer. An Arcadian female is held at AIR headquarters for questioning. The alien's brother, Kyrin, is not pleased and wants her released. After Mia's partner is mortally wounded Kyrin tries to bargain with Mia for his sister's release. Mia would do anything to save her partner, Dallas, but she can't let a killer go free. Kyrin and Mia struggle throughout the book to achieve their goals, even when they cross purposes with each other.

Because the whole story was told from Mia's point of view it was really hard to get to know any of the other characters. Kyrin was especially flat for me. I could have really used some time in his head to figure out what he saw in Mia.

Mia was a really hard character to like. She seemed to not care that the agency she worked for discriminated against all aliens and was really trigger happy toward them. She was really abrasive too. It was like she was trying way too hard to be even tougher than all the men to prove herself. She also had a really bad habit of beating people up when they made her mad. Kyrin was a frequent recipient of this. I think it's just as bad for a girl to beat up her boyfriend as it is for a guy to beat up his girlfriend. I really had a hard time finding anything to like about Mia. Because it was in first person her thoughts flavored everything and made me enjoy it less.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,098 reviews563 followers
January 2, 2015
Originally posted at The Book Nympho

SciFi sexy1 Well-Written

First Impression: Smoking sex with a hot alien. Win!

The Narration: Justine Eyre narration of Awaken Me Darkly is equal parts lulling and sex phone operator. She has a silky deep voice that works well for both the female and male characters. It's hard for a female narrator to pull the male voices off well sometimes but Eyre does a great job and she still manages to make the females sound light and feminine.

What I liked: Showalter does a great job at setting up this world where we are in the future and have aliens of different species living among the humans. Mia the main character is a kick ass chick that you would see in an Urban Fantasy series. Kyrin is not quite an alpha male but he's not wuss either. He's a happy medium. I enjoyed the different secondary characters and I can't wait to see them all get their own stories. And with the set up of the missing children there's a potential for an interesting series arc.

What I didn’t like: I saw one of the big reveals to the plot line a mile away but since I'm pretty good I figure things out early in most of the books I read I won't hold that against this one.

Lasting Impression: Interesting world and characters that will have me sticking around for a while.

Will I continue this series: Yes. While the 1st installment did not my socks off, I still enjoyed it and can see the series getting better with each character's book. I already have books 2 & 3 ready to listen to.

Would I read this author again: I've read a couple of other books by Showalter and I've enjoyed them so far. So yeah I'll continue to give her books a try.

Similar Books/Series: Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.
 



Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,730 reviews534 followers
April 4, 2011
3.5 Stars

Mia Snow is a Huntress, she hunts down aliens who have commited violent crimes on humans and executes them, and her most recent case, where a man shows up dead and posed in a seedy alley is no different, she hs to find the alien responsible and execute them. Only things aren't quite what they seem, espcially with a certain handsome but deadly alien, and the case soon becomes really personal.

I think this book starts of really well, she sets up an interesting futuristic world where aliens now live openly amoung us. However, some aliens aren't quite as peaceful as others and that is whe Mia comes in. And the case is interesting, I wanted to know why these men had been abducted and murdered and I wanted to learn more about Mia the this sci-fi world. But as the book progressed it seemed like the whole thing was being rushed through and one minute you were in the thick of the action and revalations the next everything was resolved and they all lived happily ever after, the lst 5% of the book read more like a list of what happened next rather then a story.

I also felt like I never really got to know Kyrin who was the hero of the story, as it was told from first person POV I think this may be why as we go to know Mia quite well. But Kyrin, he seemed like an after thought and I don't get how the fell in love I didn't really feel the chemistry with them. One minute she hated him, the next she didn't.

There were also plot points left open, which I think are probably left that way on purpose for future books, like Mia's brother and the children. But I think there needed to be something more between Mia and her father to get some closure on that.

But despite all that I still enjoyed it, the whole thing was a bit different and I just can't resist the lure of sexy aliens!
Profile Image for valee.
644 reviews358 followers
December 4, 2011
3.5 stars

I have been saving this series for a long, long time, not because I thought it would be amazing and I wanted to save it for later but because it was the last series I had yet to read from this outstanding author. I knew I wouldn't be as attached to it as her LOTU series but I still knew I would like it big time because I adore how she writes. Well, I am glad to say I even liked it much more than what I thought I would after reading most of the reviews out there.

I never thought aliens could be sexy, but if anybody could manage something like that was Gena Showater. I loved to read about something I have never read before. So many new and interesting possibilities. I love this! I love not knowing what this aliens are capable of, I adore seeing them just trying to live in peace with us, searching for a place to be left alone. I definitely never thought I would find aliens sexy but I guess I do now,lol, at least the ones in this series. I honestly must admit I never thought I would enjoy a series with a plot like this one but I actually did.

