01 June 2011

Review: The Darkest Powers trilogy - Kelley Armstrong

The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
published 2008, 2009 and 2010
paranormal young adult
bought my copies

Warning: This is a review of the Darkest Powers series, I'm reviewing all three books at once so there will be some small spoilers. But I promise not to giveaway too much info.

It all starts when 15 year old Chloe Saunders sees a ghost at school and is forced to stay at Lyle House, a house for troubled teens. There she is told that she has a mental illness and at first she is inclined to believe the doctors. But soon Chloe realizes that there is something weird and dangerous going on at Lyle House, and that she and the other youths all have strong paranormal abilities. Chloe soon understands that her only chance to survive is to flee from Lyle House and together with the other youths Simon, Derek, Rae and Tori she plans and and performs their escape.
From now on the little group can't trust anyone else and even inside of the group not everyone is telling the truth. They have to overcome many obstacles and dangerous situations but never give up. They learn to understand and rely on each other. And they find out why their lifes are in danger and why there are people trying to kill them.
Will the group surrounding Chloe be able to start a new life and will they be able to form a tight unit?

Today I'm not just reviewing one book but rather a whole series I recently finished and was amazed by. The books in the Darkest Powers trilogy are all very entertaining, thrilling and mesmerizing. This series has become one of my favourite paranormal series ever and deserves a review.

More often than not one book in a triology is a bit of a disappointment but this time all three books were equally great and fascinating. Kelley Armstrong has created a complicated, dangerous world in which our group of five teens are seen as a danger because they are stronger than other paranormals. After discovering the lies told to them by their parents and the people at Lyle House, they realize that they have to stand up for themselves if they want to survive. Accompanying the teens on their dangerous journey was very emotional, entertaining and fascinating. They made me laugh, cry, suffer, swoon and just have a great time. 

Reading about the paranormal abilities (talking with ghosts, raising the dead, werewolfs, witches and sorcerers, demons and poltergeists) was fascinating and especially learning more about Chloe's ability for necromancy was great. I enjoyed that Kelley Armstrong didn't shy away from creating main characters that are not the norm in many young adult books. Chloe is a average looking girl, Simon is half Korean and Derek has trouble with acne, Tori is a bit of a bitch and always will be. Apart from their paranormal powers they all are pretty normal teenagers and I applaud the author for this. Every one of the teens gets his/her moment to shine and at the end of the series I loved all of them even though I detested at least one at the beginning.

I also liked that the book focuses on the escape, the search for a safe place and the group dynamics. I loved reading how they found commom ground, learned to trust each other and became a tight unit. There's also a slowly developing relationship between Chloe and one of the guys, but that was fortunately not the main focus of the series (even though it really is a beautiful love story and I enjoyed reading about it a lot).

I don't want to give away too much info about the end but suprisingly I was very happy with it even though it's a bit of an open end (which I usually detest), but everything else wouldn't have fit to the story. When I finished the last sentence of the series I was completly satisfied and sure that the group surrounding Chloe would find a way to live a good life. 
Kelley Armstrong has created a masterpiece that captivated me through fantastic and fascinating characters, a thrilling story and a very engaging writing style. Immediately after finishing "The Reckoning" I bought book #1 in Kelley Armstrongs new YA series because I crave to read more by her. And I bought my mom a copy (German version) of "The Awakening" because I want to share this wonderful series with her. 

I think all of the covers are great. They are beautiful, a bit mysterious and fit to the books. Plus you recognize on the first glance that the books belong together.

final appraisal
Every book in this series deserves a wow. Each book is equally fascinating, thrilling and wonderful.
I would recommend this series to all fans of well written and unique stories with paranormal elemets.

The Darkest Powers trilogy
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning


  1. the Gathering is 4th book in that series. I need to read this series.

  2. Nice review Sabrina, now I really want to read those books!

  3. I kind of wish I had bought book 1 when I saw it at the bookstore :(

  4. A very encouraging review - maybe!

  5. @ Julie: I understood that it's sort of a new series with different characters, but maybe I'm wrong. Just yesterday I read that later this year there will be a novella with Chloe and the others.

  6. I'm right now reading The Gathering,which is a new series ,maybe set in the same universe I don't know,but the characters are different,and I'm really liking it so far.Maybe I should try this series too,since Armstrong's writing style is really good.

  7. @ Anna, thanks for the info. I plan to start "The Gathering" in the next days, can't wait for it.

  8. I really liked these books too!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Ok, here's what Kelley Armstrong says about the series and which books belong to it:

    "That means The Reckoning is the last book in the trilogy, not the last in the series. It only wraps up the major plotline introduced in The Summoning. It is not intended to tie off every minor plot thread and retire the characters.

    The next book is The Gathering. Same world. New characters. New Edison Group experiment. The Gathering. starts trilogy #2, Darkness Rising."

    So Julie was right.
    like I said, the open end didn't bother me at all. I'm excited to meet the new characters.

  11. Thanks for the info!Since I really enjoyed The Gathering that only means I have to try the first series as well!

  12. Oh I'm glad you loved it!! I keep trying to start reading it but seriously never got into those books. But, everyone I know and trust loves those books so I have to get a grip and start reading it!

  13. I did like this series but it wasn´t a wow for me... there were a few blunders that I would like to have knoen what they meant like her neclace. just some details I wanted her to explain. but otherwise I really liked it.




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