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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Dark Awakenings: A Collection of Haunting Short Stories by Ray LeCara Jr. is a compilation containing five independent stories, each having a unique terrifying plot. The Awakening takes readers on a transformative journey with a young woman out to right a series of wrongs. The Oracle Board reveals the dangers of contacting the other world. Mabel begins with a note begging for help, where the recipient soon discovers their connection to this request is greater than they could ever imagine. Hear More relates to hearing aids that are alarmingly adept at picking up more than just everyday sounds, and Keynote makes a switch for a man who deserves the short stick in life.
Ray LeCara Jr. allowed his imagination to run free in each story he crafted for Dark Awakenings. It would be easy to assume their compact size may diminish the punch they pack, but readers will be pleasantly surprised that this is not the case. I enjoyed the first story, The Awakening, the most as it is a classic tale with a twist, where a person victimized by others having some power over their life can turn tragic events around to achieve a silver lining. I did find the story Keynote to be uncomfortable in the way a genetic mutation many people have is used as a tool to punish, but overall, the collection is well collated and presented. I recommend Dark Awakenings.