The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelly Armstrong includes: The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning. I’m really glad that Kelly Armstong has started to dabble in the world of YA fiction, because when I was younger I was really into her Women of the Otherworld series–which was great. That being said, however, I did notice many more weaknesses in this series than in her adult series…
TDPT follows Chloe, Simon, Derek, and Tori—all of whom learn that, not only are they not at a mental institution they are actually all supernaturally gifted. Chloe is a necromancer (she can raise/control the dead), Simon is a warlock, Derek is a werewolf, and Tori is a witch. After the relief of finding out she is not schizophrenic, Chloe now has the new concern that the Lyle House is not what it seems. After her roommate mysteriously disappears and Chloe “summons” her–meaning she’s been murdered–the teens realize they are in grave danger and must escape ASAP. This escape is charted throughout books two and three. On top of that nonsense, they learn that they have been genetically modified by the Edison Institute and their powers are exponentially greater, yet harder to control.
I liked that Chloe was a film buff and her sarcasm about her typical girl-in-a-horror-movie predictable behavior (“No, wait, don’t do that! Don’t go out there! GAAAHHH. You’re so stupid!”) was amusing. Tori was bitchy, in an unbelievable way. And that’s not a compliment. I think Armstrong needs to work a bit harder on her teen voice, because some of the dialogue was a bit too contrived for Tori’s role. Simon’s character felt really flat throughout the whole series, and I couldn’t have cared less about him. The only one I really liked was Derek, because he was so moody–flashing back and forth between protector and verbal abuser. I liked that–it rounded him out.
All of the betrayals in the books should have been followed by an ominous BUM BUM BUM noise, because they all felt kind of forced too. I always gauge a good book by whether or not I would care if a character died, and since the only one I would have felt bad about was Derek…this series fell flat. That being said, I love Armstrong’s other work, and I plan on finishing the Women of the Otherworld series, as well as starting her latest teen work, the Darkness Rising series. Hopefully, she grew more as an author after TDPT and strengthened her teenage viewpoint.
I enjoyed the series in a casual, light-hearted way, but it’s not something I would re-read in the future.
3 of 5 stars