by Melanie Surani



In author Melanie Surani’s edgy thriller novel, opera singer Joshua Gray wakes in an eerie art museum exhibit. He comes to believe he’s been kidnapped and abandoned. And he isn’t the only one…

As Josh and four others struggle to piece together their new reality, they discover the museum’s main building has been razed and the place is boarded with no obvious exit. Who left them in the museum and why? How can they escape? The only link that binds them together is a mysterious woman named Blair, who they each encountered before blacking out. Josh unexpectedly finds himself drawn to one of the other captives, a long-time fan named Sophia. Their attraction plunges the group into a dark pool of suspicion. When allegiances shift and pieces connect, the strangers are forced to reassess their situation. Is the real danger inside or outside of the museum?

Suspenseful, romantic and filled with drama, Awake will keep you up all night.


When he'd been through the exhibit the first time, he'd realized quickly she wasn't following him. The last thing she might have heard was "I can destroy what you love too."

"Shit," Josh whispered, keeping his eye on the door she went through. "Bang bang. She shot me down," he sang under his breath. As usual, music was the first thing to come to mind. When he couldn't play, he still had his voice. Of course, his broken instrument and their current location wasn't her fault. If he hadn't been an asshole, she wouldn't have needed to get away. Since he could talk himself into a hole like no one else, the best thing to do was find his way outside, call a cab, then come back and get her.

A few steps took him to an area where the music wasn't distorted. Tribal drumbeats accompanied shelves of fashion pieces, too impractical and disturbing to wear. A tiara made of straight pins. Corsets pulled so tight the fabric met at the waist. Hats constructed of cages and thorns. Scarves of razor blades.

Drums swelled, stopped. Somewhere in the distance, someone panted.

Josh stopped and crept backward, keeping his eyes on a corseted mannequin's face. Paint had dried in a torrent, as though someone poured a bucket over the head and flash-frozen it. Its facial features looked alive, despite the covering's suffocating quality.

The wheezing breath continued.

From the mannequin?

It wasn't from the recording.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Melanie Surani is a blogger, hair stylist, and author with a heart for international travel. When she isn't cutting hair, Melanie is thinking about ways to kill people (for mystery novels). She lives with her husband and cat in New York City, where she is hard at work on her next book with Booktrope Publishing. Melanie is a member of the International Thriller Writers society. Follow her adventures at:

Connect With Melanie

Melanie Surani will be awarding a $30 Starbuck Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click here to go to the rafflecopter page and enter!

Liz's thoughts:
a 4-brew review!

A super imaginative and unique concept this novel will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
It only gets a little confusing when some of the characters that "wake up" in their unknown-to-them prison reveal their personalities, making it tough to know who's the victim and who's the bad guy.

Otherwise, a very enjoyable read and one I recommend to anyone who loves their thrillers with a bit of the supernatural mixed in.



Liz's Thoughts:

Awake has an extraordinarily original set up, and one that is not one hundred percent clear until about 2/3 into the novel, which is good at least to me as a reader because I like to try and puzzle some things out myself. As a sort of blend of horror/supernatural/thriller the concept works on a lot of levels. I really enjoyed jumping right in with the villain, when you think you're getting the thoughts of someone else, like maybe one of the victims, and then leaping over into the world of the actual victims.

There was some bit of disconnect for me when the random people are revealed to be sealed up in a sort of cave and some of their personalities turn out to be not that much better than the villain. I don't expect to love or even like everyone in a novel but sometimes it was difficult to discern who, exactly, was doing what to whom, given that it's a bit character-laden. Not that this is bad, just at times, confusing.

All in all, a well-structured and executed and very original novel I recommend with a 4 Brew Rating!



  1. Goddess Fish Promotions  

    Thanks for hosting! Readers, enter to win a $30 Starbucks GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

  2. 168d7130-34d4-11e2-91ad-000bcdcb5194  

    Thanks for the review!


  3. Betty Woodrum  

    I really enjoyed the excerpt and the review~thank you for sharing!

  4. Ree Dee  

    I enjoyed the review. Thank you.

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