Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dark Awakened (The Devil's Assistant #2) by HD Smith Review

Hey everyone and Happy Tuesday. I have to be honest and share with you guys that Tuesday is my least favorite day of the week. Seriously: I. Hate. Tuesdays. I don't know what it is about them, I can't be the only one though! Oh well, Tuesdays may suck, but I am so excited to be blogging right now? Why? Because I just finished one of the best books I have read in a long time and I can't wait to share my thoughts. What are we talking about? Dark Awakened by HD Smith! Before we get to my thoughts, here is a little bit about the book and our author:

Last spring Claire’s seemingly normal—if not totally screwed up—life was tossed on its head. For five years she’d been one of the damned—a human that knows the truth about the otherworldly among us. She’d worked for The Boss—the Demon King himself—as his administrative assistant, handling everything from early retirements, to Maintenance’s incessant requests for dental.

No one gets dental.

Then she walked into Purgatory—totally not her fault—went back in time, and awakened powers she never knew existed. Now Claire has a prophecy hanging over her head, a diamond ring hidden in her sock drawer, and the blood of a long dead royal running through her veins.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Her vow to live free or die takes a serious hit when she’s forced back under The Boss’s protection. Of course, there’s no protection from fate, or the Bounty Hunter sent to deliver her to Purgatory. And as if being “the girl” in the prophecy wasn’t enough, Claire soon discovers there are three other contenders for her role—two of whom want her dead.

Follow more of Claire’s adventures in Dark Awakened, the second installment of the Devil’s Assistant Series, to find out if she’s lucky enough to escape with her life, or if she’s just the first notch on the next contender’s belt.

HD Smith has been writing as a hobby for over ten years. DARK HOPE was her first full length novel. She has previously published two middle grade novellas in ebook format. She is a software developer by day, working for an awesome cruise line in Celebration, FL.

HD grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Sunshine State home since 1997. She has Computer Science degrees from Clemson University (BS) and Florida Institute of Technology (MS). Her other hobbies include painting and screen printing. She enjoys creating t- shirts inspired by the places in her books.


My thoughts:

As some of you may remember, a few months ago I reviewed the first novel in this series, Dark Hope. While I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Hope, I was left with so many questions. I really did not know what direction this series was going to take and didn't exactly know what to think about it. I knew I liked it, but with so many lasting questions, I just didn't know. Of course I jumped at Dark Awakening as soon as HD let me know it was coming, but I was still cautious. I had no idea what to expect. Let me just throw this out there on the table right now: each and every issue I may have had with Dark Hope was COMPLETELY rectified in Dark Awakened. Seriously. I absolutely loved ever second of it. 

As I type this I just finished the novel. I don't even know where to begin with these thoughts. HD Smith is a literary genius and has really struck gold with her second installment in her The Devil's Assistant series. This sophomore outing gave me everything I wanted and then some: action, suspense, mystery, and more feels that you can catch with a bucket. 

The Characters. If anyone read Dark Hope I have great news for you, there aren't that many new characters. Unfortunately if you have not read Dark Hope you are going to be real confused because the cast of characters is HUGE. Seriously. I'd day there are a good 25 characters between these two novels and they are all extremely important to the plot line. HD Smith doesn't do background characters! If you don't serve a purpose, you aren't there! Claire, as always, is awesome. In Dark Awakened we begin to see a whole new side of her. A year ago Claire served as the Devil's secretary who hated her life and was treated like a dog, now Claire is helping to save the world, literally by protecting hellspawn, taking down Horsemen, dominating a realm, and trying to avoid the craziness of the big Three by all means! Seriously Claire may have become one of my favorite book girlfriends just with this novel. She's incredible strong (both physically and mentally), intelligent, and sarcastic as can be. You can't lose with that equation. String off from Claire we have so many amazing characters. Dark Awakened again features some of my favorite characters such as The Boss and The Quads in the story line. New characters like Thanos and Ronin really helped to add some emotion to this read and I loved it. Seriously, I think this series has some amazing potential because these characters are great! I'd love to see a spin-off or a novella featuring more of the Quads *hint hint HD Smith* LOL

The Plot. What could possibly go awry when the Pagan Queen, the Demon King, and the Druid King are at odds in stopping one of the most powerful beings in history? Everything. That's what. For over 300 pages this story was non stop. Action here, mystery there, exciting here: everything about this one was awesome. I remember commenting that book one was a little slow at times, but this one never slowed down! Seriously anyone who picks this one up and really gets into it like I did will not be able to set it down. And the ending? Definitely not a cliff hanger, but after reading it I know that HD Smith has a clear direction for this series and I cannot wait to see what happens! Also, who are "the candidates"?! Ahh! I must know! Does anyone know when book three comes out!?

The Paranormal Element. From Druids to Demons and all in between, HD Smith really grants us an awesome gift with this series. Magic abound, spells, curses, and dark marks: this novel had paranormal oozing from its' pores. Talking dragons and time time travel? Oh yeah, it has that too. Seriously, I think this novel will appeal to anyone who loves paranormal as much as I do. Also did I mention that Death is a huge character? And he is kind of awesome. You never know who, or what, to expect from this series! 

The Feels. HD Smith hit us pretty hard with feels in Dark Hope. Claire's love life takes a drastic turn for the worse and then she gets bombshell after bombshell dropped on her about her true lineage. You can't help but feel bad for her. In Dark Awakened, Claire does a one eighty and really does the Phoenix thing and rises from the ashes! She takes all of her emotions and learns to control them in the most awesome way: with some freaking awesome powers. Channeling all of her feels, Claire becomes a near unstoppable force. But can she control the power within her or with the Harbinger of Doom fall prey to her own strength? On top of all of this Claire gets a love interest! And honestly I think it may have been one of the coolest relationships in the entire book. I cannot wait to see how that particular story line plays out!

I could type all night about how awesome this second installment in The Devil's Assistant series was, but I think rather than spoil anything for you guys, I will leave it at that. What should you take away from this? How about that Dark Awakened is HD Smith's best work yet and a real treat for all paranormal fans! I am granting Dark Awakened a well-deserved near-perfect 5-star review! I don't know of anything I would have liked to have seen done differently. HD Smith really came into her own with her sophomore outing in this series. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next in the crazy life of Claire Cooper! Check it out people, seriously: it's that good!

Alright everyone, that's all I have for you on the topic of Dark Awakened by HD Smith. What did you think? Sound like the read for you? If so, don't miss your chance to grab a copy today! Visit the Goodreads and purchase links at the top of the page to learn more. While you are at it, send HD Smith a Tweet or a message, she is awesome to her fans! Are you a fan of this series? If so let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts on this incredible novel! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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