[ Series Review ] A catpaw birthmark doesn’t have to mean she’s a shapeshifter, honest.

Series Review: Darkness Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Last week, I posted a review of Armstrong’s The Darkest Powers series covering book 1-3. The Darkness Rising trilogy makes up the next three YA books in the same world, following sixteen-year-old Maya living in a small medical-research community on Vancouver Island. In a town of some hundred people, strangers stand out, so when a journalist shows up asking about a tragic death a year ago, Maya takes notice. And she begins to ask her own questions.

The Gathering:

The mountain lions are acting up, Maya’s best friend is hiding something, a stranger is snooping around town, and a Maya is haunted by a memory of a friend’s  drowning that might just have been murder. Oh and there’s a cute bad boy in school who suddenly develops a sudden and inexplicable attraction to Maya that she doesn’t believe and doesn’t trust.

I actually read this series first, before realizing that it connected indirectly (and eventually directly) to The Darkest Powers. Still, it is a comfortable standalone, and it helps that even if you don’t have the backstory from The Darkest Powers and don’t recognize some of the references, you’ll still know that something isn’t quite right in this peaceful little town. And of course, even the most oblivious reader will zero in on the fact that Maya has a birthmark in the shape of a cat’s pawprint. Because, you know, that’s never significant.  Continue reading

[ Series Review ] The girl who sees ghosts, enter stage left

Series Review: The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong

I first came across Armstrong’s writing when she published Bitten (werewolf, paranormal, romance) so when I saw that she had written a Young Adult series, I was torn between curiosity and a skeptical mistrust of yet another neck-and-lips cover – plus, the books are called “The Darkest Powers.” How in the world was the series gonna pull that off?

It starts with The Summoning.

Chloe Saunders is a regular film-loving teenage girl – right up until she has a psychotic break in the middle of the school day and nearly falls off the school roof. She ends up in Lyle House, a home for troubled teens with its own regimen of meds and surveillance. You can probably guess by the glowing jewel (and title) on the covers above that this won’t be a story about a young girl overcoming mental illness. In fact, as time goes on, Chloe begins to wonder whether the ghosts in Lyle House might just be real after all. Continue reading