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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh perspective to urban fantasy....
Gabrielle "Gaby" Cody has a calling, a calling that sends her out hunting the demonic beings that prey on others. Her life has been one of solitude ever since the cancerous death of her mentor, Father Mullond. A new menace is now drawing her, practically daring her to defeat it. But Gaby is reluctantly developing ties as she discovers she now has a friend in her...
Published on October 1, 2007 by Deborah Wiley

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Yet Gory Read About Gabby, the Servant Against Evil (B Grade)
LL Foster, otherwise known as romance author Lori Foster has stretched her talents with this new gritty horror story. This is the first book in this series about twenty-one year old Gabby who has major issues. She is a loner, really from the moment she was born. She hates to be touched, has never been kissed and no parents or friends. She also curses up a storm, much like...
Published on October 3, 2007 by Katie Babs


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Yet Gory Read About Gabby, the Servant Against Evil (B Grade), October 3, 2007
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
LL Foster, otherwise known as romance author Lori Foster has stretched her talents with this new gritty horror story. This is the first book in this series about twenty-one year old Gabby who has major issues. She is a loner, really from the moment she was born. She hates to be touched, has never been kissed and no parents or friends. She also curses up a storm, much like a truck driver. She rather not feel but she does, in the form of immense pain because she believes she is a servant from God to get rid of evil. She has a special ability that she can see auras around people and knows who is good and who is pure evil, in the form of demons. She must kill them or she will be in mind numbing pain until she does.
But Gabby's world falls off her axis when she comes in contact with Detective Luther Cross. There is something special about him that may come out in future books, but for the moment he is the only one that has gotten through Gabby's hard shell. He is attracted to this strange girl and is very much a trademark Foster hero. He wants to date Gabby and show her affection and intimacies that go on between me and women. (Well he is a man after all and he is very attracted to Gabby) Gabby has no clue about sex, but when Luther comes along, she begins to find interest which is the one lighthearted moment in this story.
There is a lot of violence, gore and helplessness that begins Gabby's tale. I found it to be an enjoyable fast read, but there are some small things about Gabby and her world that may irk some readers. But given time and with a little more skill on Foster's part, she may have a winner on her hands.
But if you are looking for a happy go lucky read, look else where because this promises to be harsh and unrelenting.
I am definitely intrigued about the character of Gabby and her journey to fight evil and perhaps find some happiness with Luther.

Katiebabs
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh perspective to urban fantasy...., October 1, 2007
By 
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
Gabrielle "Gaby" Cody has a calling, a calling that sends her out hunting the demonic beings that prey on others. Her life has been one of solitude ever since the cancerous death of her mentor, Father Mullond. A new menace is now drawing her, practically daring her to defeat it. But Gaby is reluctantly developing ties as she discovers she now has a friend in her landlord, Mort Vance, and a startling attraction to Detective Luther Cross. Will these new ties only serve to hamper Gaby or will she begin to trust in others about her divine calling?

SERVANT: THE AWAKENING is the first book in what is sure to be an electrifying series. L.L. Foster (aka Lori Foster) delves deeply into the dark side with this supernaturally charged tale. Gaby is a haunted and almost tragic figure, isolated and alone. She has a sharp bluntness that is appealing as she lacks the usual social skills. Her angst enhances the storyline as there is a real reason behind her feelings of dread. L.L. Foster does an exceptional job at character development as she makes Gaby likeable despite Gaby's determined efforts to be unlikable.

THE AWAKENING has a hint of romance brewing in it but is definitely an urban fantasy. Luther is attracted to Gaby despite all of his misgivings, while Gaby is reluctantly drawn towards the detective with a nose for trouble. Their personalities couldn't be any more different and yet, somehow, it all works. Don't mistake THE AWAKENING for a paranormal romance, however, as L.L. Foster takes readers into a haunting, shadowy world with this tale.

L.L. Foster brings a fresh perspective to the urban fantasy genre with THE AWAKENING. Despite the plethora of books available in the genre, THE AWAKENING has that extra bite that makes it stand out. L.L. Foster shows she has an edgy, dangerous side in this first, fascinating start to the series. One can easily envision a graphic novel accompanying this fantastic book, as it has that gritty feel to it. I can't wait to see where L.L. Foster takes this series!

