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Book 2 of a trilogy. The Summoning is Book 1 and The Reakoning is Book 3. The basic storyline folows a teenage girl who is discovering that she has supernatural powers. In this book, we get to know her a bit better, having had the set up of the world, who's who and what's what in the first book. We get to see how she starts to fall in love - and personally i was turning pages frustrated that she didn't just get on and kiss him, but it is a well mastered plot that frustrates you enough to want to keep reading (spoiler - they get there in the end!). Unlike the Twilight Saga, it is obvious that our young Chloe likes the Werewolf!! As i recommended in my review of The Summoning, read another Kelley Armstrong first - i recommend Dime Store Magic and Bitten. You don't need to, this trilogy is stand alone, but it helped me knowing the kind of world that Kelley Armstrong has in mind writing this trilogy. I loved the first and second book, following Chloe's life, covering a relatively short period of time, getting to know a small group of protagonists, how they cope with travelling without safety or money, how they stay warm, how they manage the mad scientists who are bumping off their friends and causing them pain along the way. It is nice to think that even superbatural teenagers go through the normal growing up stuff too, like making sure your hair looks good for a date or getting bored i n lessons. Not A Tale of Two Cities, Not as in depth as the characters of JK Rowlings mind, not as complex as LOTR, but a damn good enjoyable read. Great for a holiday, train journey or wet Sunday afternoon. Aimed at teenagers, but equally enjoyed by a 30+! As i suggested in my review of The Summoning - buy all 3 at once, because you will devour the first 2 very quickly and just be wanting more...
The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong
Please note that this is the second book in Kelley Armstrong's 'Darkest Powers' trilogy (the third book due out in May 2010). I also have a review up for the first book of the series, The Summoning.
The biggest problem with writing a review about the second book of a trilogy is that it is difficult to stay away from spoilers on the first book but still give you an insight on the second book. I will attempt not to give away any huge spoilers for either book within this review whilst allowing you to see whether you think it is worth the read. Of course, if you have read the first book then if you are like me, you will be rushing onto this next book (or if you hated the first you will probably be avoiding this review!).
BRINGING YOU UP TO DATE
Let me start by bringing you up to this book with a short synopsis of the first book in the series (to read a more detailed review of the first book please see my other review!).
In The Summoning, we meet Chloe Saunders who has a gift which makes her dangerous. She can see dead people. When she finally breaks down after being chased by a persistent ghost without knowing what is happening to her, she is sent to Lyle House, a group home for 'disturbed teens'. She is determined to get out of there so keeps her head down though after many mysterious things happen to her and other members of the house, she realizes she needs to get out of the house and fast. Chloe together with three other housemates who all have supernatural powers of kinds (and a friendly ghost by her side), Chloe escapes the group home and go in search of answers, yet soon the group home catch upp with her...
The second book starts where the first book ended, Chloe Saunders has been taken to a secure unit and soon finds out that she and the others from Lyle House are part of some kind of experiment. She also begins to realize that not only can she see ghosts, she can also summon and raise the dead - and her powers are stronger than she is often causing danger to herself and others. So now, she has to once again escape before she may become one of those ghosts as well.
Chloe soon realizes that she needs to be careful about who she can trust as those she believed she could depend on soon show their true colours, though one person she doubted would ever help her escape, stands up to the mark, yet is she in it for her own benefit only?
Soon Chloe is once again on the run with Derek, who is going through some drastic and scary changes himself, Charming Simon who is one of the Edison groups 'successes', and Obnoxious Tori who at every turn is ready to beat Chloe down. Their plan? To find the brothers father and find out exactly what is happening and stay away from those who are chasing them, though nothing is ever that easy.
This second book starts at a faster pace than the first, though still not rushing into any action for a few chapters (Kelley Armstrong's style it seems). As soon as Chloe meets up with the boys once again, the story takes on an exciting, more riveting path than its prequel. We get a true glimpse of life on the streets filled with more supernatural elements in the real world. It chooses a slightly darker outlook than the first, full of suspense and unflinching horrors of the supernatural world.
As in the first book, the characters are strongly written, each growing to new heights in this second book. Armstrong focuses upon their growing and learning about their abilities and each teen are resourceful without being untrue to life. They explore their powers more fully in this book, looking at their capabilities and restraints and building up new trusts and friendships along the way with hidden sexual tension which again is not at all in your face, though underlying behind the great storyline. In some ways, it seems that Chloe's character is rather like 'The fugitive', on the run through no fault of her own and wanted by many more people than originally thought, to bring her back dead or alive. The dialogue and action is greatly balanced between characters and each character have both their flaws and their insecurities which becomes more developed in this book. Not only do we get to know more about Chloe, the main character whose first person view this (and the first) book is written from, though we get to know more about the backgrounds and histories of Derek and Tori. Simon is not as well rounded a character with regards to background history yet, though that I am sure will come in the final book (as will a few others).
Like the first, the storyline in this book is brilliant. It flows steadily with a great mix of action, dialogue and research. Again, it takes place over a short period of time and looks at a lot of darker everyday aspects such as crime, homelessness, betrayal, brainwashing and of course...more supernatural excitement and horror which includes more werewolves, witches and zombies.
If you liked the first book of the series you will certainly love this second book (and be on the edge of your seat by the end wishing the third book was already here as I am!). It is great again not only for teens but for adults too. It is a well rounded story full of action and in depth storylines. Well recommended to all.