A girl my age had been murdered in these woods and I’d seen her last terrified moments, watched her bleed to death in this forest. A life like mine had ended here, and it didn’t matter how many times I’d seen deaths in movies, it wasn’t the same, and I wasn’t ever going to forget it.
The Darkest Powers Trilogy: The Summoning, The Awakening and The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong. When I read the back of The Summoning, I originally thought this trilogy was going to be about three girls and that each girl would be the narrator of her own book. I completely made this assumption based on the books’ varying colored jewels depicted on the front covers. I would soon find out, however, that I was wrong, but thoroughly impressed.
When Chloe starts seeing ghosts, she finds herself diagnosed as a schizophrenic and placed in Lyle House after she has a breakdown at school. As she’s settling in, making friends and trying to accept her treatment, Simon and Derek suggest that maybe she’s not crazy. That maybe she really can talk to the dead. When Derek cryptically tells her to look up necromancy, Chloe starts to wonder if Lyle House is really what it’s all cracked up to be because as she soon discovers, Simon can wield magic and Derek has superhuman strength. After an accidental raising of the dead, Chloe learns that other supernaturals were killed after being experimented on at Lyle House. With the help of her new friends, Simon and Derek, Chloe escapes Lyle House and the clutches of the Edison Group only to find themselves on the run from imprisonment and evil scientists. Labeled genetically altered experiments gone wrong they’re on the extermination list and in danger of being killed. Full of suspense, romance, action, paranormal activity and horror, these books had me turning page after page eager to see if Chloe, Derek and Simon would survive long enough on their quest to find the boys’ dad and destroy the Edison Group. I found these books to be similar to the Maximum Ride series and the recently popular I Am Number Four. Any fan of the Twilight Saga would also find this trilogy enjoyable although it is vampire free.
I really enjoyed these books because the characters were both real and relatable besides the whole paranormal powers thing going on. Kelley Armstrong’s dialogue was witty and intriguing, giving every character their own voice which really brought each of them to life and emphasized their strong personalities. It was hard to put these books down because in every chapter something was always happening whether they were fighting to escape, learning how to control their powers or unearthing some new dirty secret about the Edison Group. Besides all the action, however, there is the ever-present tension between Chloe and Derek. In the beginning, Derek wasn’t my favorite character because he’s always so mean to Chloe and pointing out her mistakes, but by the end of the trilogy he and Chloe were, by far, my favorite. Their interactions throughout were what I yearned for the most and I found myself hanging on to every word written about them. Chloe may be the narrator and heroine of these books, but Derek is just as strong in his role as a leader to the progression of this story.
There really wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about these books. I always have the hardest time coming up with anything I didn’t particularly agree with because I’m always so focused on the good parts. However, there’s really only one thing that I can think of and that was as I read this trilogy, sometimes I’d feel like they were geared towards a younger audience even though they’re books for teens. I don’t know if it’s because the characters are around the age of fifteen that I felt these books were for younger teens, but the subject matter would say otherwise. The plot was rather dark in places with all the talk about raising the dead and rotting corpses. There are even instances where people are killed in front of the main characters. The subject matter may be written in a way that feels younger, but there are a lot of underlying issues that deal with tougher subjects, making this a good read for older readers like me.
These were some fun and exciting reads and I highly recommend giving them a try to anyone looking for something quick and easy to read. I love light reads like this because it gives me a reprieve from studying for my college classes. With that said, I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series entitled The Gathering, which is the first book in the Darkness Rising Trilogy, out in April.