This was a great beginning and I can't wait to read another book, I just wont be rushing to get the next one as I read it was about 2 different completely characters... I liked the ones we had.
My only problem was the heroine constantly beating the shi*t out of the hero. WTF? Not that he was beta or anything, he was way too alpha (loved him), but for some reason he just didn't care if she hit him constantly. I still liked the heroine and I loved the rest of the characters.
Profile Image for Ronda.
850 reviews119 followers
January 20, 2013
You know when you get that feeling that you don't know what to read? Well I had that and this was the 3rd book I'd attempted to read - and obviously it was 3rd time lucky...

Lords Of The Underworld sit proudly on my Favourite shelf, what I can't understand is, knowing how much I loved Gena Showalter's LOTU books, why on earth didn't I read another of her series??? No harm done, I sit here with a smile on my face and I'm thinking I won't make that mistake again!!!

Alien Huntress - Awaken Me Darkly - This book grabbed me from the first few pages and as I delved through the chapters, I was struck with the intensity of the storyline, I savoured the adventure and I became an addict!

I FREAKIN love Mia... (Hunter of Aliens/Otherworlders that break the law) and although (almost 3 quarters through) I realised what the possibilities held and I was almost right on most of my assumptions, I was still shocked, surprised and overwhelmed at what happened... some of them I was 'No Freaken Way'!!!

Kyrin - mmmmmm Hot, Sexy and 300 years old (seriously, age doesn't count lol). He is an Alien, and part way through he becomes the hunted... What a combination, what a storyline...

I totally loved this book and I am dying to get started on the next one, I still can't believe that I waited this long to start reading this series!!!
Profile Image for Zeek.
849 reviews149 followers
July 13, 2013
Ended up liking this one. I wasn’t sure because I usually hate “bitchy” heroines- and Mia is that. But, to Showalter’s credit, she never got on my nerves. It’s the world building that makes this story, however, which I cant say about a lot of “PNR” (paranormal romance.)

Aliens are in this world (future earth from what I can tell) and Mia Snow is in charge of a team for the A.I.R. unit of the New Chicago Police Department. (A.I.R. standing for Alien Investigation and Removal.) During an alien related murder her partner is dealt a death blow. Given a chance to let him live by the alien some are saying committed the murders- she does the right thing… and takes the chance.

Kyrin en Arr, an Arcadian off worlder, knows Mia is meant for him and he’s not above using her partner’s near death to tie her to him. Thankfully it also allows him to clear his name, and helps her discover the real killer, as well as a part of herself she never knew existed… and I aint just talking about the passion, which, thankfully, there is plenty of.

I’m excited to keep reading this series, it’s one I held off on and now have the pleasure of looking for ward too! :)
Profile Image for Ronda  Tutt.
815 reviews52 followers
February 20, 2010
This story was an ok read for me, I give it 3 stars because the story was more like a cop and murder kind of thing. I felt like I was watching the SVU (Special Victums Unit) on TV where the detective figures out the case and either kills the murder or puts him in jail.

Kyrin the alien and Mia the half alien romance was more of a lust kind of thing and so it was ok for me but not thrilling. I didn't get any kind of thrill for this book or emotion.

If a book brings out some kind of emotion in me like laughter, sadness, makes me cry, or even feel joy than I will give it a 4 star or a 5 star.

I recommend this book to those who like Alien romances.
Profile Image for Hollie.
1,672 reviews
December 15, 2014
DNF at 40% - Way too much emphasis on the heroine being all that.......... it seemed to take away from story development and character depth. At least on every page something was said about how badass our little Alien Huntress was. I could not stand this character for even another chapter. The arrogance was not only appalling but ridiculous. I lost interest. Fast. Not a series I will continue.
Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,619 reviews1,258 followers
February 11, 2011
Goodness Ms. Showalter is an amazing writing. I love her erotic paranormal stories. The sexual heat and alpha males in her books are hot. Mia Snow is a female character I can get behind. (Or underneath for some smexy time)

Great read. Must read all the books in this series.
Profile Image for Stephanie*.
497 reviews35 followers
September 22, 2016
Overall, this book was awesome! I was a little sad at the ending. We were mostly told how things ended, than experiencing them for ourselves. It felt a little rushed to me, and I wanted more dammit! Other than the abrupt ending, this was a kickass book!
Profile Image for Neyra ♦.
304 reviews107 followers
August 8, 2014
Actual rating: 1.5

The city is Chicago, the time: the distant future (it was never specified). A series of killings has erupted, and A.I.R is on the case. I know sounds silly, right? :P

Awaken me Darkly begins the Alien Huntress series with Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Mia Snow. She is an expert when dealing with "other-worlders", and as a series of killings unfold in Chicago, Mia and her team must track the killer before it is too late. But as they begin their trail in finding a suspect, Mia's partner Dallas gets injured, and now fights for his life. When Dalla's cure comes in the form of a tall, erotic stranger, Mia faces a difficult decision, surrender to this Arcadian male, Kyrin en Arr, or watch as her partner slowly dies. All the while, trying to find a killer in their midst.

