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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Dark Awakening by DL Blade is the first book in the Chosen Coven series. Life for Mercy was perfect. She had great friends, an amazing boyfriend, and she was happy; then after her high school graduation, everything changed. Nearly dying has left her with scars and memories that haunt her; every day she struggles to feel normal again. Except her life hasn't gotten back to normal. She can't handle relationships of any kind and that night is brought back to the surface when someone unexpected reaches out to her. She has a stalker that's following her every move. This leads her to uncover a family secret that shakes everything she knew and awakens a power within her that she must learn to control. A mysterious stranger enters her life who reminds her of a past life and her destiny to destroy the vampires that threaten them all.
The paranormal elements of the story are rooted within a world of werewolves, witches, vampires, and past lives, all of which shake up Mercy's life. She received one jolt to her reality with the attack and now she's facing another one just as she's readjusting to a new normal for her life. The trauma she went through is a significant part of her character and is a driving force for her strength. The discovery of magical abilities sets Mercy on a path of understanding herself and though it comes with new dangers, it allows her a chance at healing. DL Blade succeeds in piling layers into Mercy's arc through each new complication she faces, and putting an honest voice to the character through her trauma, her discovery of her abilities, and facing her own past. At the heart of Mercy's journey is one of discovery and one of healing which coincides with her past life and her destiny, both of which are key elements to the story and play a vital part in how events unfold. Vampires and werewolves are no strangers to the supernatural fiction world, though DL Blade has offered a new outlook on them, embracing the protective nature of the wolves and the dangerous nature of the vampires. The Dark Awakening embraces every aspect of its story to the fullest through themes of facing trauma, fighting vampires, learning magical abilities, and reliving a past life.