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable but....., October 13, 2007
By 
Lorelei (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed the book, but... I do agree that Gaby seemed at times to be less of a paladin and more of a psychopath. There is a fine line between "tortured" protagonist with whom we can empathize and lunatic with whom we cannot. It will be interesting to see how Luther rationalizes his romantic interest in a sometimes psychopath. As to the romance- there is not much to be found. This book really should not be shelved in the romance section. What little romance is present is reasonably well woven into the story. (Unlike some romance authors who, in an attempt to write less romance and more general fiction, toss in disjointed romance scenes and try to build relationships in the span of a page.) I do not feel there was enough depth to justify breaking the story into multiple volumes. (But then, this may have been the publisher's call.) That being said, I do plan to read the next installment. But, I sincerely hope to see the tortured heroine replace the psycho, more time spent developing the romance, and a little more to the plot than gore and standard bait-and-switch. [FYI: I only gave this 3 stars, but the site insists that I gave it 4.]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great New Series, October 5, 2007
By 
Carolyn "A Reading Fool" (Louisville, Ky United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
I just finished the first book by L L Foster, better known as Lori Foster. This book is in totally different world than anything written by her before. This book is an urban fantasy at its best. It is a paranormal, but differs from the common paranormal books out there. Gaby Cody is a young woman with a calling to hunt evil and to destroy it. She can see dark auras of pure evil. Her mother died in childbirth. She never had a family, but just an old priest who helped guide her gift. But now he is dead. And she is alone. Luther Cross is a police detective who notices the lone waif living in a bad neighborhood. And when dismembered bodies start showing up is Gaby's wake. Luther is force to look into Gaby's life. Then evil take a notice of Gaby and Luther is faced with deciding to protect or arrest the woman he is fascinated with. I love this new series and now impatiently waiting for more,
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Main Character Too Unlikeable, November 6, 2007
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
For the most part, I agree with the review by "loonigrrl" who said the book was ok, but the main character was very unlikeable. I find this to be true with a lot of the so-called "Urban Fantasy" genre.

Is it that authors of "Urban Fantasy" feel they have to create unlikeable characters in order to make their story "dark" enough or "gritty" enough, or realistic enough? If so...why? Why can't I read a good, dark, gritty Urban Fantasy featuring a main character that's likeable?

I'm also wondering why the male counterparts to these "urban fantasy" girls...and let's face it...this was a GIRL, not a woman, no matter how many times Foster typed "woman" into the story...I don't get why their male counterparts have to be so much older....or why they have to be so much younger. I'm not a big fan of the huge age gaps in stories anyway...but really...I just couldn't see what this older guy saw in this really unlikeable girl. Unless it's one of those "I'm going to rescue her" situations which is a really unhealthy basis for a relationship.

The storyline was ok, which is why this got more than one star. But for me, in any story I read, I have to like the main character, or it just doesn't work for me no matter how good the overall storyline is. I disliked the main character a great deal here, so, this story really never got off the ground for me.

I don't plan on reading any of the sequels to this, and I'd have a very hard time recommending it to anyone except maybe adolescent goth girls.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars She's No Eve Dallas, October 16, 2007
By 
loonigrrl (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
L.L. Foster's Servant was definitely not what I was expecting. I'm a huge fan of the urban fantasy genre, but after reading her somewhat fluffier straight forward romances, I wasn't expecting something quite so dark. In fact, that's the quality that I would actually recommend most about this novel: Foster doesn't shy away from making this a disturbing and unsettling story.

Servant: The Awakening tells the story of Gaby, our heroine who can see beyond the normal human exteriors to the demons and the evil underneath. Gaby believes that she is sent from God and spends most of this book tracking down the evil emanating from a creepy hospital. Actually, I liked that I was never entirely sure if our heroine was the paladin from God that she claimed to be or a crazy woman suffering from her own servant of God fantasies. I know we're not really suppose to doubt her calling, but how can't you when she's comes across as rather psycho and we barely see her from anyone else's point of view?