Where to begin? ..I thought I'd like this book, I love Gena's LOTU series; and though I came upon this series with an open mind and with the plan not to compare it to the Lords of the Underworld, I suppose my subconscious just couldn't help it. It is nothing like LOTU. And I can tell, after reading this book, that as a writer, Gena Showalter has definitely improved. The writing style is different and her characters are much more defined.

I like the idea of a kick ass heroine among men fighting for what she believes is right. But Mia Snow grated my nerves every step of the book.. every page. She was cocky, arrogantly so. And, though she'd lost her brothers, not once did I feel her pain, nor did I sympathize with her in any way. There was no depth to her persona, beside her troubled past, there really was nothing to Mia that I could grasp and like about. She challenged everyone, and like cowards everyone conceded to her every whim, including her boss. How's that so? She acted like she was in charge, all the freaking time. And like scolded puppies with their tails between their legs they proceeded to do as they were told. Even the "all powerful" aliens! Smh..

Then there was the romance, or better yet, the lack there of. From the moment she sees Kyrin en Arr, Mia feels a strong pull towards the man, but every step of the way she fights her desire. She refuses to admit she could ever possibly want an alien, and a dangerous one at that. The romance was not only lacking, but the end result, , wasn't very convincing. They hardly spent time with, or knew anything about each other for either of them to come forth and admit they had any feelings other than lust. There was no build up of romance, nothing to justify such desires.

The story itself was agonizingly slow, and consisted of nothing more than. There was hardly any action, and with that, very few confrontations. I don't remember anything about the sub characters and their relationship with the protagonist. None of the characters were memorable is what I'm coming at, and that's just sad.

It was a slow build, and certainly not a story I'd reread. If you like slower paced books about Cops and PNR investigations, this book is definitely for you. As for me, I'm doubtful about continuing the series.
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
828 reviews393 followers
January 24, 2010
Awaken Me Darkly is set in the future when different species of aliens are openly living amongst humans. Mia is part of a law enforcement group that specifically deal with alien-related crime. She hunts down the criminals and if she finds them guilty, they are executed. There is no trial.

Mia is a no-nonsense kick-ass alien hunter, she's had a tough life growing up. Her mother left after she was born, her two brothers were murdered and her father stopped loving her and turned abusive when her first brother died when she was just 5 years old. She has no room in her life for love but she cares deeply for her team of very loyal hunters. She is very physical with her emotions, if you upset her she lets you know right away with a punch or a slap to the face - as Kyrin notes “Can you not go one day without using your fists?” which lets you know just how often she gets upset!

Mia encounters Kyrin when she begins investigating a serial killer who is murdering human men and displaying them in public. Kyrin is the obvious suspect he had contact with all of the victims before they died but it isn't as simple as that. Mia is drawn to him, she can sense him, his energy - she's human she shouldn't be able to do that. She fights her attraction to him in order to remain cold impartial but he shows her that he isn't responsible for the murders, that there is a whole lot more to the story than just these murders. He shines a light on her personal life, her very being and reveals that she has a connection to the real murderer.

My only real complaint about this book is the lack of background. Being the first book I expected there to be more information about the different species of aliens, a little more on the supporting characters, even Kyrian and Lilla. I also wanted to follow Mia as she looked for the children, a loose end that was never addressed. I understand the next few books follow different couples so I guess that we will not find out what happened to the children.

I never would have read this type of book if it hadn't been for a group challenge. I'm glad I did. I had read the authors first book in the Lords of the Underworld series which I enjoyed so I naturally picked this book to fit the alien category of the challenge. I'm not sure whether I'll continue reading the series now that I know this story will not be continued but it was an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Hbeebti.
2,034 reviews50 followers
November 16, 2015
This was a fast paced , kick butt book. I was a little nervous since I am not a huge fan of alien books. But I love Gena Showalter and so I figured I would give it a chance. I am glad I did. I look forward to the next book and hope that some of the other characters will be in it. Kinda fond of some of them. Want more Dallas and Jaxon.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,792 reviews69k followers
April 17, 2011
3.5 stars
I thought this was a pretty cool sci-fi book that definitely kept me turning the pages, but I didn't really enjoy the romance between Kyrin and Mia. It also ended rather abruptly, and I would have liked to see a little more resolution to some of the issues. I'm guessing there will be another book that focuses on Mia in Showalters' Alien Huntress series?
Profile Image for Ivy.
1,433 reviews75 followers
March 4, 2016
This is the book I chose for the 2016 popsugar reading challenge. Book with a blue cover.

5 stars

This was a very good book. Liked Mia Snow. Her parentage was very interesting. Glad she was able to defeat Atlanna. Hope she has a long and happy life with Kyrin.

Hope to read more books from this series!!!
Profile Image for Wendy-Lynn.
294 reviews
December 17, 2009
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! Gena Showalter never fails to deliver. Onto the bookstore to get the 2nd book in this series...enough said.
Profile Image for  ~*~Princess Nhya~*~.
982 reviews7 followers
April 5, 2010
Really liked this book. Loved Kyrin, the story, the plot. well written. Mia is my girl! I kinda teared up towards the end.
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