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The Awakening Cover Picture

The Awakening

Kelley Armstrong

Published 2009           357 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

Chloe Saunders used to be a normal teenage girl - or so she thought. Then she learned the shocking truth - she is a walking science experiment. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister group of scientists known as the Edison Group, Chloe is an aberration - a powerful necromancer who can see ghosts and even raise the dead, often with terrifying consequences. Even worse, her growing powers have made her a threat to the surviving members of the Edison Group, who have decided it's time to end their experiment - permanently...

Now Chloe is running for her life with three other supernatural teenagers - a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom - but can Chloe trust her new friends?

The Review

The Awakening is the second part of Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy. Since it is part of a trilogy the Darkest Powers books need to be read in order. If you haven’t read The Summoning, the first book in the trilogy, stop this review reading now - you’re about to encounter major spoilers for that book! 

Written for Young Adults, The Awakening follows the continuing adventures of fifteen year-old Chloe who is struggling to deal with her newly found talent for raising the dead. Set in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld, readers familiar with the author’s earlier fantasy novels (written for adults) will recognise that Chloe is a necromancer – so ghosts and zombies are going to be a permanent part of her life from now on. If the trauma of raising dead things from their graves isn’t enough for Chloe she also has to deal with the knowledge that her birth was the result of a genetic experiment by supernaturally-inclined scientists and, even worse, those scientists now want their science project back. 

The Awakening starts from exactly where The Summoning finished. Chloe’s escape attempt from the group home where she was being kept with other teenaged supernaturals from the same genetic experiment had failed. Split up from her fellow-escapees - Derek, a werewolf on the brink of his first change and Simon, his sorcerer brother – Chloe has been captured and transferred to a more secure facility. The opening scenes of the story find Chloe already plotting her next escape and as soon as she sees her opportunity she takes it - since snooping has already confirmed her worst fears about her chances for survival if she is deemed a failed experiment.

The Awakening continues to be narrated in first person by Chloe. Her character makes an engaging protagonist who should appeal to a wide age range of readers – from pre-teens through to adults. Like The Summoning, the pacing in this story is fast and furious; making a one or two sitting reading is a distinct possibility.

Apart from the escaping, and the running, and the half-rotted zombies, The Awakening concentrates on trust with the unspoken question of “Who can Chloe trust?” running as a recurring theme through out the story. As the teenage runaways realise that the consequence of capture is most likely going to be their own deaths they have to trust each other and trust in their untried abilities to control their new found supernatural powers or risk re-capture.

Packed full of urban fantasy action The Awakening is a good follow-up to The Summoning that builds up momentum for the final part of this trilogy while still maintaining its own exciting plot - even if it doesn’t have any vampires in it!

Rated at 4.5 out of 5 (I knocked off half a star for the lack of vampires)

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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