“Dead Awakenings” by Rebekah R. Ganiere

 photo DeadAwakenings_zps96177375.jpgBeing dead can be a great way to find yourself…

Struggling to pay her bills in New York, theater student Evaine Michaels sees an opportunity to make money by taking part in an unsanctioned clinical trial for a new drug. But things don’t go as planned. She wakes up in a derelict hospital, chained to a bed with no memory of who she is or how she got there. Then a band of pale-skinned men, led by the gorgeous Luca, bursts in and rescues her. Evaine is instantly attracted to Luca, but he’s so hell-bent on stopping the experiments, he has no time for the feelings she’s awakening within him.

Safely back at Haven House, Evaine is introduced to The Family and learns that the drug trials have made her a Deader, a reanimated Undead. Evaine and Luca find themselves getting close, until Evaine remembers not only who she is, but that she’s engaged. And her fiancé, Tristan, is probably still looking for her. Torn between her first love and her new heart’s desire, Evaine has some hard choices to make.

But when a rogue faction of Deaders, called Feeders, attempt to kidnap her, Luca suspects Evaine might be the key to the experiments, and everyone must band together to keep Evaine off the cutting table…

I received this book from the Author, Rebekah R. Ganiere, in exchange for an honest review.

The Review:

Before I start the actual review, I just wanted to mention that I am not a fan of zombie stories.  This isn’t exactly your run of the mill zombie story, but it was close enough that I count it as one.  I was expecting a vampire story, but Deaders are more like high functioning zombies with super powers. Although I applaud the uniqueness of the zombies, I did not like this at all. It was gross at times and I especially didn’t like that the characters all became albinos (save for the eyes – no offense to albinos).

I have mixed feelings about this particular story. There are certain aspects that I really enjoyed and others that I disliked. It’s a very original story, one of the most original I’ve come across in a long time.  I liked that they weren’t traditional zombies, but I didn’t like that they were zombies in the first place.  The romance wasn’t entirely physical and relied on an emotional bond, which I liked, but it meant that there wasn’t really any sex.  The little sex that there was in the story minimal detail and was short.

For a first time author this is a really good story, however it felt a lot like a fan fiction. While the writing was good quality, there were too many pre-established relationships between the minor characters. In addition, there were too many minor characters in general. Too many people merely mentioned by name to pique the interest, but then they were never given a proper set up to establish their character.

Hence why it felt like a fan fiction – it seemed like you should have read a series beforehand where some of the minor characters got together and you got to know these people. It felt like this story is in the middle of a series rather than the start of one. It’s not exactly hard to follow these relationships, so it was merely a minor source of annoyance for me.

Initially, my impression of the writing style was that it was too detailed. This lessened as the story progressed, so I chalked it up to merely setting the scene and describing the characters. I really liked the writing style and felt that it flowed very well. The story wasn’t difficult to follow and I always understood what was happening.

The overall plot is nothing I haven’t seen before, but it drove the story. I wanted to find out what would happen next and how things would end. It was highly addictive and got my adrenalin pumping. I had to take breaks to walk off pent up excitement after some of the action sequences. Despite my dislike of them being zombies, I enjoyed Evaine and Luca’s characters.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting. It came way out of left field and wasn’t exactly something I was anticipating. Naturally, the ending was open ended and hints at a sequel. I’m torn about whether or not I’ll bother with the sequel. I like the writing style and it was a good story overall, but I still don’t like the zombies. Ironically, this story would be next to perfect if it was vampires and no cannibalism.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I made due. While I disliked that this was a zombie story, I enjoyed the writing style and the flow.  It wasn’t overly graphic, so it mostly allows for you to overlook that they’re zombies if you dislike zombie stories  Yet at the same time, if you enjoy zombie stories you might not like that these zombies are relatively tame.

~Jessica Weissenburger(Independent Reviewer for Book Reads and Reviews)



Grade Scale:

(Based upon the Book Reads and Reviews Rubric)

  • Plot – 8: Drove the story, but it could have been improved upon.
  • Characterization – 7: Well developed. Minus one point for having a fan fiction vibe.
  • Style – 8: Very fluid writing, I enjoyed the style, but there is room for improvement.
  • Threshold Quality – 6: I enjoyed this story, but I don’t like zombie stories and this story merely strengthens my resolve.
  • Addictiveness – 8: Highly addictive and hard to stop reading once I’d started.

Total – 37

Rating – 4 Stars