Saturday, January 25, 2014

Awakening & Possession by Catrina Burgess


 Awakening Blurb:

At seventeen Colina began her training to be a healer, and now she is expected to start wielding the magic that goes along with her calling. But then tragedy hits and the young healer finds herself on the run for her life. Her only hope of survival is to convince one of the members of the death dealer guild to take her in and to train her in the dark arts, but to become one of the dark wizards she must survive three trials. The trials are difficult and dangerous—she will have to court death itself, suffer the possession of another, and if she makes it to the third ritual, she'll have to do the unthinkable. Can she survive the horrific trials long enough to gain the dark power? And if she does, what will she become?

To get this dark power she must first convince Luke, a boy about her own age, to take her through the trials. He's only a novice himself in the dark arts. He is reluctant to help the young healer, but he soon finds himself entangled in the same web of danger. The death dealers are on the very top of the magic food chain, their magic is the most powerful of all the clans and guilds—for they have the power to not only see and communicate with the dead, but they can bind the spirits to do their bidding. They wield banshees, tortured souls that can harm and even kill. Luke soon realizes he is not just risking his life—he is also risking his heart, for the young wizard is falling hard for a girl with too many secrets. Can he help Colina find her way to the dark powers?

Possession Blurb:

Seventeen year old Colina Campbell has betrayed her healer upbringing. In the name of survival and revenge, she had no choice but to seek the ways of the Death Dealers. She has gone through the Dark Rituals and the Awakening has taken place. There is no going back. She thought the worst was behind her, but she couldn’t have been more wrong. Now she must use her wits again to survive. She’s willing to risk her life and to do whatever it takes to bring back her lost love.


Awakening:  After witnessing the horrific deaths of her family, Colina a seventeen year-old girl who recently started her healer training, turns to a death dealer for help to find and punish the people who killed them.  Becoming a death dealer will make her a pariah among her own people, but she’s desperate.  Unfortunately, the only death dealers she finds are Luke, a boy her own age, and his younger sister, Darla.  Luke has been trained as a death dealer, but he’s not that experienced.  He’s not sure he’s strong enough yet to train someone on his own.  But the people who killed Darla’s family are still after her.  There’s no time to wait two weeks for their family to return from the retreat they’re attending.

Luke agrees to train Colina, and she undergoes the three trials, but her Awakening brings powers neither anticipated.  In fact, she manifests powers no one has seen before—something that leaves us with a cliff-hanger ending, which I hate.

Possession:  Colina awakens in a padded room with no memory of who she is, or how she got there.  She is in an insane asylum and has been given electric shock therapy. Eventually her memory returns and she realizes she’s there trying to save Luke, who is also there.  But there’s a murderer possessing someone in the asylum, and Colina doesn’t know who.  It could be someone she cares about.  It could even be Luke.  They plan to escape, but she has to find out who the murderer is possessing before they leave.  She couldn’t forgive herself if she turned him loose on the world.  Again, the book ends with a cliff-hanger, one of my pet peeves.

Colina is a strong young lady who overcomes a myriad of obstacles.  She’s not co-dependent on any sparkly vampires or overly-buff werewolves.  She’s really a good role model for modern young girls, and I would have liked to have given these books a higher rating.  But, again—even though they’re part of a series, I believe books should be written to stand alone.  Awakening is a bit better than Possession.  It hints that there’s another book at the end.  If you’re willing to accept the story as it is, you don’t necessarily have to read Possession.  But if you want a happily-ever-after ending, you do.  And you won’t find it at the end of Possession, either.  There’s at least one more book to be read, coming out sometime this year.  It’s because Colina is a strong character and these books are engaging and fast-paced that I’m giving them roses and not thorns.

If you don’t mind cliff-hangers, these books are quite good.

Awakening Length:  257 Pages
Awakening Price:  $0.99

Possession Length:  287 Pages
Possession Price:  $2.99

Thanks for visiting. RIW


  1. Nice review! I hate cliffhangers, too. So much so that I never buy the next book to find out what happened, even if I enjoyed the first!

  2. I loved Awakening, tho. I haven't read the second book yet but from reading your review about it, I'm thinking of agreeing with you that the book is better. But still, I'll read it. Thanks for the nice review!!!

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