Beauty Awakened
Grade : B-

Sometimes writers change their voices. They are human. They go through change and of course it can affect their writing. In the case of Beauty Awakened I am going to give Showalter the benefit of the doubt that her voice isn’t changing, but that she just experimented here with a whole different type of character.

Koldo is one of the Angel Warriors of the Army of Disgrace. They are a group of angels that are on their last chance. They have broken rules, they have lacked compassion, they have tested the Most High’s patience, and the deal is now that if one of them takes the last step over the edge and falls, they will all fall. While Koldo seemed to have the “cleanest” past in some ways, he is the closest to going over the edge. He wants revenge against the angel that had taken his wings and nothing will do but exacting that revenge.

Nicola Lane hasn’t had much chance to live. Her delicate heart made her parents hugely overprotective of her and her twin sister, Laila. But Nicola has a fiery spirit that has been denied a long time. When Koldo presents himself at her sister’s death bed and offers her an alternative to the future she sees for herself and her sister, she takes the chance on this strange being she has seen appearing and disappearing. When he teaches her that love and forgiveness can lead to a physical healing, she embraces it and begins to recover her strength. But it is Koldo that needs to learn the lesson most of all and Nicola can help him to do it if he only lets go of his past.

I love Showalter’s writing. I love her hot sex scenes, her alpha males, her quirky characters, and the creative plots. But this book was quite a shift from that. This was more serious in nature – the battle between good and evil and the importance of faith.

Right now, I am trying to chalk it up to a very spiritual character in Koldo and not a change in Showalter’s overall voice, because the latter would be a shame. As a unique character in the Showalter world, Koldo was that. One thing in particular was his hypocrisy. He preached one thing to Nicola but lived another. But that was the moral of the story, so I can see where she was going with that.

And that leads to the crux of my concern. This book clearly had a moral. While it wasn’t overpowering to the point of ruining the story – far from it – it was definitely there and is unusual for Showalter’s writing. That and the lack of the strong sex scenes. While I didn’t mind the absence - I read G rated books sometimes – it was almost..confusing! Wait… what just happened? Did they just have sex? I wasn’t even sure because it was so glossed over, and that is atypical of the genre and Showalter’s style in particular.

As long as this is a certain character that Showalter wanted to portray, then I think Koldo’s story was unique and creative. If this is a result of her recent jump onto the YA bandwagon, then I would be disappointed. Let’s all hope for the best and assume this is just a very creative jump with a unique character and move on to the next book!

Reviewed by Louise VanderVliet
Grade : B-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 7, 2013

Publication Date: 2013/03

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Recent Comments …

  1. What kept me reading was the sheer unpredictability of the storyline. I knew David’s and Chelsea’s paths would cross again…

Louise VanderVliet

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