This second novel in the Darkest Powers trilogy picks up where the first book left off, with Chloe on the run from the scientists at the Lyle House, where she'd been taken following an "episode" at school in which it appeared she was having a mental breakdown.
In reality, however, Chloe is able to see ghosts. More specifically, they can see her, too, and she has powers to control the dead. The problem is, she has no training, no idea how to use them. If she isn't careful, she can actually call back the spirits of the dead into their decaying or skeletal bodies, which is a generally unpleasant experience for everyone involved. This installment is action packed from beginning to end, and there while the book does not end with the cliffhanger of the first book, there is no real resolution. Readers will have to wait for the final volume, due to be published next year.
Some trilogies have single story arcs within each volume, and a larger story arc that carries through all the books. This is not one of those trilogies. This one is more in the vein of a book that is divided into three parts, each published separately. For that reason I would have preferred waiting to read them until they were all published, because while I've enjoyed them both thoroughly, I have closed each book with a feeling of frustration. If there had been a minor, satisfying conclusion of some sort, I would have been happier.
Still, the author has done an excellent job of creating a world in which the supernatural is believable and the characters have depth. The tension and pace will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Kelley Armstrong has set up a special website for the trilogy at http://www.chloesaunders.com/, which is a lot of fun. Chloe is the "author" of the site, and Armstrong is posting a serial novella prequel there featuring characters from the trilogy.
Books in the Darkest Powers trilogy:
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning (forthcoming - 2010)
The Awakening (#2 in the Darkest Powers trilogy) by Kelley Armstrong (HarperCollins, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
The Book Obsession: "Everyone has fangirled over The Awakening but for some reason I'm not. I thought it was really good but not OH MY GOSH if that makes any sense. I just was not very excited about it."
The Story Siren: "The plot was even more fast paced than the Awakening, there is a lot more action and adventure in the sequel. Which makes for a very exciting read, but also a very quick one."
Today's Adventure: "The Awakening continues the fantastic characters, expands the concept, and has an ever-twisting storyline that kept me riveted."
YAReads.com: "I like the characters and the world a lot: I’m looking forward to the third book not only so I can find out what happens next, but just because I really enjoy being with these fictional people and seeing how things play out for them. I recommend both books a LOT."