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Reviewer: Stephen Williams
The Awakening: Book 1 of The Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld is a thrilling journey into the world of the BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) lifestyle. It is filled with the politics that come along with that lifestyle, and all the pleasure and chaos that one can endure within it.
Kane (Ramesses) and his wife, Mercedes (Neferterri), belong to an underground BDSM culture. They maintain a polyamorous house, with multiple submissives, that is based on Egyptian culture. They also have a “regular” lifestyle as two people with corporate jobs, three kids, and a home in the suburbs. Ramesses is the right hand of Amenhotep, the leader of the community submissive group. During a collaring ceremony for one of Amenhotep’s new submissives, Ramesses gets an unexpected surprise when a mutual friend, Kitana, offers herself to him for submissive consideration. This sets off a series of events that shakes up the house of Ramesses and ripples throughout his BDSM community.
The character development in the story introduced the BDSM lifestyle in a way that was intriguing and not intimidating. Ramsesses, while not a complete control freak, was committed to the lifestyle. He had a code that he learned and followed, and consequences within his world were believable. The challenges that he faced or witnessed with his friends were real issues that exist in that lifestyle, especially with couples not being honest with their significant others about their true intentions and feelings. The story moved at an excellent pace. The detail was appropriate where needed and the sexual content was done in a way that made it enjoyable and not oversaturated and drawn out. The author explained details of the lifestyle as necessary for those not familiar with the terminology, and provided protocols which helped to paint the image of what the emotion was during different scenarios within the book.