Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Friday, December 31, 2010

And Finally...One More Review!

The third (and possibly final) book in the Darkest Powers series, The Reckoning, takes up with Chloe, our heroine, safely ensconsed in supernatural friend Andrew's house. Along with her fellow runaways Derek, Simon, and Tori, they've been on the lam from the Edison Group, the people responsible for genetically altering their supernatural genes in order to "make them better". But for once it seems as though things will slow down and allow the quartet to catch their collective breaths and form a plan on how to return to the laboratory and rescue Chloe's Aunt Lauren and their friend Rae. But things couldn't be quite so easy, could they? Of course not...especially with an evil poltergeist living in their new home, Derek's final Change into a werewolf iminent, romantic issues, a missing parent, and the ultimate betrayal by those who are supposed to be protecting them.

The Reckoning is just as well written as the previous two books in the series, yet I couldn't get over the feeling that we'd never be free from the running going on. Chloe's powers are terrifyingly shocking; the scene in the cemetery is particularly gruesome. I loved the scenes where Derek finally changes, and Tori's growing maturity is a welcome change over her bratty behavior earlier. And yet, though those pages kept turning rapidly, I can't help but feel there will be more to come with these characters since there's way too much left unexplained. I would welcome another entry in this series in order to clear up some of the mysteries left dangling (which several reviewers have enumerated far better than I could). Even with the irritations of stories left unresolved (or not resolved satisfactorily), I would still continue to read this series and recommend them to all who love young adult paranormals. Armstrong writes with a sense of urgency that made me continually say "Just one more page...just one more chapter..." until I had to force myself to put the book down. Definitely addicting.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

The Awakening, the second book in the Darkest Powers series, picks up almost immediately after The Summoning ends: Chloe wakes up, basically imprisoned, at the mercy of the Edison Group. This group is responsible for the genetic engineering of several supernatural babies' DNA; now that the group has reached their teens, their powers are increasing and sometimes out of control. And if the Edison Group cannot get a handle on the teens...well, let's just say that problems are eliminated. And it's this truth that Chloe's awakened to.

The Awakening moves quickly and it's not a spoiler to say that Chloe and Tori (her nemesis) escape the supervision of the adults from the Edison Group and meet up with Simon and Derek. No one's particularly excited to have Tori along, but the other three make the best of things as they go on the run. There are no pretty surprises about running for your life, and Chloe's necromancy is a constant source of terror as she accidentally raises the dead. Unsure of even where they are headed, the foursome only want a sense of normalcy to return to their lives.

While it's clear that The Awakening is ramping up the action so we can get to the final showdown with the Edison Group, it also stands up to expectations. There is literally almost no stopping place once the escape happens, and Chloe's terror at her growing supernatural manifestation is palpable. I did wish there was less bickering among the characters, but that only makes it more realistic since they are teens. I also wondered at how Chloe could instinctively know what to do with her powers when she only recently discovered them. But in general this book is a welcome addition to the teen paranormal genre because it's different from the run of the mill love/angst/horror stories so prevalent. I'm on to the next one!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Now, Finally, A Book Review

And now for something completely different...a book review!

Seriously, I've been reading and reviewing, but nothing I could post here yet. Many thanks to the Historical Novel Society for keeping me in books and well entertained, but I cannot post reviews for them here until they've appeared in publication, so...all that equals the videos I've posted below.

Plus, if I'm being devastatingly honest, I've been a bit of a slow reader lately. Now, granted, I had an excuse: DH, Katherine, and I went to Hawaii the week of Thanksgiving (that's right, feel badly for me now) and school came to its limping first semester conclusion last week. Well, sort of. We had two snow days (in December!) and two half days, wreaking havoc on our schedules. Anyway, I can make all the excuses I want but I'm hoping to get a few more books finished before the year officially ends. Looking forward to an awesome 2011 which includes seeing U2 in July! Yes!

So, here's my first Amazon book review in pretty much forever. Short and sweet, if not all Christmasy like I'd thought it would be. Still good, however.

What are you reading?

I picked up Richard Peck's A Season of Gifts after it had languished in my TBR pile for quite some time because its cover seemed to indicate the season in question would be Christmas (my copy has an old car traveling down a road with a tree tied to its roof as its cover). Turns out the "season" is an entire first semester of school spent in the small town where Mrs. Dowdel, the fiery grandmother heroine of A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, lives. And that turned out to be all right, too.

As a long time fan of both A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, I was pleased to discover this little companion book. At only 164 pages, it can easily be read in a sitting and its chapters echo both of the other books. This time our stories are told from the point of view of P.K. (preacher's kid) Bob Barnhart, whose family has moved next door to Mrs. Dowdel. Taking place around 25 years or so after the last book, Bob is also a misfit; his dealings with some of the characters are humorous, mischievous, and troubling at once. Mrs. Dowdel, the wild figure that she is, says she "doesn't neighbor" but in truth, her eye is on the family next door and she knows how to set things to rights far better than most.

While the stories are set into sections roughly by months, the common theme is survival, and humor, as always, plays a major part in helping the story along. There's nothing deep to the plot, and Mrs. Dowdel is as lively and delightfully bossy as ever. This book's a slender gem and takes you back to an era when Elvis was king and a boy's remembrances could be more wishful nostalgia than anything. Good clean fun and well written.