Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong includes The Summoning, The Awakening and The Reckoning. As I read all three books in one week and have similar comments about all of them I have decided to combine my review into one which will avoid spoilers and instead give my general opinion on the series. I picked up The Summoning after getting hooked into Armstrong's world through the most recent book in The Darkest Powers Series- although part of a distinct trilogy called Darkness Rising- The Gathering. Unfortunately the next novel in that trilogy is not due out for another year so my next best option was to go back to the initial three books and I am so glad I did.

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.

The Summoning:  
Release Date: July 1st, 2008
Pages: 390
Buy the Book

The Awakening:
Release Date: May 1st, 2009
Pages: 368
Buy the Book
The Reckoning: 
Release Date: April 6th, 2010
Pages: 391
Buy the Book


  1. I'm so glad you liked the Darkest Powers Trilogy Zoe! :D
    I'm not sure how much answers we'll ever get about the necklace to be honest, I know it wasn't actually originally supposed to change colour in the books, the cover artist did that and Kelley wrote it into the story afterwards. I'm hoping we'll learn more about it too, my guess is that it's just a talisman used to protect a necromancer from ghosts....and it just shows how powerful Chloe is that she still has them hounding her. In Kelley's adult series there's a necromancer named Jaime Vegas and I'm hoping eventually she and Chloe will meet, but who knows. lol
    I loved Derek too! I'm definitely going to have to reread this series sometime soon just to get my Derek fix :P haha Kelley just writes awesome _____ (fill in the blank with what Derek is, I don't wanna ruin it for people who haven't read it yet lol), her adult series has some awesome ones too! :D

    Thanks for sharing your take on the series Zoe, I enjoyed reading it! :)

  2. @Ambur- That's interesting to know about the necklaces. I know there are a couple short stories that accompany the series so I am hoping maybe there will be a bit more answers in some of those. I have heard her Otherworld series is also great, after reading four books by Armstrong right after another I think I will take a little break but I have a feeling I will be picking up those books this summer! And you can definitely take responsibility for this new fandom, as it was your reviews/comments and initially got me interested in the books (At first I wasn't even sure if I was going to read The Gathering!)

  3. I am seeing a lot of these books in my local bookstore, and a lot of readers are crowding the shelves for copies of this series. Sounds like it's really awesome!

    And thanks for the welcome back :D

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  4. Great post. I've been hearing about this author a lot lately. I am more likely to read a trilogy that's already completed, so I might just give this one a try.

  5. hellow i've a question. is there going to come a fourth part? i hope so. if anybody knows, will you plzz post a comment our send me a e-mail on the adress ?
    thank you

  6. Ambur said something about an adult triolgy of the summoning or close to it, could you respond cause im in lovewith the series p.s. im a derek fan to <3

  7. I really loved the trilogy and I would really love it if it was made into a movie.


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