Sunday, May 08, 2011
The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
The Darkest Powers Trilogy begins with The Summoning in which fifteen year old Chloe waits anxiously for puberty while attending art school. Chloe has plans to become a screenwriter/director and is used to being ordinary until something extraordinary starts happening to her as she begins to hear voices and see things. After being hospitalized Chloe is sent to Lyle House where she is diagnosed as schizophrenic, but the truth for both Chloe and the other teenagers sent there is far more complicated.
As a novel, The Summoning instantly hooked me into the story with Chloe's voice which was easy to relate to. It has just the right mix of fantasy and suspense to get the reader's interest as well as a unique and well-developed set of characters. Immediately I was drawn to the troubled Derek, but the dialogue between all the characters was enjoyable, especially the less likable Tori. Although The Summoning certainly ended on such a note that I picked up the next novel immediately, it was good for a first in a series in the sense that Armstrong introduced the characters and the plot well and answered quite a few of the questions I had.
That said, I was definitely glad I was able to delve into The Awakening right afterwards which picks up immediately after The Summoning ends. The entire Darkest Powers Trilogy is actually only told over maybe two weeks, which at first I found slightly odd but there was so much happening over that brief period of time that the novels were fast-paced anyway. By the time The Summoning begins, Chloe and her friends including Derek, Tori, and Derek's foster brother Simon, have a much better idea why puberty has been treating them so strangely. They also have some scary people after them because of it.
The Awakening was a fantastic middle book for a trilogy, and my favourite in the entire Darkest Powers Trilogy. By this point the reader has a fairly clear understanding of what is going on in Chloe's world and is completely pulled into the suspense of the chase that is going on as The Awakening has even more action than The Summoning. The reader also gets to spend more time with my favourite character, Derek. Because Chloe wants to be a screenwriter, she occasionally relays scenes in the novels as if they were scenes in a movie, wishing they were so that things would be as easy as they are in a film. I enjoyed this unique perspective and it definitely made me smile a couple times throughout the books. I also liked how even though Tori really has to rely on Chloe in this book, it doesn't stop her from speaking her mind, even if that means she's not too well-liked. Chloe herself is a strong main character although I did wish she would stand up for herself sometimes at not be so "nice", it was great to see her recognize this was a problem and realize that sometimes she has to do what is right even if it is not what other people agree with.
The final book in the trilogy is The Reckoning, and I was so glad that I didn't have to wait to read it next. It offers closure to many of the issues brought up throughout the book, including the conflict Chloe has over the two boys in her life. In fact, it was the first book with a real dash of romance in it and even though it technically wasn't that long since Chloe met Simon and Derek, it did really feel like they had gotten to know each other of the last couple weeks and it wasn't just one of those insta-love situations that sometimes plague young adult literature. I do hate that there was a love triangle at all but this one did feel slightly more reasonable than they sometimes are at least. Of course I won't offer any spoilers but I will say I was definitely happy with how things turned out.
In terms of actual plot however, The Reckoning was unfortunately my least favourite in The Darkest Powers Trilogy. I had become so connected to the characters that I was a bit disappointed in the storyline which at times felt unoriginal compared to the first two books. I also felt like quite a bit of the novel, especially the beginning, was pretty slow-paced compared to the rush of the rest of the series and there were quite a few new characters introduced that I didn't really get to know well enough to care about. There were also a few new concepts that I didn't quite grasp surrounding the organization involved in the novels that I wish had been clarified better.
The ending of The Reckoning didn't really have the closure I was craving, and left quite a few questions unanswered, in particular I really want to know the story behind the necklace, especially considering it's featured on all three covers! The books take place over quite a short period of time so I really wished for an epilogue that let you know how the characters were doing later on. Perhaps The Darkness Rising Trilogy will answer some of the remaining questions? Either way, I'll be reading as this trilogy has me even more excited about what the rest of the Darkest Powers Series will offer. I was surprised how easily Armstrong sucked me into her world, a world I couldn't leave until I had read all three novels. The characters felt authentic and the supernatural twist was enjoyable and not cliched. Overall, The Darkest Powers Trilogy is fast-paced, original and insanely addicting collection of books.
Release Date: July 1st, 2008
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Release Date: May 1st, 2009
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Release Date: April 6th, 2010
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