Hell Comes to New Jersey…
The curtains open into the world of the Fallen, seven ancient demons that have awakened and this time around they’ve chosen New Jersey (of all places) as their home away from hell. Entering stage right are Mike and Ann who are joined from the background by Joseph Miller. Miller, the (self)proclaimed Ancient One turns out to be the only person with the skill and the knowledge to combat the Fallen and their offspring; the Cursed. Miller, Mike and Ann become trapped in a NJ hospital which is rapidly filling with the Cursed as quickly as the Fallen can infect the patients. It’s up to the three of them to unravel what’s really going on and hopefully escape with their lives intact (not to mention their humanity).
Ancient Awakening is filled with all of the demons, werewolves, vampires and all of the other mythical monsters that you could possibly fit into one book. (Okay, maybe there wasn’t an appearance by the Kraken…) One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is that Laube doesn’t rely on the accepted lore of monster mythos. Ultimately his vampires and werewolves have less sex appeal and more fright factor (as any good monster should!). I do want to note that vampires are meant to use seduction as a tool to lure their victims in but they are more scary in my honest opinion if they turn on you after you’ve been seduced.
The story is well written, fast paced and worth the read in my humble opinion. The concept is something completely new (to me) which made it compelling and unique. The characters are written with depth and have an instant likeability factor; you want to find out what happens to them which draws you further into the book. The dialogue fits the individual characters as well. As you’re reading you begin to develop a sense and a picture in your mind’s eye of each character and from start to finish, everything is flawlessly pieced together. No one is a handsome, strapping leading man, and the heroine isn’t the beauty queen; they’re just ordinary people with the same issues as everyone else and that adds to their believability. Characters written with faults and a level of humanity have a tendency to worm their way into your heart and wrap you up in their struggles.
The humour, both subtle and distinct, treads that fine line of the sublime. Not many authors can scare you with one sentence and then make you laugh out loud in the next. Miller is the kind of character that you want to know. He’s the funny enigma that you meet at the bus stop or in the line at the grocery store. The clueless sort of funny that in the end proves that while he might look oblivious to what’s going on around him, the truth of the matter is that he’s more aware than you are.
The only criticism (if you can call it such) that I have is that the book felt too short. The conclusion was mind-blowing and leaves you open to what I hope is the premise for the second book in the series: Ancient Enemies. (Will I read it? Heck yes!) I do feel however that the length of the book worked for the story. The point of any series is to keep you coming back and with an ending like the one in Ancient Awakenings, I will definitely pick up the rest of the series if only to find out how it all ends.
4.5 stars out of 5
A great read overall and one that I think you won’t regret picking up 🙂