The Darkest Powers Trilogy Review

5 Aug

The Darkest Powers

Darkest Powers Trilogy (Darkest Powers, #1-3)
The Summoning
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behavior. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

Okay. So, this isn’t as much of a review as this is me fangirling the series. And if I could put every favorite quote and piece of merchandise/cute pics I see online/other stuff on this entry, I would. But that would mean this blog entry would go on for 100 pages and I’d lose every ounce of respect I’ve earned in the reviewing crowd. So I have to be mature about this. Like… now. Okay now. Nope! *squeal* Be still my heart so I can write a review!

“Simon whispered to me, “But is everything okay?”
“No,” Tori said. “I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I’ve been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.”
“Undying gratitude?” Simon looked at me. “Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.”

OKAY. So, believe it or not, I haven’t recently read this series. But I know it inside out. I know it better than I know myself. I could probably recite to you my favorite scenes word-for-word. I just happened to have been going through twitter and I saw someone put a quote up from one of these books and that just kind of blew a fuse and I absolutely HAD to write a review.

So, as you might have guessed, I absolutely ADORE this series. It’s so underrated in its community of paranormal adventure because people read the summary and go: what the heck do mentally ill teenagers have to do with the dark side of the moon?

If only you knew.

The tone and writing style are AMAZING, first of all. Kelley Armstrong is one of those authors who grabs you with the first line and then doesn’t let you go. Ever. Like, even when the series is finished. I mean, look at me, I still cry every time I finish the last book because it’s over and there’s nothing more I can do. If I could kidnap Kelley Armstrong and make her write more books having to do with these kids, I would. If I ever meet her, she’d better have some bodyguards handy. I’m not even kidding. She’s some kind of genius.

I LOVE the characters. Every single one of them is so unique and likable. Even the villains! You just can’t help it. The way Kelley Armstrong breathes life into her books just gives me shivers. The characters are all different and distinct and the book comes alive in your head. Sometimes I say I REALLY wish they’d make a movie out of this, but then I remember all the movies I’ve seen of my favorite books being butchered and I take it back. If a movie ever did come out about this, I’d probably hide in a corner and have a midlife crisis at 18.

“Derek caught my arm again as I started to move–at this rate, it was going to be as sore as my injured one.
“Dog,” he said, jerking his chin toward the fenced yard. “It was inside earlier.”
Expecting to see a Doberman slavering at the fence, I followed his gaze to a little puff of white fur, the kind of dog women stick in their purses. It wasn’t even barking, just staring at us, dancing in place.
“Oh, my God! It’s a killer Pomeranian.” I glanced up at Derek. “It’s a tough call, but I think you can take him.”

The author is absolutely amazing! I mean, never in my entire life have I come across someone who could develop characters like she does. They’re so wonderful and real and you feel what they feel and sympathize with them and love them. I just can’t praise her enough for this.

Firstly, there’s Chloe. She’s just a normal girl with a normal life and normal dreams just like any other girl. And then she sees a very burned custodian in the hallway of her school. Who’s been dead for a while. So, maybe she’s not so normal after all. When she starts going to the Lyle House, a group home for mentally ill kids, she responds like anyone would respond. She deals with it like a human. It’s so real and completely unique and wonderful and makes your heart race. She’s not perfect and she’s got insecurities. She’s also thankfully void of some randomly giant ego and the need to be the perfect heroin protagonist.  That seems to be the way most authors are writing their protagonists as, so as a result, Chloe is a breath of fresh air. She doesn’t always have to take the lead and she’s quirky and funny and fun.

Then there’s Simon. He’s the type of guy you’d see across the room, bite your lip and twirl your hair for. He’s got this exotic Asian/white thing going on that makes all the girls (including mine) heart beat fast. He’s so easy going and fun and friendly and instantly likable. He’s also in the group home, but he’s not mentally ill. He’s there to protect his brother. His giant, muscly, butt-ugly brother who’s got the strength of superman.   We love Simon because even though he’s as private as his brother Derek is, he’s also got the good-guy, popular, swoon-worthy, fun vibe going on. And he doesn’t let it get to his head. He isn’t aware of all the girls drooling over him, either, which makes us love him even more. He’s the down-to-earth boy next door. We respect him because despite everything, he’s fiercely protective of his brother and knows all the things in life that count.

