The Awakening Paperback – Deckle Edge, Apr 28 2009
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Quill & Quire
As the second book in Kelley Armstrong’s The Darkest Powers trilogy opens, 15-year-old Chloe Saunders is still clinging, albeit precariously, to the notion that her life may one day return to its dull but safe routines. Never mind that her failed attempt to escape from the mysterious Lyle House group home has landed her in an even more sinister containment facility, and that her only adult ally, Aunt Lauren, appears to have been working for the bad guys all along. Such is the optimism of youth. That sense of optimism against great odds tempers The Awakening’s increasingly dark supernatural elements and steers the novel clear of the goth-kitsch realm of a certain much-beloved teen vampire saga. Chloe’s experiences at Lyle House have reluctantly convinced her that she is a necromancer, and not, as the doctors and nurses there insist, suffering from the first stages of schizophrenia. Being a necromancer comes with its own set of headaches and challenges – visits from disembodied spirits and unwittingly raised corpses topping the list – but at least it’s better than being mentally ill. Now that she understands her true identity, Chloe just wants to learn to channel her powers and get back to her old life. But a cabal of ruthless scientists will do anything to stop Chloe and the other supernaturally gifted teens from living to see adulthood. Armstrong keeps Chloe and her friends’ typically adolescent identity struggles in the forefront as the conspiracies and clues pile up, grounding the novel in emotions familiar to YA readers. Derek, a budding lycanthrope humanized by his role as Chloe’s protector, is a particularly strong creation, a brooding mass of conflicted hormones and good intentions badly executed. The suspense rarely lets up, and fans of Armstrong’s adult Otherworld novels will enjoy the parallels between Chloe and her supernatural friends’ adventures and those of their grown-up counterparts. Bring on the third novel.
“[The Awakening] hits the ground running, leaving readers tripping, stumbling and racing to keep up.… Will exhilarate even readers new to the series.”
— Kirkus starred review
“Armstrong has some fun toying with supernatural teen thriller conventions, and the taut pacing should please fans of the exploding genre.”
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Top Customer Reviews
After making her escape from the deceptive Lyle House, and having been betrayed by the one person she trusts most in the world, Chloe is once again trapped by the mysterious people who know her secret and want to make sure it doesn't get out. And this time, it's not just a simple matter of sneaking out and disabling an alarm to get away. To make matters worse Derek and Simon aren't around to help her, and Rae doesn't seem to want to get out at all. Just when it seems like hope is lost, help comes from a very unexpected source.
The characters we met in the first Darkest Powers novel are back, and I can honestly say there's not a poorly written or out of place character in the book. And the more we learn about each of them, the more there is to like. As information about Simon and Derek's background is revealed, it's hard not to be as invested in them as we are in Chloe, who continues to surprise with her bravery and determination. As obstacle after obstacle is dropped in their path, Chloe and the small band of supernatural misfits never wavers in their efforts to overcome the evils that are after them, and ultimately to save those they left behind.Read more ›
Comments: The story picks up shortly after Book One and without giving much away, I'll say this book's main focus is that of the teens being on the run. While all six teens are still in this book, only five of them are a part of the story and if you've read Book One it may not be the five your thinking of. As all the teens take part in the plot, two of them in particular become the main characters and the undercurrents of a romance are felt boiling beneath the surface.
As often happens with the second book in a trilogy, The Awakening does have a feeling of being the middle part, filler if you will, awaiting the big climax of Book Three. Oh, I still enjoyed it, very much in fact, but the plot just doesn't advance very much. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of exciting, tense, and unexpected moments and a couple of reveals along the way. What this book does do though is show a lot of character development. We learn a lot of previously unknown information (secrets even) about each teen and we also get to know each one much more closer. All of the supernaturals, as they call themselves, have personalities which are made up of both likeable and unlikable characteristics making them real people to connect with.
While the plot only slightly advances we do learn a lot of the background of the story, how and why the teens have their powers, and who is after them and why, plus information on their own personal backgrounds. This compiled with the Book One leaves the reader very anxious for the big showdown in Book Three. Having been hit with a cliffhanger ending in The Summoning (which I don't like), I am happy to say that The Awakening leaves us with a more finite, however brief it may be, ending.
Kelley Armstrong is my new found favourite author and I'll be going back and starting her adult series for sure now.
Sadly, her powers have not reached their full potential yet, hinting at what the end of the series might actually be. The only tension Chloe is able to provide us with, is sexual, as her on/off chemistry with shapeshifter Derek sends sparks flying left and right.
Still, a lot of questions are answered in this book as Armstrong cuts the plot twists to a bare minimum: Why did Chloe's aunt feed her to the enemy? Who is a friend and who is a foe? Can everyone control their powers? All these questions that kept the readers on the edge of their seats are settled. It is only at the very end, that we are left again a huge question mark, pausing the story quite unfairly. This is the first series I've encountered that is meant to be read at once.
Reasons to Read:
1.The Mysterious Edison Group:
In the first novel, we heard about the Edison Group, but not a lot was revealed about them. Don't get me wrong, they're still very mysterious, and again only a bit is revealed about them, but the whole thing is just so fascinating that you have to keep reading, because you just can't wait to piece together everything. While this is not a particularly new idea, I think that the group is still really interesting nonetheless.
There wasn't a lot of action in the summoning, except for around the second half of the book. There were a lot more action and fight scenes, which I enjoyed. While many of them are against the Edison Group, a fair number of them are also against other groups of people. It was nice to see other types of foes in the novel, besides just the main villains.
3.The Non-Frustrating Love Triangle:
Like I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of love triangles. I'm constantly cheering for the guy who will inevitably lose, and I end up hating the other for it. I genuinely liked the two guys in this love triangle: Derek and Simon. They are both very, very different. Derek is the typical tall, dark, and handsome guy, while Simon is the classic boy-next-door. They both have a lot of chemistry with the protaganist, which I think is why I like this triangle so much.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
i hve no words tl descrkbe how good this book was
WOW THE REVIEW HAS TO BE AT LEAAST 20 words
Wasn't what I was expecting. This book ended up being very relationship based. The magic system is never explained or developed. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Dustin P Froese
I read the first book in this series last year, and ended up rereading it again this year so that I could bring myself back up to speed on the story before ploughing ahead with the... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2011 by Bibliotropic .net
Following Chloe in this second book of the Darkest Powers trilogy was so much fun.
We get to see Chloe struggling with new information about her and along with Derek and... Read more
I liked this whole series. The mounting chemistry between Derek and Chloe is nice and you find yourself looking forward to when something finally happens between them. Read morePublished on June 8 2010 by Amazon Customer
Kelley Armstrong did an amazing job writing this book... I think it captivates you right from the beginning where she hit the nail on the head, so to speak, about teens and their... Read morePublished on May 5 2010 by Amazon Customer