Review: Angel Martinez & Bellora Quinn – Kellen’s Awakening

29245467Author: Angel Martinez & Bellora Quinn
Reviewer: Diane
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: M/M Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★ 

The staff at AURA has had a busy summer. Between chronic understaffing, dealing with warring goblin factions and an unusual number of hazardous Events, everyone is overworked. Sinistrus the incubus, newly hired as an AURA medic, actually enjoys his busy new life of responsible employee and faithful lover to his gorgeous police sergeant, Ness the centaur. Life would be perfect, except for a niggling suspicion about a colleague. Everyone else seems to disagree, but Sin’s certain something’s not right with that pixie.

Kellen, a pixie crossover, loves his job working in AURA medical, even if he is something of an outsider. His job and the friends he manages to make are happy spots in an otherwise dark and secretive life. As the rest of AURA tries to discover the root of the inexplicable rise in violence and large scale Events, Kellen fights to preserve his own life and what dignity he has left.

These two unlikely heroes must put their differences aside and navigate tragedy and ever-escalating disaster together in order to stop the sinister forces that hold Kellen in thrall.
Review:  Continuing the AURA series started with Quinn’s Gambit and Flax’s Pursuit, Kellen’s Awakening finds the AURA office with a pretty solid team after recovering from a very busy summer.  Now they have a new challenge of escalating violence that does not seem connected to Events, but definitely has a magical signature and once again, it will take everyone to solve this one -some sorting through pain while others try to move through their secrets.

The story is told from the points of view of Kellen, Sin and Ness.

I have decided that Urban Fantasy is now my favorite genre of fiction!  That is the label to given this series, which I have loved from book one and another two I regularly gush about that are also written by Angel Martinez!  And I think part of that affection is because the characters here are written so well, with their mix of humans and magical creatures, that all go through the same ups and downs as all of us, I feel completely pulled into the books every time!  And I think my dream job is to work at AURA, somehow I think I’d fit there better than I do in my corporate world.

For this round, the lead characters are Kellen, who is a pixie that now works on the medical floor of AURA, but has some secrets from his life before that managed to follow him to this new life; Sinistrus, the incubus who has appeared in the other two stories, who paired up with Nestor the Centaur after the first book and of course, Nestor who is a police sergeant trying to balance his job, his love for Sin and what Sin needs to feed.  You do still get to have the beloved characters of Tenzin and Kai (yes, Kai, the drow, who can be abrupt and almost always scowling except when with Tenzin, is just as beloved as Tenzin!).  Quinn and Flax also make appearances, and like Sin, Flax thinks not all is right for Kellen, but he is a more worried than suspicious.

I will tell you that if you have been following this series, you will likely need some tissues handy – not only for the early part of the book when AURA are dealing with a magical being, but I needed it close to the end as well as the book was coming to its climactic ending.  I have become that attached to these characters.

Kellen is a very sweet pixie who just wants to help people, from the people at AURA to his landlord (who I just loved, Tok, what another sweetheart!), even with Flax and Ness when they are battling a being not far from where Kellen lives.  Sin is a character that got under my skin in the first book when it seemed he was sacrificing himself for the cause and Ness, well, he gets to break my heart in this one.  But, this story is a fantasy book so there is lots of action as well as an incredible story with wonderful characters and woohoo, the authors have said there will at least be an AURA 4.

If you like urban fantasy, but even if you are simply a fantasy fan, I believe you will enjoy this series and I’d highly recommend starting with Quinn’s Gambit, but it is an incredibly well done series!



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