Awaken (Awakened Fates #1) by Skye Malone
Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski's plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend's hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.
But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which 'normal' doesn't even begin to apply.
Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend's stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.
It was supposed to be a vacation. It's turning out to be a whole lot more.
I received a copy of Awaken in exchange for an honest review.
All Chloe Kowalski wanted was to see the ocean, but her crazy water-hating parents said a big fat NO when she asked to go on vacation to the California coast with her best friend, Baylie. So Chloe does what any sensible teenager would do - she goes anyway, running away from home.
At the beach house owned by Baylie's extended family, she meets Diane and Peter, parents to Baylie's stepbrothers, Maddox and Noah. Chloe has had a little bit of a crush on the super-hot Noah for a while now, but Baylie says he's been acting strange lately.
When Chloe first steps foot into the ocean she feels like a missing piece of herself has just been found. What she doesn't know is that she's setting off a dangerous series of events and putting a target on her back. Chloe is part dehaian (mermaid) and part landwalker (a person who can't stand to be near the ocean) and a dangerous mermaid cult, called Sylphaen, want her dead. How will Chloe handle it when she finally learns the truth about herself? Will her new friends think she's a freak or is it possible that they're hiding something too?
Meanwhile, dehaian Zeke noticed a change in the water the minute Chloe first entered the ocean and he wants to know what about this pretty girl caused that reaction in the water. Things seem even fishier to him when Chloe seems to have no idea what she really is. Zeke wants to get to the bottom of things and when the cult he thought had been eradicated goes after Chloe he has a strong urge to keep her safe. Will he get to her in time? Or will the Sylphaen sacrifice her to fulfill some crazy prophecy?
I've never read a mermaid-themed novel before but I absolutely loved Awaken!. The first line draws you in and before you even find out what Chloe is, you're dying to find out why Chloe's parents don't want her anywhere near the water. Their crazy reaction will shock you. I like that this story is told in alternating perspectives between Chloe and Zeke but it would have been an added bonus to have a few chapters in Noah's perspective to see into his head. The world of the Dehaians, with their magic and their technology (like the medicine and the relay station) was really imaginative and gave their underwater world much more dimension than your average mermaid story.
The only thing I found confusing was the Delaneys' relationship to Baylie. How were they related through marriage? I know it was meant to be complicated but I felt like I needed a family tree to illustrate it better.
Overall this book is great! The story keeps you interested and engaged, the characters are easy to like, the plot is well thought out and the conflicts and action are appropriately set throughout the beginning, middle, and end of the story and the ending makes you want to dive right into book two. I feel like there may be a love triangle brewing between Chloe, Noah, and Zeke in one of the future books. Read Awaken and you'll fall in love and be hooked on this series for sure!
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars