Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lana's Awakening by Kristin Elyon

Lana's Awakening
Lana's Awakening by Kristin Elyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what is more frightening, that this book is inspired by “true real life events” or the sloppy editing in the last third of the book. Because I often review pre-release copies of books, I rarely comment on the editing because I don’t always know if the copy I received is the final version or not. But as this book has been out for several months, I am assuming that it is the published version and would feel remiss if I didn’t comment on the fact that the frequency of errors increased significantly towards the end of the book – enough so that missing or misspelled words kept pulling me out of the story. I consider myself a rather forgiving reviewer when it comes to this because no one is perfect (myself included), but when it interrupts my reading flow repeatedly I feel I have to note it. That said, Lana’s Awakening was a really good read.

If you do not enjoy dark subject matter, do NOT read this book. If reading scenes involving abduction, sexual assault, and physical violence bother you, do NOT read this book. If sexual interactions involving bondage, sensory deprivation, breath play, and humiliation bother you, do NOT read this book. However, if you are an open-minded reader and can enjoy books with these attributes, grab yourself a copy of Lana’s Awakening and hunker down for an intensely dark read that will leave you questioning which monsters were created, which monsters were unleashed, and who created whom. I use the term “monster” in accordance with the book and not my belief that one’s sexual proclivities marks one as a monster. While I am a firm believer of “to each his own” in the bedroom, this does not apply to Lana’s abductor because nothing he did was consensual. That his actions led to Lana learning more about herself is entirely moot – the ends do not justify the means, especially as that was not his intent.

Without giving away too many details, Lana’s recovery after her abduction causes her to examine her reactions to what Daniel did to her and she comes to understand that she is submissive by nature and, although the book does not come out and say it explicitly, she is also a masochist. While she finds safety in her post-abduction relationship with Sergio, he is unable to give her what she truly needs. She is forced to end their relationship so that she can find someone to meet her needs without stringing him along. Her second relationship with he who will not be named in this review fulfills her newly discovered needs and Lana begins to plan long-term. But when a truly unexpected twist is revealed – one that had me yelling WTF? at my Kindle – Lana finds her world turned upside down and she is left once again struggling to find her way in the world.

As I stated before, Lana’s Awakening is an extremely intense read that is not for the faint of heart. Lana’s experience is horrific, made even more so by the fact that it was inspired by real events. The consensual sex scenes are dark, graphic, and erotic and the nonconsensual sex scenes left me crossing my legs, cringing, and thanking the universe it wasn’t me on the receiving end of them. I found the transformations that Lana and some of the other characters undergo absolutely fascinating. But I had a huge problem with the speed with which Daniel was released from prison; I get that this is a work of fiction but that the reader is expected to accept that the events transpired in the course of a single day requires a tad too much suspension of belief on my part because the criminal justice system does not work that fast. Despite that minor issue, I appreciated the opportunity to accompany Lana on her journey and I found the ending of the book unbelievable satisfying.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Lana's Awakening Tour Stop! blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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