The Want Series

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
408 Pages
Reviewed on 09/08/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

K.T. Conte is a lover of books, people and all things wild and crazy. She received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. While she has and continues to be a licensed attorney, her first love has always been books from the tender age of two. Originally from Massachusetts, K.T. currently lives in New York City with the monsters in the closet, her husband Everett, a couple of building fairies and her dog, Champ.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Told in an absorbing first person narrative voice, Awoke is a gripping entry in the Want Series by K.T. Conte, a great read for young adult fans of the paranormal. As the story begins, readers are introduced to Katya, a young girl preparing for a night out of dancing and fun, but she feels uncomfortable with herself, pretending that she is normal, like everyone else, and that is the façade she’d like to create. But then she has to warn herself, talking herself into believing that she’s normal: “Katya, you will not mess this up tonight. You will be a normal— no, you are a normal person tonight. There is nothing weird about you.”

But Katya is different from every other girl in Boston. She has the ability to see creatures that aren’t of this world and the power to manipulate waves of life energy, and these gifts make her a target for powerful forces. The decision to help Gregor, a member of an international military team called the Kyrios, puts her life in grave danger, plunging her into a world where dead spirits are in constant warfare with wardens that keep them in the underworld. In the most conflicting of situations, Katya must make the choice to follow her calling or to return to the “normal” life she pretends to have.

As I said above, this story is told in an irresistible voice, from the first person point of view, and the reader is pulled in from the very beginning. I loved the way Katya develops through the story, from a girl who is unsure of what she wants, refusing to admit the truth about herself to someone who takes responsibility and begins to put her gifts to use. The writing is beautiful and K.T. Conte creates a striking balance between her descriptive narrative and the fascinating dialogues, keeping the reader well-entertained. Awoke is a fast-paced, exciting read.

Caitlyn Lynch

So the absolute first thing I am going to yell about this YA fantasy book is that not only does it have a black female protagonist - who looks cool on the cover, too - but it is actually written by a black female author. Katya's pretty, popular... and different. She desperately wants to be normal, but the things she sees won't go away. When she unwittingly crosses the path of a Kyrios, one of the guardians of Death, her powers begin to grow exponentially and she has no choice but to learn control, or endanger everyone around her.

There is a large cast of characters in Awoke, and a lot of world-building, but everything was introduced quite gradually. There was no sense of info dumping and no stage at which I was left thinking ‘wait, who’s that again?’ Instead, K.T. Conte introduces characters one or two at a time, skilfully giving everyone their own distinct personalities and quirks. This is a fascinating story with lots of twists and turns, including a couple I saw coming and a couple I really didn't. I read it straight through in one session. It's just that interesting. While the language feels a little junior high at times, maybe it's just that I don't read a lot of YA novels. Katya is, after all, 18 and she does act like a teenager, regularly compromised by her own feelings and lack of worldly experience. In short, Awoke is a great start to a new series by an author I hadn't encountered before, and I'll be eagerly looking out for more of K.T. Conte's work.

Divine Zape

Awoke: The Want Series by K.T. Conte is a great paranormal treat for young adult readers, a story that explores a teenage girl’s journey to accepting her exceptional gifts and following a very unique path. For a long time, Katya has pretended that she is normal, that she is like everyone else, but deep inside there is a turmoil of emotions, an unfolding world that she tries futilely to suppress. Yes, because she is gifted with incredible abilities, and she can see creatures and things veiled from the eyes of ordinary people, and can harness waves of life energy. When a member of an international spirit military group called the Kyrios enters her life, everything changes as she finds herself in the middle of a monumental battle that has raged for ages, involving undead spirits and wardens charged with keeping them in their place. She has to make the choice to embrace her path or retreat to the semblance of a life she’s created.

There is a lot to enjoy in K.T. Conte’s novel and readers will enjoy the way the conflict is developed. It was interesting imagining what it feels like to be the protagonist as I read the story and I couldn’t help but accept the lesson that our gifts are our curses. Imagine the internal conflict of having great powers and not being able to accept those powers. The pace is fast and the writing captivating. Katya's world is overwhelming and readers will follow her with bated breath, caught up in the whirlwind of action taking place in an invisible world that affects ours in many ways. Awoke: The Want Series is well-plotted, set in an interesting and vividly written setting, and featuring compelling characters readers will love to follow. It was an engaging read for me.