REVIEW: The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong

Book cover: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong Book cover: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong Book cover: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

93-95. Darkest Powers #1-3 by Kelley Armstrong
Book 1: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009), Paperback, 416pp / ISBN 0061450545
Book 2: HarperCollins (April 28, 2009), ebook, 384pp / ISBN 0061450553
Book 3: HarperCollins (April 6, 2010), ebook, 416pp / ISBN 0061662836
Genre: YA Paranormal

Read: August 5-9, 2011 (entire series)
Source: Sandy for the first book (thanks so much!), and I bought the next two books

Summary of The Summoning from Amazon:

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.


Sandy and I were talking during the blogger reception thing at BEA this year about paranormal YA books and how a lot of them are basically copies of one another. Also, that some things (okay, a lot of things) about paranormal books annoy me. If you’ve been my blog for a while you’ve no doubt that noticed that I tend to get really annoyed about such things as “love” at first sight, everyone being soulmates, romantic gestures that are actually really stalkerish, and how everyone always thinks they’re going to be together forever (and then they are). Cynical? Maybe. I’d just like a little variety, you know? It’s not the end of the world if your vampire boyfriend breaks up with you, and that hot guy in gym class that you saw that one time is not your soulmate. Just. C’mon.

ANYWAY, Sandy told me about the Darkest Powers series, and about how it was different and good and then she offered to send me the first book so I could read it for myself and OH MY GOD SANDY you were so right. This series? To use the vernacular of paranormal romances: it’s like this series and I were meant to be.

EVERYTHING I hate about paranormal books is subverted in this series. It’s like Kelley Armstrong delights in making her books as different from every other paranormal YA book out there while still maintaining decent writing, some amazing characters, and a really exciting plot.

Author Kelley Armstrong
The author

Damsel in distress? HA! How about damsel-freakin’-coming-to-save-ALL-your-butts, people. Teenagers with perfect skin and fabulous good looks? HA! Have a serious case of acne and B.O. and bad hair instead! Stalker dude as potential boyfriend? HA! Not until he cleans up his act and stops being such a big weirdo.

DID I MENTION the exciting plot? After finishing book 1 I immediately went out and bought books 2 and 3 so I could read them right away and thus not have my head explode. Also! The plot? Was in no way hijacked by any sort of romance. Like, there IS some romance, but it’s definitely a subplot and most of it doesn’t even happen until the third book. The romantic couple? Actually gets to know one another before they start dating! You can probably guess how excited I was by all this.

I just. This series is so much fun to read, and I really like the characters, and I like how realistic everything is while still being all paranormal-y, and even the baddies are somewhat layered, and it’s just so great. I wish more paranormal YA books were like the Darkest Powers series.


for the whole first trilogy.


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Other reviews

My Favorite Author: “I think what I loved most about these books are the characters! They are FANTASTIC! I usually don’t notice good characters — I notice the annoying ones and the amazing ones. All of the characters in these books were amazing.”

Bookshelves of Doom: “The storyline mostly kept me interested, but I was never fully engaged because the characters never felt all that well-developed. It’s the beginning of a series, and it does have that pilot feel*, which, for me, gets old fast.”

Book Addiction: “Also, the adventures in these books were paced very well. Armstrong both gave the characters realistic obstacles and gave the reader enough action to keep interested. As in most books that rely on action, everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong, but in a way that made sense.”


The third book doesn’t, luckily, end on a horrible cliffhanger. It ties up most of the major plotlines but leaves some of the lesser ones unanswered (like, the necklace! What’s that about?). The next trilogy, which stars a different set of characters, maybe answers those questions but I’m not entirely sure.

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. I haven’t read any of Kelley Armstrong’s books… yet! But I’ve heard good things about them. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this series, I may have to check it out 🙂

    1. I hope you enjoy it! 😀 I think if you’re a fan of YA you’d like them, even if paranormal stuff isn’t normally your cup of tea. Yay!

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