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review 2016-06-13 08:00
Awakening (The Dark Rituals Book 1) - Catrina Burgess

Mwah. That's my main feeling when I was reading this book.


Colina wants to train as a Death Dealer to take revenge on the people who murdered her family. While at first her motives are understandable, she soon grows into a less likable character. 


She needs to pass certain rituals, which became increasingly, ehm, weird. However, the weirdest and worst part was the immediate insta-love between the two main characters. Again. *sigh*


Also, everything was so convenient. I don't like that.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-03-07 09:41
Great Story and Characters
Awakening (The Dark Rituals, Book 1) - Catrina Burgess

Colina is a healer had a terrible loss of her family. She goes looking for the death dealers. She wants revenge. She meets Luke and Darla who are brother and sister and both death dealers. Luke becomes her mentor even though death dealer is the very thing she has been warned about all her life. But terror is what pushed her to the dark side to feel safe as well as to get her revenge she thinks she wants. Colina is to go through three dark rituals.

I enjoyed this book it was a very good read and the plot was also good. The pain Colina feels and all she goes through makes it very hard to put this book down until you have read the last page. The characters were great especially Colina and Luke and all they go through is captivating. I love the story and the characters ,I highly recommend.

I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.

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review 2015-10-08 01:52
Dark and fascinating
Awakening (The Dark Rituals Book 1) - Catrina Burgess

I was very kindly given a copy of this book from Full Fathom Five through NetGalley in return for an honest review - Many thanks!

Sometimes, you get used to a genre and it's conventions. It's comfortable. You pick the book up and you know you can count on certain things. And the sometimes you pick up a book in that genre, expecting those typical conventions, and you get something wholly and wonderfully surprising.

And that's what I got here.

Colina is a healer, but after something terrible happens, she decides healing magic won't cut it. She needs something stronger. She needs it to protect herself. She needs it for revenge. At times, she's not sure which of those is the truth. But when the terror that drove her to such a drastic decision gets other people roped into the trouble, she makes new friends, gets new powers and tests the limits of her own strength and courage.

First of all, I really liked that this story centered on someone who'd been a healer, and featured healing magic heavily. I was always surprised at how few magic-filled worlds had healing magic. I know some people would say it just makes things too easy... but that's what magic does. It never made much sense when healing magic didn't exist unless there was a reason within the system.

This book surprised me in a lot of great ways. I really liked Colina at the beginning, and while I found myself liking her progressively less and less as she underwent trials to gain dark powers, I didn't find her less *interesting,* just less likeable - and I think that was the point, done in small, wonderful ways. The ending completely took me by surprise, the progression of relationships within it were natural and lovely and the magic made me interested to learn more.

Also, I like that unlike a lot of urban fantasy, this is almost a ghost story. The magics, the plot, the characters - there's a heavy focus on ghosts and spirits, on loss and pain and the inability to accept terrible things. The inability to accept people doing terrible things, to you and to people you love. A clash of rational and emotional played out over a story of revenge and salvation. People's reactions were largely realistic even when those reactions tore at my heart.

It's not a perfect story. There's a bit of a pacing issue that, while never even close to a deal-breaker, made some parts drag. Also, if you're the sort of person who needs stories to have roundly happy endings, you're going to want to stay away from this. This isn't a story for neat little bows, it's a story that's  bit rough and dark but no less fascinating for that. I also found it highly enjoyable, and I think I'll be continuing with the series. I'm not always a fan of dark stories, but when it works, it works. :)

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review 2014-09-08 17:22
Awakening (The Dark Rituals, Book 1) - Catrina Burgess

Awakening was a very emotional story because of Colina's life and backstory. Colina is a very strong young woman who has gone through a lot in her life, it's what's dictating her actions in the story. The author shows how PTSD is affecting this young girl and her emotional turmoil. The paranormal aspect to this story is phenomenal, it's extremely original and actually makes sense. There's a bit more of a realistic side to this story then a lot of YA paranormal which adds to the story. The romance in this book is definitely age appropriate, and it's very sweet to see it bloom from beginning to end. I'd recommend this book to anyone that enjoys paranormal, YA and some romance. Overall, I enjoyed it and will pick up the next one:)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

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review 2014-03-10 07:46
Possession (The Dark Rituals, Book 2) - Catrina Burgess

I really like this series, I think the whole world that Catrina Burgess has built is so original. I can never predict what is going to happen next in these stories. The setting of this book reminds me a lot of the second season of American Horror Story, yet at other times I was reminded of Girl, Interrupted. It set the story up with a lot of potential to go in several different directions. I got prepared for a good horror story, sat in a dark room, all alone, reading by several candles. Let me tell you, at times if the wind blew too loud I jumped out of my skin.

In the beginning I had no idea what was going on, and I absolutely loved that everything wasn't spelled out for you, because Colina had no idea what was going on. I truly felt as if I was in her head. As soon as Wendy was introduced I fell in love with her. She seemed like such a tortured soul and I want to know more about her. I need to know what happened to her, what made her the way she is now, and I would probably love to read a story from Wendy's point of view. I love the introduction of people with the ability to read minds, that is certainly something that I always find myself fascinated with.

I think the reason that I didn't like this book as much as I did the first book in the series was because Luke was hardly in the story. I hope to see more of him in the rest of the series, because I missed him throughout this book. I'm pretty mad at Colina right about now for the way she's acting though. I have such personal feelings towards the characters because they have really come to life for me. I think that says something about a writer. I just want to knock some sense into Colina!

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