Tag Archives: kelley armstrong

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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The Gathering and The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

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Of course I always choose to read books who turn out to be part of a trilogy… *sigh* Doesn’t it seem like they aren’t allowing any YA fiction to be stand alone novels anymore?? But I digress…

I read many of Armstrong’s Women of the Other World books as a teenager. I remember LOVING them. I also read her Darkest Powers trilogy. They were good–cute and fast reads. Turns out, the first two of the Darkness Rising trilogy are the same way. Except better.

The Gathering introduces us to our protagonist Maya. She lives in a small medical research town on Vancouver Island and has a strange affinity for animals. It seems as though they’ll obey her and heal quickly in her presence. She also has a paw print-shaped birthmark on her hip. But, whatever, we all have strange things about us, right?

After her best friend’s drowning death, weird things start happening in Salmon Creek. Maya’s guy pal Daniel has an uncanny ability to know when others are trustworthy, and some of the other students are showing signs of interesting abilities as well. Rafe, new guy at school, knows more than he’s letting on and seems to share some significant connection with Maya. Not to mention, cougars keep following her around…

The Calling follows Maya and her friends on a death-defying adventure across Vancouver Island. A forest fire has decimated the area and Maya and her friends have been kidnapped. It seems as though those scientists they’ve grown up with all their lives aren’t as trustworthy as they once appeared to be…

I really can’t go into too much detail of the second book without giving away the first, but they were both really good. I could see taking them to the beach for a light, fast-paced read. Don’t expect them to change your life, but I did find them much more engrossing than the Darkness Rising trilogy. Maya’s relationship with her parents reminded me a lot of my own. Daniel is a great best friend and Rafe… I haven’t decided how I feel about him yet.

I like what Armstrong did with the Indian lore and the cat connection was refreshing. At first I felt like she’d cheated a little by using the same story template as her DR trilogy–but once I realized the two stories were vaguely connected it made more sense. I’ll definitely be looking out for book three.

Read it in the bathtub.

4 paw prints of 5

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The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

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