Audiobook review: Dawn Unearthed by Carrie Ann Ryan
Dawn Unearthed is the first title in the new Ravenwood Coven paranormal romance series. The story focuses on Sage who, at the request of her aunt, is moving to Ravenwood to start anew after mourning the loss of her husband. As soon as Sage enters the town, she realizes things are not “normal.” She finds herself immersed in a world of magic, shifters, witches, and fae. One thing I really liked is that Sage does’t magically come into her powers, rather she’s got to practice and do the time in order to gain power.
Dawn Unearthed is a good PNR. It’s got all the best of the PNR world, including a sizzling fated pairing and lots of interesting paranormal characters. I appreciate that the author creates a fascinating mythology for her series. I also like that the fated mates isn’t quite set in stone, nor does it cause a lot of drama. Sage and bear shifter Rome have a connection that may seem sudden, but it fills a void neither realized was present. Their mating is sexy and sweet. I enjoyed the romance aspect of the story.
What didn’t work well for me were the villains of the tale. Faith, a necromancer witch, felt over-the-top and a bit cliche. She even performs a supervillain monologue outlining her evil plot. I also didn’t like how “things go down” (being vague to prevent spoilers). The final battle of the book was “too much” for my liking.
Narration: I enjoyed the performances of Victoria Mei and Aiden Snow. The story is primarily shared in the alternating, first person POVs of Sage and Rome, and both narrators are equally suited to their roles. Mr. Snow has a gravely, deep voice, giving gravitas and a very sexy vibe to the bear shifter. His female voices are softer and distinguishable, and while not overly feminine, they are unique and identifiable. Ms. Mei uses a soft and gentle voice for the curious Sage, softening the tone when Sage expresses sorrow, but hardening it during high-intensity moments. Her males are deeper than the females and fitting for the story. She provides unique voices to each of the primary characters. My biggest issue with the narration is due to the writing – there is a character named Rowen, which sounds a lot like Rome and caused confusion at times.
While Dawn Unearthed is a satisfying PNR, I’m finding that unfortunately, I just don’t love this genre like I once did. With that said, I will probably pick up the second book to see which direction the author takes the cast of characters.
About the Book:
The moment Sage Reed makes her way to Ravenwood, she knows the small town lives up to its mystical lore – even if she doesn’t believe that she’s a witch. After losing her husband, she’s ready for change, and her aunt’s bookstore affords the perfect opportunity.
Rome Baker has secrets of his own – even some that he’s kept from the town he calls home. But when a striking and intriguing stranger saves his life the moment she steps into his path, his inner bear knows that she’s the one for him. However, with the town under fire, he worries he might run out of time before he can show her what they can have together.
A new enemy is on the horizon, one who hides in the shadows, whose history is steeped in lies. And if Sage and Rome aren’t careful, Sage’s new powers won’t be the only thing that spirals into flame.
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Narrators: Aiden Snow and Victoria Mei
Series: Ravenwood Coven #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Audiobook Release Date: August 19, 2021
Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)