Unfortunately, that also brings me to what I did not like about the book: Gaby. Her powers are cool, but her attitude? Not very enjoyable to read about. She pushes everyone away, and rudely too, with as many swear words as possible. She just wasn't very likable, and not liking the main character? That's a problem for me. I'm hoping we'll get to see more of her vulnerability in future books, because without it- there's just so much of her that I can take.

In fact, Mort, her super annoying landlord friend was also driving me crazy. He was constantly tagging after her, asking question after question. He always wanted to follow Gaby to make sure she wasn't going to get into trouble and all I could think was that he's a total liability and there's no way she should take him along. Unfortunately, she does.

Detective Luther Cross was easily my favorite character, but I couldn't understand why he was drawn to such an acerbic, rude, aggressive, and violent woman who was just as likely to beat him up as she was to talk to him. His character made a point of saying that she just didn't know any better, but that's not enough for me.

Overall, I would recommend Lori Foster's first venture into the urban fantasy genre. It's a little slow at times and the characters may be mostly unlikeable, but they and the story are certainly interesting. The series has potential, and when the sequel comes out, I'll be giving it another try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get it from the library (some spoilers), March 15, 2013
I struggled through this book and ultimately I have to say that I really didn't like this one. Why? There are so many issues that I'm not sure how to adequately put them all into this review without it sounding like a rant against the novel. I think that what might ultimately describe this book the best is that this would have been far better served as a short story or at most, a novella. There's the basis of an interesting story here, but there's not enough character development or story to justify a full length novel. The audiobook narrator has a great voice and if not for her, I probably wouldn't have finished this, but that's just about all I can ultimately recommend.

There will be some spoilers in this review, so if you want to know if I recommend it, then I'd say probably not. If you're curious, get this one from the library. I wouldn't recommend buying this until you've finished it and maybe the second one. Maybe it'll improve, maybe it won't. All I know is that I won't be getting the next one.

First off, Gabi is too unpleasant of a character. I don't mind gritty characters with steel balls that are willing to call people on everything. It's part of what initially drew me to characters such as Anita Blake, after all. What kills Gabi is that at times her nastiness seems to be a little overly done to the point that when she's supposed to start caring for other people, it just feels a little hollow and forced. I honestly couldn't believe that she'd care at all for Mort, let alone feel anything romantic or sexual for Luther. There wasn't enough development for that.

I also found it really hard to believe that Gabi has never seen anyone perform oral sex on anyone else. Here is a woman that regularly sees hookers peddling their wares out on the streets, sometimes in plain sight of the main streets, but they've never performed that act? (Hint: this is actually one of the most, if not the most common act performed by prostitutes.) And then suddenly after seeing it the first time, Gabi's able to quickly and easily find someone doing it? It was pretty obvious that this plot element was added in order to really introduce the romance between Gabi and Luther. The reason I mention this specific element is because it's the best example of several parts in the book that felt more like they were sudden additions that were inserted into the novel because the author realized that she'd written herself into a corner. If not for this part, there would be no natural reason for Gabi to approach Luther, no way to introduce the romance.

Why I felt that this would have been better as a short story/novella is because ultimately there wasn't really that much story here. The book was best when it actually dealt with the beasties and monsters that Gabi had to fight. This is usually when we first hear about elements of her past and how she's been living. Unfortunately we're not given that much and what we are given is repeated fairly frequently. The book treats us to multiple scenes of Gabi arguing with people (namely Luther), telling them to go away, and so on. The bickering got really old after a while and at times I couldn't understand why Luther really bothered with Gabi. There wasn't a lot of chemistry between the two.

This book was just way too over the top in its attempts to be gritty and hard bitten, and in the process became more than a chore to finish. Awakening tried way too hard to eschew the idea of the UF and PNR genres and in so doing, became a mockery of itself. I was more disappointed when I discovered this was written by Lori Foster under a pseudonym, as I'd heard great things about her but this book? This was just disappointing. Get this from the library if you're curious. If the other reviews are any indication, you'll either love this to bits or hate it with a passion. I guess you can see which side I landed on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So Much Potential..., January 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Ok, I absolutely love this author when she's writing as Lori Foster. She's written so many great novels. So why not try her other pen name, right? Uh, Wrong...

