Monday, July 12, 2010
The Darkest Powers Series (REVIEW)
THE DARKEST POWERS TRILOGY...MAKES YOU WISH THE AUTHOR WOULD SAY "SCREW THE RULES OF THE 'TRILOGY'!" AND KEEP GOING!
So, I spent my weekend seeing a movie in IMAX,swimming, reading, grocery shopping, reading, sleeping reading, watching a DVD (or two, let's be honest), reading, hanging with the dog, reading, shopping at Borders, doing research at Borders, and you guesse it, more reading.
I read two books in two days.
Told you I did a lot of reading.
In fact, I'm on page 70 of the third book now...so I can't do a full review but I wanted to start.
BOOK ONE - THE SUMMONING
Basis of story (pulled from the internet):
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
First off...if I've ready 2 books in 2 days I, A. Love the story no matter what I say below. B. Love the characters (Derek is my fave!) C. Recommend it.
Now to share my more lengthier thoughts...
This book takes a bit to get to the point where or heroine realizes she's a necromancer vs. just a schitzo. Yeah, its one of those books; where you spend the first half "justifying" why the heroine believes she's a supernatural vs. just crazy. I know, in books and movies we maybe jump too quickly to our main character "accepting" the "fantasy" of it all but that has a lot to do with one main rule I was taught by EVERY writing teacher; The world you create in the first few pages can be whatever you want...the reader will accept it. Wait too long and they won't.
Look, we "get" that you need to establish this isn't the "norm" for the girl but Ms. Armstrong takes her sweet time. Not that you as a reader don't care...you do...and you care enough to put up with the waiting but we really could've gotten to the "good stuff" earlier if she'd known where she was going...cause that's what it felt like...like she was convincing herself vs. us. Maybe I'm more into instant gratification (don't read into that) when it comes to my "submersion" into a book...I like to get to the goods...spend too much time "justifying them" and I find myself yelling at the author/main character to get on with it already. We get it, its a sci-fi book, we accept that, now move on!
Either way...as you reach the end of the first book you're hooked. You want to know what the fuck Chloe is going to do next and you are hooked on the characters. In fact, I'm not sure I'd care WHERE these kids were as long as it was them. I'd LOVE to drag them into my book for a cross-over...that would be hot. Especially Derek. His character arch is the most fascinating of them all...which is why I love him so.
BOOK TWO - THE AWAKENING
Basis of story (pulled from the internet):
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.
Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends — a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch — and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.
As we get to Book Two we are hooked and luckily Ms. Armstrong dives right in with very little of the "let's recap from last time" sections. Those drive me nuts. I don't put them in my books...though I think my eventual publisher will make me. :(
Book Two is a great pay-off to Book One! A character you thought was an enemy isn't...a character you thought was a good guy...isn't. There's cool shit about how these kids GOT so powerful...labs and hospitals and testing oh my! :)
Chloe is still our bloody damsel in distress who makes some bad choices but if she didn't, there'd be no angsty shit for a YA novel so...I'll not pick on it too much. I will say that if she and Zoey Redbird from the "House of Night" Series were stuck together in a book without their friends...it wouldn't matter HOW talented or powerful they are...NOTHING would get accomplished cause these two suffer from the same problem...they don't really learn and need other to help them see who they are. Which makes me throw up in my mouth a little...but not too much. ;)
I wanna talk about my love...my Derek. I always fall for some character in the story. And its not the romantic interest of our main girl...which is Simon. I love his troubled brother, Derek. He's got all sorts of issues dealing with other people and that is awesome! He's fascinating and growing both on you and on our main girl...but most importantly, he's growing, learning, more so than Chloe...which is why I think I love Derek more than her. LOL!
Anyhoo...book two is fun! The kids are on the streets running from the "bad people" and Ms. Arstrong decides to really put them through some hell; two gang fights...one with chicks in an alley and switchblades fighting for sleeping turf and one with dudes in a park. Yeah, I know, not real far fetched and sorta cliche but the one in the park has an interesting twist so...its passable. Besides...it is all Derek all the time by then (cause Chloe & he get separated from the other two for a bit) so I didn't care. :)
There are some great fights, escape scenes, Derek scenes, and more supernatural power usage...though, you wish that Chloe would see the benefits of her gift and not just the negatives. The bitch can raise the dead to serve her. Does she get help when she's looking to die? No. Why? I wish I knew! I'd saved me from yelling at the book last night.
Book Two ends less on a cliff hanger than Book One but you care now so much for the characters it doesn't need a cliffhanger to make you buy the 3rd book (which I bought when I bought Book Two btw) so you press onward.
BOOK THREE - THE RECKONING
Basis of story (pulled from the internet):
My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I'm not.
For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.
My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.
Definitely not normal.
And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.
As far away from normal as it gets.
Ah...Book Three...I finally finished! :(
That's right...it's supposedly the last one...but it leaves it open for MANY more adventures so I'm HOPING HOPING HOPING Ms. Armsrong will give me more of Derek. ;) I know, I'm selfish. I love my boy...his struggles...his triumphs...
Anyhoo...let's talk about the book shall we?
This one makes my heart sing! They all seem to finally "get it" and their powers are being used. So cool! I was like...all hyped up reading this...its a much more tense of a story and that's a good thing. Ms. Armstrong has raised the stakes a bit and that works.
(Tiny SPOILER alert)
So, last night I must've re-read the last couple of chapters twice and the last one itself a time or two after that. Why? Cause I'm a sucker for a "happy" ending. No, it's not a super happy ending (there are people who die and some of the bad guys get away)BUT our heroine (and my man, Derek) finally get together (YAY!) and they DID save 2/3 of the people they spent 2 books trying to save. Oh, and my girl finally got to kiss...like really kiss my man...which, since you're seeing it from her perspective...you get to kiss him. Nice. Did I mention I dreamed of Derek last night? Oh yeah. Big, muscular, hot werewolf...*sigh* That's what you get when you are in the same series for three days straight...you can't help but dream about them.
I think this book was the best written of the three. It's pace is quick, the depth of both plot has easily gone a mile or two below the surface unlike the first two books that only go a foot down, the twist in said plot was one I didn't see coming (THAT takes some talent so kudos to Ms. Armsrong!) and its characters are growing into who they need to be to make this story come to a close. The book moves along really well and I only got frustrated at my lead girl once or twice (Yelling something at her like "Thank God Zoey and you aren't in charge of shit...nothing would get accomplished as you both sat and worried in the corner and failed to see yourself as valuable!").
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES! As previously mentioned, it does take 1/2 of Book One to get to the goods but...the full series is worth it. From what I understand, Ms. Armstong is continuing with the world she's created but with new characters. The new book is called "The Gathering". I plan to keep my eyes peeled for it. Do I secretly hope Chloe and Derek show up in it? I won't lie, I do. Their relationship is just so...awesome...I'll miss it. If I'm lucky she'll say "screw this" to the "trilogy" rule and give me more of my fave couple since Hunter and Morgan in the SWEEP series by Cate Tiernan.
That's all for now...on this. I do have another nugget for ya'll today though so stay tuned! :)
Tamsin Silver xo