Nov 12, 2013


Review of Seal of Awakening by Traci Douglass

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Traci Douglass, author of the Seven Seals series. The third book, Seal of Awakening, was going to be released soon, and she wanted to know if I would like to read it. Well, of course I would!

I was first introduced to the series through a tour that I had done for the first novel, Seal of Destiny, and I really liked it, so I agreed to read and review the second book, Seal of Surrender, a few months later. You can learn more about those books and read my reviews of them here and here if you'd like.

I really like the style of how the series is set up. All of the books are connected even though they deal with their own little mission, but you could still probably pull off starting in the middle of the series. At least you could so far, but based on how that last book ended, I'm starting to think that it's going to be a lot harder to do that from now on.

And now I'm rambling again about a book that I'm supposed to be reviewing. I have a pretty bad habit of doing that. I just get so excited introducing a book that I don't realize I still have to review it. Then, before I know it, I've already covered everything I had planned on talking about without ever starting the review. So now, without further ado, here's the book!
Seal of Awakening by Traci Douglass

Embrace the geek, save the world…

Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.

The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.

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Traci is the author of paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

A storyteller since childhood, she began putting her tales down on paper in November 2011 after the idea for the Seven Seals Series occurred to her in a dream. She finished the first draft of what was to become Seal of Destiny in one month and decided to pursue a full-time writing career in January of 2012. Life has now been a rollercoaster, crash course in pursuing your dreams.

Traci is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of Seal of Destiny won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series and a new futuristic detective series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

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Wyck, sweetie, I love you. You know that I do, but you've got to stop being a self-righteous pain in everyone's English a**. Yes, yes, you were at Normandy, we get it. You're a big, bad warrior. But we're not in the 11th century anymore. You always made fun of your brothers for being old hags, and while I do admit that you're not as bad as they are, you're still pretty stuck up your own rear end too. In case you didn't notice, you're just about as stubborn as Quinn is, and she at least has estrogen to blame. You're supposed to be the mature one. After all, you are older.

I still can't get over how awesome the theory for this series is. The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse hidden inside human DNA? Such a cool idea! We've already gotten conquest and war from Mira and Irena, and now we're introduced to Quinn, keeper of the Seal for famine.

As always, I really enjoyed the relationship between the Seal and Scion, in this case, darling Wyck. Personality-wise, they definitely clash, and I happen to think that it's a lot of fun to watch the high and mighty Scions' egos get smashed the ground. Wow, that sounds really awful, doesn't it?

At the beginning of this book we learn that there's some molecular, Divinity-meddling mumbo jumbo going on between the Scions and their specific Seals to explain that instant connection, but I do wish that there had been more development in Quinn's and Wyck's relationship. It just felt really abrupt to me, especially on Quinn's side. She's a smart and very carefully guarded girl (for good reason), so I got a little bit of whiplash somewhere in the middle of their relationship.

Just in general, I feel like that's my main comment on this book. It's great how it is and I really enjoyed it, but it definitely could have used more development. I would have liked to know more about Quinn's relationship with Ben and how that affected who she is today, as well as her sudden jump from "Now let's get you to the psych ward Mr. Scion, Sir," to "I think I may be in love," to "Amin Fidelis forever, baby!" Quinn seemed to be the most skeptical of the whole Seals of the Apocalypse thing so far, so I don't think that the "magic" connection thing would have worked for her.

Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly considering the joy I expressed at Quinn wiping the floor with Wyck's bravado), my favorite character in the book was Lucifer. For those of you who haven't read the series yet, yes, I really do mean that Lucifer. I don't know, he was just really funny. He brought in a nice outsider's perspective, and, for the most part, he acted surprisingly undevilish. I really appreciated his gesture for Sam and definitely applauded his apparent dislike of the Nephilims' plans, although that epilogue is starting to make me question that.

So, altogether, not my favorite of the books so far (that would still probably be the first one), but definitely an entertaining addition to the series.

My Rating:

A copy of the novel was provided for us in exchange for an honest review.

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