The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: 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.


Oh my god. The Reckoning was one of those books that sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. On multiple occasions someone would have to say my name over and over until I heard them. I couldn’t have put this book down if I wanted to.
Chloe and Derek FINALLY realize they like each other. (I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I was more concerned about that than the fact they were running for their lives. I can’t help it; I’m a hopeless romantic.)
Chloe continued to impress me throughout this book. She’s come so far from the nice, shy girl she used to be. She’s become a bit of an expert at plotting and scheming and she’s not as afraid of her powers anymore. I loved watching Chloe grow throughout this series. She became someone I would love to be friends with.
I also loved watching Derek come out of his shell. He’s still quiet and brooding but he opens up so much to Chloe that I got to see how sweet he can be.
I still love Simon and Tori as secondary characters. They both add their own unique talents and personalities to the group. Simon might not have terribly strong magic but he sort of acts as the group’s optimism. He keeps everyone’s spirits up when things aren’t looking so great. Tori mostly adds her powerful witchcraft but she’s also fairly intelligent. She can hack computers and gets important information for the group.
This book had more action and more magic than the other two. There were quite of few rather shocking twists that actually had my jaw dropping. I don’t want to give anything away, but what the group thinks they know drastically changes a few times.
I was a little surprised by how things were resolved in the end. I’d sort of expected Chloe to suddenly come out with this crazy new power in order to save everyone but I’m glad she didn’t. It wouldn’t have been realistic. The group always gets out of situations by working together (and a decent amount of luck) so I ended up loving the way they worked together at the end.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how many questions it left me with. When it ended, Chloe and her friends are safe but they’re stilling running. Their powers are still out of control, they still can’t fit in with humans, and the Edison group still wants to kill them. I also don’t know most of what the Edison group had been up to. We know why they started the Genesis II experiments but don’t know anything about the dozens of other experiments. It also hadn’t been clear about why the mafia-type group that plays a small part toward the end has any interest in the kids. I really hate when books leave me with questions. I understand it’s unrealistic for them to be completely happy and safe all of a sudden. I know their lives will be difficult for awhile. Despite that, I’d much rather be able to pretend everything’s perfect at the end.
Overall, I absolutely adored this series. It sucked me in and kept me on my toes. They’re funny, suspenseful, filled with action and make you think. They completely exceeded the expectations I had when I first picked them up. I’d recommend them to anyone who enjoys YA, action, paranormal, and romance. I’d love to hear your own thoughts.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary:Chloe Saunders is on the run
and raising hell. Literally.
Chloe Saunders is not your average supernatural teenager. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister team of scientists, she can barely control her terrifying powers. Now the team that created her has decided it’s time to end the experiment. Permanently.
Now Chloe is running for her life along with a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom – but can Chloe trust her new friends?


I really can’t stress enough how much I love these books. As good as The Summoning was The Awakening was so much better. The action has picked up speed and so has the magic.
I love Chloe even more than I did after the first book. She’s become a bit of a badass. When shy, I-apologize-every-minute Chloe feels threatened, she turns into I-can-raise-the-dead-don’t-fuck-with-me Chloe. She’s fantastic. Her powers are growing and she’s figuring out how to use them. She’s done letting the Edison group get away with treating her and the other kids like shit and she’s done letting them do their experiments. She really steps up in this book against the Edison group and in trying to protect her friends.
Which leads me to Derek. Now I know they’re going to love each other forever even if they still don’t understand. It’s not their faults; they have a lot on their minds. But I have no doubt it’s going to happen and I absolutely can’t wait. They’re so perfect together I can’t believe no one sees it.
Next I’ll talk about the secondary characters again. There aren’t any new ones but the previous ones have drastically changed. I hate Rae. She really is just a stupid little bitch and I hope I don’t have to read about her again. Also, I sort of love Tori. She’s gotten over herself a lot. Her mom’s even crazier than she thought and she’s not stupid enough to stick around and see what happens. She stays with Chloe, Derek and Simon because they all have a common enemy but I think she and Chloe are actually beginning to care about each other and become friends. I can’t wait to read more about her in the next book.
What I liked in this book was getting to see Chloe and Derek trying to blend in with humans. I hadn’t thought about the fact it might be hard for them. I guessed Derek might have a hard time because he’s antisocial, but Chloe was fairly normal before Lyle house. However, at least for the foreseeable future, Chloe can’t tell the difference between a ghost and a living person unless they do something ghost-y like walk through walls. There was a part when Derek and Chloe get separated from the others and they’re trying to get food from a coffee shop. A woman comes up to Chloe and starts talking to her. It’s not until Chloe notices everyone laughing and whispering about her that she realizes the woman’s a ghost. I didn’t think how difficult it could be for her and I liked being able to see some of that in this book.
You can expect a review for The Reckoning, the conclusion to the Darkest Powers Trilogy, soon. I absolutely cannot wait to see how it ends. Let me know what you think and how your opinions might differ.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: 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.


