Book Reviews

Review: Darke Awakening by Lee Hall

Soft edges, again we have a form of bokeh with the snow flakes and that hand along with these forest elements makes for a great cover that rivals really anything I have seen. The finish on the paperback is a glossy one which I didn’t favor as well as matte.

I read the first book in this series titled Open Evening and I can tell you that this writer ( Hall ) has evolved. Toward the beginning of the book, with the rocks and the lake, it reminded me of lofty, floaty feelings I got when reading Storm Constantine’s The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence and while Constantine holds that feeling through her whole book, Hall deviates and moves onto other atmospheric feelings of epic battle scenes and neat accentuation such as secret labs, government agents, supernatural puzzles with pentagrams and a conundrum of imbalance that a slew of different kinds of monsters can bring that includes vampires, witches and other abominations along with vampiric transformations.

The book is laid down in first person narration and it’s a sort of mix of old and new style of writing, which took a little getting used to. I chocked it up to the whole vampire effect the story had on the protagonist. From the emotional, to something magical mixed with memories of the past building visuals like something you would see out of a grade A HBO show ( not sure why Doom Patrol is coming to mind? ) leaving me with ethereal feelings of bliss, because these particular scenes were deftly explained, with just enough pace and detail and the perfect amount of room for imagination.

While this book did present some problems for me, some of it because I am partly lost in the series, having only read the first and the last book, and some of it was problematic in different ways but it wasn’t anything that kept me from being entertained throughout. There is a hell of a lot going on in this book. I did have some trouble following along at certain parts, but I honestly didn’t take the time to pinpoint if that was my attention span or for other reasons, such as organization of narrative thoughts and / or themes.

“You shall learn my story. Our loss in life isn’t all we have in common, Claudette. Everything about your scent is unusual for a mere mortal lady. You have felt pain, betrayl and abandonment like me. You have experienced a hellish wrath of of unholy demon creatures which crawled out from the depths below us. I can smell them on you and I can smell a desire beyond hatred for them. A desire which attracts me.” – Lee Hall, Darke Awakening

The book was formatted well enough to understand where the chapters ended and started, justified and no Times New Roman font ( which makes me scoff when I first open a book ), which was great. I would have liked to see a little more attention put on the start of chapters and making it look more like a pub house book, but this was not anything that kept it from being readable. Minor details, though.


Lee Hall is a staple of online interaction for the indie scene, delivering a solid book to uphold that reputation. This genuine story that shoves epicism, supernatural monsters and a looming dark lord ( the Awakening ) in your face, with transitional scenes that took my breathe away and it successfully dishes the tricks out you see in bleeding-edge entertainment, even in other mediums. I definitely have favorite and not-so favorite parts of the book, but the value here resides in a feeling of logic after chaos takes over and this book was an excellent read at ★★★★☆ four stars out of five.

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

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