“Derek:Oh, for God’s sake. Save your piss. Don’t save your piss. It’s all the same to me.”

Then there’s Derek. Oh. My. God, Derek. I fell completely, utterly, undeniably, indubitably, irrevocably, desperately in love with him. And I don’t care what the books say, HE’S MINE. He’s Simon’s adopted brother who doesn’t understand socially-acceptable behavior. He’s rude and crude and obnoxious and giant. He wears clothes that are WAY too big on him. He drives girls away with just one glare – okay, that, and his face. Because Derek, poor Derek, has been hit with the worst part of the puberty train. The reason I love him is because, despite all his behavior that screams RUN AWAY HE’S A FREAKING CREEP, you realize there’s so much more to him as the series progresses. He was born the runt of the litter, and had an awful childhood before he was adopted by Simon and his dad. He’s never fit in with the kids his age. He was always the friendless guy who sat inside reading his books and getting ahead of his classes because none of the kids would spare him a look. He’s completely loyal to Simon and his dad, and would die to protect the ones he loves. He doesn’t think he’s worth dying for, though. His best friend is Simon, not only because he’s his brother, but because Simon is the only one who really knows Derek. It’s only Simon that knows what makes Derek laugh, only Simon that can look past his jerk-like demeanor. He comes off as blatantly rude, is sullen and mocking to everyone he meets, and would rather tell the whole truth rather than sugar-coat things. He likes being right, and rarely admits others are if it’s his word against theirs. Because of an accident that led him to being put in the Lyle House, he secludes himself from others in order to protect them, thinking he is a danger to others. Even though – and he will deny this – he’s as snuggly as a teddy bear. (Obviously, I’ve gone on about him long enough, now.)

“Simon: Anyone ever tell you your sense of timing really sucks?
Derek: That’s why I don’t play the drums. Now what’s up?”

Him and Simon together are knee-slapping funny. Seriously. I’ve spilled my juice laughing so hard reading them talking to each other. (IT’S OKAY! I saved the book. Can’t say the same about my homework, though :/ )

There are so many characters I’d love to talk about, but these three are the only ones who would not reveal any parts of the plot. So I’m going to bite my tongue. Hard. Because you all know that once I start talking about a book I’m excited about, I won’t stop.

And before you ask: NO. I will not choose my favorite out of the series. They’re all so amazing and fantastic and underrated. Seriously.

Kelley Armstrong is just something amazing. In her book, there’s a perfect balance to the plot. The romance isn’t leading the story on, the issue at hand is. And it’s exciting and makes your heart race and it’s always new. I’ve read this series about a billion times and every single time it’s like I’m reading it for the first time, even though I probably know it all by heart. Every time I read it, I’m always shocked and scared and amazed, and my heart beats fast and I fall in love all over again. There is no book out there that compares to this. There are so few authors out there that can do what Kelley Armstrong did here, past and present. I just can’t express how amazing she is.

“I absolutely think your worth it.”
“But you don’t think you are.”
His mouth opened. Shut.
“That’s what this is about, Derek. You won’t let us worry about you because you don’t think you’re worth it. But I do. I absolutely do.”

Five starts. No, a million. No – there isn’t enough stars out there. Just go read it. I’ve never met anyone who’s read this series and disliked it. It’s just that amazing. It’s for everyone, and I promise it will make your top ten list. This is my absolute favorite book, EVER.

Now, if you excuse me, I’m gonna go stalk the quote sites and possibly start rereading my book. Whoever tweeted that quote has created a monster.

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One Response to “The Darkest Powers Trilogy Review”

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  1. The Summoning *Spoilers* | City of Fandoms - September 17, 2013

    […] The Darkest Powers Trilogy Review (thenovellist1.wordpress.com) […]

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