Book Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #3)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, magic, werewolves, witches, ghosts
Publisher: HarperCollins; Atom
Publication Date: April 2010
Pages: 391
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
My name is Chloe Saunders. I’m fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I’m not.

For one thing, I’m having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother–who just happens to be a sorcerer–but, between you and me, I’m leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us–permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I’m a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.

My Review:

The troubled teens are still on the run from the sinister Edison Group; Chloe’s necromancy skills are getting stronger and stronger, Tori is able to perform magic that witches many times her age can’t achieve without incantations and Derek’s changes are getting more intense and more frequent. Add her romantic entanglement with both Simon AND Derek – things couldn’t get much more complicated for Chloe Saunders.

After holding up at a safe house but not feeling all that safe at the moment, Chloe has to cope with an evil teenage ghost haunting the house and a necromancer mentor who doesn’t believe Chloe’s skills. Along with the threat of the Edison Group hanging over them, the teens grow more and more suspicious of anyone and everyone until… at last – one way or another – they get to the bottom of the Lyle House mystery…

I’m always anxious when I get to the last book in a series/trilogy that I’m enjoying. I want to know just how it’s going to end but at the same time I don’t want to have to leave the characters.

Chloe has grown so much since the first book. Her powers are developing experientially and she’s come a long way from the stuttering fearful girl into the woman who overcomes her fears when it comes to protecting the ones she loves.

The other characters are great in their own ways too – I’m not sure after the first book I ever thought I could like Tori but she’s grown on me and I’m glad that the others accepted her into their merry crew of adolescent misfits.

I loved the amount of action that occurs throughout this book. There’s evil angry ghosts, get away plans, werewolves and so much more. This was a fantastic instalment in the trilogy however – I didn’t love the ending. Or rather, I didn’t like that the trilogy was ending. There’s so much more I want to know. But I did love how all the drama came to climax and the resulting resolution was fitting to the series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, 
Publisher: HarperCollins; Atom
Publication Date: April 2009
Pages: 360
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I’m a living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization call the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters. I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

My Review:

I think the Darkest Powers trilogy is going to go down as one of my favourite YA paranormal series.

The Awakening picks up at the exact moment that the first book in the series, The Summoning, finishes – with Chloe stuck in the institution after a somewhat failed break out attempt from Lyle House and the heartbreaking betrayal from Chloe’s aunt.

Now, with her every move being monitored by the staff and no escape routes visible, Chloe needs to deal with the ghosts that won’t leave her alone and her anxiety over Simon’s health and Derek’s “condition” whilst they are on the run. Not one to sit around and pout, Chloe – with the help of Liz’s ghost – needs finds a way to get out, find the boys and get to the bottom of what the sinister scientists are up to.

For me, this book had what The Summoning was lacking. It was exciting, fast paced and suspenseful. I picked this book up when I couldn’t sleep, vowing only to read a few chapters… next thing I knew it was 3am and I’d finished it.

I complained about Chloe coming across as a little bland in the first book but she’s completely redeemed herself in my eyes. I found that I enjoyed getting to see her embrace her ghost busting powers more and more as well as not letting anyone who was bigger and badder than her push her around.

Derek is a character that I adored after the first book and now I like him even more. He and the other supporting characters have issues and complicated pasts. It makes them somewhat real in an unreal and paranormal world. Tori, Simon and the others are an incredibly mismatched group but their bickering entertained me and I loved the fact that they were flawed and kept their grudges despite their current circumstances.

As a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, I was thrilled to read the slight crossover that occurred in this novel (Clayton’s reputation precedes him!) and makes perfect sense to the plot of this story.

This book is not one that can be read as a stand alone – there is a lot that is assumed knowledge from the first book in the series – but is a fantastic story that includes some of my favourite supernatural creatures, exciting plot and interesting characters.

I jumped online and bought the third book as soon as I finished reading….

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 2008
Pages: 390
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.

At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

My Review:

I love the concept of this novel. I’ve been a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series for a long time now and I have wondered what happens to the children when they don’t have someone incredible to introduce them into the magical and supernatural world. Those questions were answered in The Summoning. 

Chloe Saunders isn’t like other fifteen-year olds. Her mother died when she was younger and her dad is an absentee parent. Her housekeepers and aunt raised her. Oh – and she sees ghosts. After an incident in school, which resulted in Chloe accidentally assaulting a teacher, Chloe gets sent to Lyle House – an institution for troubled teens. Chloe tries to keep her head down and tell the doctor and other staff what they want to hear – that ghosts don’t exist and they were just a result of Chloe having schizophrenia. But after some strange happenings at Lyle House, Chloe isn’t too sure that ghosts don’t exist. There’s a ghost in the basement and her room-mate is plagued with a poltergeist. Add in a boy who claims to be a sorcerer and a couple of other slightly odd characters and Chloe starts to question if Lyle House is really all it appears to be…

I know I said it before but I want to say it again. I loved the concept of this story. The only problem was I found it a little lacking in execution. The cast of characters were interesting and I thought it brilliant the way they all came together. Kid who did odd things or claimed to see the unnatural – it makes perfect sense that they would be segregated from “normal” kids and placed in a psychiatric facility. The nurses served their roles well but I felt like even after reading the novel I barely knew them.

Chloe was a little bland for my liking – she only truly started to appeal to me as a character in the last fifty pages or so. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series as I did really start to care about what happened to her but for the most part she was a little irritating. What I did like about Chloe was her interest in film and the way that when life got a little too difficult or scary, she’d imagine how she’d have her actors play the scene if it was a scene she was directing. I found that an adorable way of having the heroine face her fears and put herself into situations she didn’t want to be in and at the same time retain her timid persona.

There were times when I felt like this book dragged on a little. The middle part of this novel felt like it took forever. All the events in this book occur within a two-week time frame but it felt like a lot longer as every day and the routine of each day in Lyle House was mentioned. I do wonder if that was a way of trying to involve the reader and to try to show what things were like for Chloe and the other misfits but I got a little bored. Had I not been stuck on a train with no other reading material – I probably would have given up on this book and that would have been a shame.

The ending was fantastic. Whilst for the first part of the novel I really couldn’t care less if I kept reading or not, the ending had me hooked. I was devastated when it ended. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository