The Awakening is the second book in Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy. This is an incredibly fun young adult series featuring a young necromancer and her supernatural friends. If you haven’t read the first book, you should stop reading here, because there’s really no way to talk about what happens in this book without revealing spoilers about the first one.
On the outside, Lyle House is a home for troubled teens, but really it’s a home for teens with special powers – supernaturals. Chloe was placed in the home when she started seeing people that supposedly weren’t there. After learning that the people were really ghosts, she realized that she is a necromancer, someone who can communicate with and raise the dead. And she’s not the only one with special powers. Derek, a large, brusque boy, is actually a young werewolf in the process of changing. Simon is a cute, kind sorcerer and Rae’s obsession with fire seems like it might be more than just pyromania. After Chloe and Derek get into some trouble in the home, it’s clear that they need to escape. While they do make it out, someone has betrayed them and Chloe and Rae are captured by the Edison Group, the group of people who placed them in Lyle House.
This book picks up at the exact moment that the last left off, with Chloe trapped in a compound about to summon the ghost of a friend. She and Rae need to find a way to escape, but this time they’re not in a regular house with a simple burglar system and instead of dealing with human nurses, they must face adult supernaturals who know a great deal more about their powers than they do. Chloe does some sleuthing, however, and learns something that might give them an advantage.
The residents of Lyle House were actually part of an experiment done by the Edison Group. The group was attempting to create supernaturals who went through the transition of gaining their powers easier, but, as with most experiments, something went wrong. Some children had less side effects during their transition and less power than the average supernatural, but others had a great deal more power than anticipated; so much so that the Edison Group terminated the subjects who seemed out of control. This explains why Chloe has seen her friend a couple times – the girl was murdered. Now that Chloe knows what they’re up against, it becomes imperative to escape and warn Simon and Derek. The greater power should come in handy, but she and her friends are being targeted for a reason – their powers are out of control.
Chloe and her friends are on the move throughout this book. There’s lots of fleeing, chasing, hiding, scrapping, etc. as they try to accomplish their ultimate goal – finding Simon’s father. His father is a sorcerer who disappeared about a year ago after being involved with the Edison Group. If they can find him, maybe they’ll be safe.
The constant peril hanging over their heads and their fending for themselves on the streets allows for a lot of action scenes. The descriptive writing of the first book continues on in this one, making all that happens feel so immediate. This makes the horror scenes involving dead beings truly horrifying. If you don’t like gore and gross images, then beware, for this book is full of them – and I loved it. The interaction between the characters is captivating, especially between Chloe and a certain boy, and I can’t wait to see if romance blooms between the two. I wasn’t as thoroughly entranced by The Awakening as I was the first, though as you can tell by the grade I still really liked it. The first book has a lot of emotion as Chloe tries to deal with her fears and her new life. In this one, the emotion wasn’t as much in the forefront because of the constant movement and action.
This has been a very enjoyable trilogy thus far and I’m excited for what will come next. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a whole year to finish up the story. But you can bet that I’ll be anxiously awaiting the third book.