TIME TO WAKE
By K. Thomas
Internet famous webcomic artist Senlis—no, her French place name isn’t pronounced the way one thinks it is, so the teens call her “Sen”—loves London Fog lattes more than she likes being around people. And she has a pretty good reason: she can consume people’s energy and emotions, which makes crowds a nightmare. After befriending quirky teen Katie, Senlis gets swept up in an exclusive party circuit and spends more time around people than she wants to. There, she meets the enigmatic, moody Hunter, who may be harboring secrets more deeply connected to Senlis’ blurry past. The problem? He might also have ties to the recent disappearances of young women at these parties…disappearances that are quickly turning into murders.
The first book in an intriguing new paranormal romance series, TIME TO WAKE by K. Thomas is a solid debut. Though it does take a little bit of time to get going, the slow-burn plot lends itself well to the amount of worldbuilding that’s deftly sprinkled throughout. There’s a fantastic precision to the storytelling to make it up for the slow start—suspense around every corner, surprising reveals and a few gasp-worthy twists dropped at exactly the right moments to make for a quick, thoroughly entertaining read. Descriptions of some of the characters, namely Senlis herself, are somewhat sparse, but her snarky narration gives the novel an incredibly strong, engaging voice. Despite being a misanthrope out of necessity, Senlis’ compassionate streak and willingness to protect everyone around her makes her such an interesting, complex heroine. Her personal growth over the course of the book is handled in a way that resonates beautifully, albeit with some dangerous stakes. Filled with charming, memorable characters, their relationships feel believable whether they’re enemies or allies or hovering somewhere in between. The casual inclusion of a nonbinary character is always appreciated, and one hopes future books will expand on their role in the overall story. Senlis’ “pet ghost” Benny creates a nebulous, animated presence that jumps right off the page, stealing both scenes and hearts. Senlis has a big sister-esque relationship with Katie, and it carries one of the strongest emotional threads of the novel; her guardianship of Katie is genuinely sweet. Sensual romance between Hunter and Senlis sizzles (sometimes literally) and isn’t just there for decoration, instead adding flavor to one of the book’s central plotlines involving her mysterious past.
The highlight of TIME TO WAKE is its extensive worldbuilding—especially the backstory that sparks the bulk of the conflict and tosses out surprises left and right once the pieces begin falling into place. Nephilim lore gets a fresh update, and Thomas brings something original to the already crowded genre, which is not always an easy task. Passages where Senlis struggles with or learns more about her unusual power are captivating as they are effective. An exciting start to a series that wraps up one mystery while leaving a lot of fun breadcrumbs—and a last-minute reveal that packs an emotional wallop—for future installments.
A suspenseful new adult paranormal romance, TIME TO WAKE blends a tense, slow-burn mystery thriller with a completely original twist on supernatural lore. Clever storytelling and loveable characters make for a solid, unputdownable debut.
~Jessica Thomas for IndieReader
TIME TO WAKE
By K. Thomas
K. Thomas’s TIME TO WAKE delivers an amusing adventure that readers, young and old, will find exciting and intriguing, especially considering its quirky characters and witty dialogues. Full of dark humor, snarky comebacks, teen culture, and lessons on friendship and trust, volume one of the TIME TO WAKE SERIES is a solid page-turning paranormal fiction.