The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Gathering
The blurb: Maya Delaney has always felt a close bond with nature. The woods around her home are a much-loved sanctuary and the pawprint birthmark on her hip feels like a sign that she belongs. But then strange and terrible things begin to happen in the tiny medical-research town of Salmon Creek!

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 21/02/2016
Date I finished this book 24/02/2016

What did I think? The Gathering is the first in a new young adult trilogy set in the same universe as Women of the Otherworld and is similar her The Darkest Powers trilogy. The small town where Maya lives is run by the St. Cloud family and she believes they’re working on top secret medical research. There’s a good chance that’s exactly what they’re doing, but established fans will know who the St. Clouds are even though they’ve not featured heavily in her other books.

The plot is fairly slow and I’m not sure if it will appeal to readers new to Kelley’s world. Personally, I love trying to make all the connections.

Sadly, the book doesn’t really finish. It’s designed as part one of a trilogy and it’s obvious at the end that there’s still much more to tell. I don’t mind this so much because I’ve already started book two

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The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Reckoning
The blurb: Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that’s not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf…

Definitely not normal.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 17/02/2016
Date I finished this book 20/02/2016

What did I think? Chloe, Derek, Simon and Tori have escaped the catches of the Edison Group with the help of Andrew. A former employee of the Edison Group, and a friend of the boys’ dad, he and a small group of other ex-employees want to stop the experiments the EG are performing and feel the kids may just have the information they need to do so. But Chloe and her friends are cautious. They’ve been through a lot, escaped and been caught repeatedly, and betrayed by those they trusted completely already, is Andrew’s offer of help too good to be true? And even if it is, do they have a choice about staying with him?

I liked the previous two books in this trilogy, but I didn’t love them. I always felt like they were lacking something. But this one I liked a lot more. It felt smoother, like the series really hit its stride. It’s well-paced with a fair bit of action and some good twists and turns. A couple of things along the way I really didn’t see coming.

The love triangle between Chloe and the brothers, Derek and Simon, played out really well and I love how it worked out. Chloe grew up a lot through this book and it really showed. Not to mention she finally learned to stand up for herself. Aside from Chloe, I felt Derek and Tori grew a fair bit through this last book as well making them that bit more ‘real’ to me. Simon is pretty much the same, but his character serves his purpose just fine, without being forgotten.

Aside from the romantic entanglements, the plot is not so cleanly wrapped up. The biggest things are dealt with, but not everything. Why? Because while this is a trilogy, it’s the first part of a series. The second trilogy is titled ‘Darkness Rising’ and follows different characters, subjects of a different Edison Group project. I’m just starting the first of them, The Gathering, and hope we do get to see more of Chloe and her friends.

Back to this book. While there are certain things left open-ended, the majority of plot threads are tied up in this book, or at least enough to give a satisfying conclusion. I would have liked a little more in some ways, but given this is actually the start of a series, which has at least three more books to go, I can’t really expect it to be all tied up.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Awakening
The blurb: You don’t have to be alive to be awakened.

Chloe Saunders is a living science experiment—not only can she see ghosts, but she was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. She’s a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control, which means she can raise the dead without even trying. Now Chloe’s running for her life with three of her supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and they have to find someone who can help them before the Edison Group catches them.

Or die trying

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 10/02/2016
Date I finished this book 16/02/2016

What did I think? The Summoning was so exciting and I was really looking forward to reading The Awakening. I’ve now read it, and I’m feeling a little disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, the book itself wasn’t bad; the characters are just as awesome as they were before, the writing as just as good, there’s no fault there. I think my problem is with the plot. I haven’t read the third book in the series, The Reckoning, yet, obviously, but it felt to me like Kelley knew how the series was going to end, but couldn’t just start The Reckoning after The Summoning, so needed The Awakening as filler to bridge the gap. Not an awful lot happens for a book of its length. Before I knew it, I was over half way through, and still waiting for something important to the actual plot line from The Summoning.

I love the way Kelley writes; Chloe’s voice, thoughts and fears are just so fascinating, you don’t want to put the book down. I want to get to know Chloe, and the others, better because their lives and what they’re going through is just so clever. Chloe learns a little more about her necromancy ability in this book, and it’s kind of freaky just how far she can go. Tori has to face some harsh truths, and I can’t help but feel sorry for her, even when she is being a cow. Derek is so awesome, I swear; he’s strong, he’s brave, he’s self-sacrificing, he’s just brilliant! Simon is lovely, but he annoys me sometimes with just how nice he is. I know he likes Chloe, but he shouldn’t be so happy-cheery all the time, it’s grating. Liz is still one of my favourite characters, she’s just on the right side of quirky, and I love her! I am liking the hint of a love triangle that weaves its way throughout the book, though I know who I would choose.

They find out something huge about themselves in this book, and it puts them all on edge a little, though I can’t really go into why without spoiling a major plot point (which I would like to point out we find out at the beginning of the book). There is a fair amount of action, of the creepy ghost/zombie kind, dodging baddies kind, and fighting kind, and it’s all suspenseful and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Quite a bit of a thrill roller-coaster.

I’m really looking forward to reading The Reckoning

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong – The Summoning
The blurb: 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.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, supernatural
Date I started this book: 03/02/2016
Date I finished this book 06/02/2016

What did I think? I thought The Summoning was a really thoroughly enjoyable read and am very much looking forward to reading the next two in the series.

The first chapter (which is a prologue featuring a young Chloe) had me hooked from the first page. It sets the tone for how this book is going to be, a bit creepy with lots of ideas left for you to get your head around. I really liked how it takes a while for the reader (and Chloe for that matter) to really grasp what is going on in this book. There is so much that is teased out slowly as the book goes on and Chloe gets so many mixed messages that she starts to doubt herself which means you as the reader do too.

Another thing I loved about this book was the characterisation. Chloe was a fab leading lady and enjoyed following her story but I also loved all of the other teenagers around her, even Tori was was a complete bitch to everyone. I loved the dialogue between them as it was often witty and amusing.

Once the book kicks off the action is fast paced and exciting. I loved finding out about the supernatural potentials of the main characters and delving more into the whys and wherefores of how they all ended up at Lyle house and why the place was built in the first place.

The ending was jaw dropping. I was stunned about what happened between two of the characters and when the book ended I wanted more straight away.

All in all an excellent start to a trilogy that I can’t wait to continue.