• La Crimson Femme

Review: Mona Lisa Awakening by Sunny

★★★ #ThrowbackReview

When this book first came out, I was so excited. This was still back pre-GoodReads days and there were not that many good paranormal stories out yet. This started out promising yet ended up fizzing out for me. Not because the author quit writing, but because it felt too much like taking other author's creativity and patching it together into her own.


For those who have read Anne Rice's vampire series, Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series and Anne Bishop's Dark Jewel series, this series may come as a slight confusion for you. Why? Because it feels like you are reading a watered down conglomeration of these three authors. Frankly I was shocked that there wasn't a filing against her for plagiarism. My only guess is that she became friendly with some of these authors and they were being more forgiving.


This book started out with a good premise. I like that these "aliens" are from the moon and they live among us. There could have been so many ways that this story could have gone. Instead, it is almost a lift and shift of how Anne Bishop creates her world of having a Queen and "knights" in a circle around her. And honestly not too different than LKH's Merry Gentry's men that she surrounds herself with to gain more power. Apparently now every paranormal romance needs to have a council of elders who are evil and want to destroy any challengers à la Anne Rice vampire council style.


This is not to say that these concepts are solely the ownership of the authors I referenced. My point is that taking an existing concept requires a stronger world building and or character building to make it your own. An excellent example of this is Joely Sue Burkhart's Their Vampire Queen series. Similarly to the mentioned authors and yet so uniquely hers. I can see the different in writing voice and style. In this book, I can't exactly see the writing voice yet and whilst I love the concept, I'm not sure it will be strong enough to carry through the entire series.


This book is recommended to readers just starting to get into the paranormal world and have never read any of the authors I mentioned in this review.