Now when I read the synopsis I was thinking, "wow, this seems pretty close in nature to the L.A. Banks books, so I should love it". And truthfully, the overall storyline is great. Paladin meets boy. Boy meets paladin, doesn't know she's a paladin. Insight into the paladin's mind, VERY creative take on the manifestation of evil, and God's plan of action... Great concept.

What ruined it all for me, is what ruined it for about 50% of this series' other readers. What is up with the Billion-Dollar Words? It's like Foster received an adult version of the Speak n' Spell for Christmas and played the plastic off of it. Her sometimes incorrect and always annoying usage of these excessive words turned me off so much that I was totally unable to enjoy the story. Of course, like I said. I have no problem with an author writing with brain power. I'm a thinker, myself. But her use of these words is so blatant, it seems as if she simply tried too hard. Like she felt she had to throw words of that caliber into her urban fantasy to make it more appealing to those who typically read this genre of books...That's right, I get what you were doing, Lori. Too bad it backfired. Some of the sentences just flatout didn't sound right. No other way to put it. Another teeny weeny annoyance that crawled under my skin was that throughout the book, I couldn't help but think, "OMG, she is such a freaking martyr...ugh". OK, we get it. The job makes you sick, it's a hardship, blah blah blah. Move on, demonfighter. You didn't see the witches in Charmed wining the way you do... In the end, I was almost able to get past Gabrielle's psychopathic tendencies and even her pointlessly crass vocabulary. I'm no choirgirl and I know it's an Urban fantasy, but sheesh... She's supposed to be an innocent and she talks like a sailor... Contradictive, much?

Bottomline, the words just make this story impossible to like. Under other circumstances, I would have been itching to find out what happens between Gabrielle and "Cop". But unfortunately, I wont be reading another member of the Servant series. If you're with me and you like the concept of this story, but hated it nontheless, you should read some of L.A. Banks' fantasy books. Lori, stick to the cute, original romances you write so well... Please. :(
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring book with unlikeable characters, June 24, 2009
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
The Joan of Arc theme would have been intriguing if only the characters had been likeable and the plot didn't drag on for a seemingly endless 300 plus pages. The only thing I liked about this book was the gore, but the action leading to that didn't catch my attention, nor did it match the aftermath.

It took me ages to read this book. The characters are flat, and the plot is tedious and boring. The heroine is stuck far too long in her dark gray place which makes me think of her as a teenage girl in need of counceling and medication rather than a demon slaying servant of God. I read about her with gritted teeth, and kept putting the book down because of it. I didn't like her as a character at all.

As for the "romance" between the hero and heroine, Gaby and Luther have nothing in common, not even age, and the only reason I can see a man like Luther falling for her is because she's young, needy, and potentially desperate. That being the case, I can't help but look at him as a user after a piece of young tail, and Gaby as an seriously depressed young woman looking for a daddy figure. Not my cup of tea at all.

I'm a fan of Lori Foster's romances, but this book doesn't showcase her writing talent in the least. Servant had a good idea behind it, but the proof is in the execution. I think honestly this is the case of a writer jumping on the paranormal/urban fantasy bandwagon and the trend just isn't suited to her writing style. And it shows. I had high hopes for Servant, but after slogging through this book, I won't be picking up any future books in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, dark paranormal adventure., November 27, 2008
By 
Zou Zou (cape cod,ma) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Servant: The Awakening (Mass Market Paperback)
A wonderful, fastpaced mystery adventure. What a great story. I loved it.
Gaby is a wonderful heroine. She can kick-butt with the best of them. She doesn't need to be rescued and, unlike most paranormal heroines, she isn't too stupid too live. Great job by the author. We finally have a heroine for the 21st Century.
But there is one small problem. Gaby believes that she is God's chosen Agent of Destruction. She is compelled to track down and kill the Demons that walk her city. Gaby might be nuts.
In the pursuit of her God given ? assignment, Gaby attracts the attention of Detective, Luther Cross.
Gaby must protect and continue her secret mission while dodging the inquisitive Luther Cross. There is also the unseen but suspected demonic Stalker who intends to remove Gaby from the Demon playing field.
This is a fascinating, well written adventure. Light on the lust but heavy on plot and characterizations.
Recommended.
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Servant: The Awakening
Servant: The Awakening by Lori Foster (Mass Market Paperback - October 2, 2007)
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