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THE AWAKENING
By Shakir Rashaan
Series: Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld, #1
Publisher: Kemi-Ka Publishing
Release Date: March 2009
Length: 301 pages

What goes on in the Palace, stays in the Palace…

Life seems well within the “Nubian Underworld” of the ATL, as Ramesses, his wife Neferterri, and their submissives are at the center of what can only be described as “paradise” by those who have seen the debauchery within. Amenhotep, Ramesses’ mentor, is on the verge of bringing in his newest slave to reside with him at the Palace, and the entire community has been invited to witness the decadence of the grounds and the libidinous nature of the guests in attendance.

Unfortunately, life is not always a bed of roses…sometimes the thorns must be felt.

All hell breaks loose when Ramesses and Neferterri begin losing their submissives for a variety of reasons, and Amenhotep gets caught up in a sting operation that makes the local news and threatens to blow the lid off of the Atlanta Fetish community that thrives on the anonymity that is enjoyed by all. Despite it all, everyone in the circle is there for one another, no matter the consequences.

The Awakening: Book One of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld is a journey inside Atlanta’s African-American Fetish community, and the ties that bind the principle players of this exciting new series. With its twists and turns and surprises along the way, it is sure to become an “awakening” for any who dare to journey to the “Dark side.”

When I first started reading The Awakening, I couldn’t tell if this was a fictional novel or just an introduction into the Atlanta BDSM scene. The first part of the novel read more like a primer for people wanting to learn more about BDSM. It took a long while for me to grasp what the plot was in this book. A lot of time was used explaining protocols and dissecting character dialogue. I felt like this really disrupted the flow of the story. There were so many characters involved that I had to write down who each person was, keep track of their real name versus their scene name and which house/Dominant they belonged to.

The main protagonists are a husband and wife who practice BDSM within a poly household. Lord Ramesses (Kane) and Lady Neferterri (Mercedes) are both dominants who oversee three other submissives. Candy is Neferterri’s best friend and occasionally plays with them but is not one of their collared subs. There were also two other married couples; Kitana and Ice are both submissives but they submit to two separate dominants, and Jay and Jasmine, a couple of swingers with major marital issues. There were a few other houses with other Dominants and submissives that were also introduced in the novel and added some drama but there were too many people to keep up with.

My main disappointment in this book was the lack of emotion from the characters. I’m not sure if there were just too many of them to focus on but I never connected with any of the characters because I didn’t get a chance to get to know them. I still don’t even understand the relationship between Ramesses and Neferterri. I think they had a loving relationship with each other. But I’m not sure what they got out of their relationships with the other submissive women that they had. Being a character driven reader I would have liked to see deeper character development and would have liked to understand the characters’ motivations for living this particular lifestyle. The latter part of the book did pick up a little bit setting in motion a continuation of Ramesses’ and Neferterri’s story as leaders of the Atlanta BDSM community. The Awakening is the first book in a planned series. Perhaps after laying extensive ground work in this first novel, the next books will flow better.

Reviewed By: AsianCocoa

Find on Goodreads: The Awakening
Author’s Webiste: http://www.shakirrashaan.com/