I’ll confess. I honestly didn’t expect to like these books. I was at the library and didn’t want to bring only one book home and didn’t have much time to look. So I just grabbed The Summoning and The Awakening thinking I’d probably at least be able to get through the first at some point. I ended up reading them in a day each. I loved these books.
Chloe was a strong, interesting narrator who kept exceeding my expectations. She was really shy and sweet in the beginning. She could definitely be considered too nice. I’d assumed she would just slide along through the whole book letting everyone else do the hard work. (Unfortunately, I’ve found that many female MC’s in young adult books have an annoying lack of backbone and let their men take care of them. This is NOT the type of protagonist I enjoy reading about.) However, I found Chloe surprisingly resourceful. She was obviously scared when she started seeing ghosts and even more scared every time she learned something new about Lyle house and being a necromancer. But she never let it stop her from learning more and fighting back and I loved that about her.
I loved Derek almost instantly. He’s moody and quiet and a little bit of an asshole. But he’s also loyal, funny, and almost annoyingly protective of the people he cares about i.e. his brother, Simon, and eventually Chloe. Not long after I decided I loved him I also decided he and Chloe need to love each other for forever. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen during this book, though they’re pretty good friends now so I’ve decided to be hopeful.
There were quite a few secondary characters and I’m fairly undecided about most of them. Simon is funny and I’d like him better if I wasn’t worried he’d get in the way of Chloe and Derek loving each other. I really like Liz (a ghost) and can’t wait to see more of her. Rae was nice but a little on the annoying side. She never seemed to take anything seriously. I hated Tori. She was a spoiled little bitch. I get her mother is an even bigger bitch but that’s no excuse for the things she does.
I really liked the way Armstrong portrays the different supernatural races and the politics behind them. It made it different from the many other YA paranormal books. I also really loved that Chloe is a necromancer. It’s something that I haven’t seen a lot of in books and it made it really unique.
The ending of this book drove me nuts. Everything goes to shit… then it ends… I’m just happy I don’t have to wait for any of these books to be published because I can’t wait to finish them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult, paranormal fantasy, and romance. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Amanda hasn’t read these books yet so I have no one to talk to about them. If you’ve read them, I would love to know what you think of them.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas

Goodreads Summary: Justine Hoffman has made a comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbor. She is the proprietor of a successful boutique hotel, and she has the safe, predictable life she has always wanted. Growing up with her flighty, nomadic mother, Marigold, has instilled in her a deep longing for stability. But in spite of everything Justine has achieved, there is still something missing. Love. And after years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny.
What Justine soon discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Determined to change her fate, Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that will follow.
And when Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear . . . because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.

Hey, everyone. Sorry I haven’t written a review in awhile. My reading’s been a bit slow lately, due to my mildly unhealthy obsession with Charmed. I’m working on balancing my Charmed and reading obsessions equally, so hopefully I’ll do better in the future.
Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite romance authors and I’ve always enjoyed her books, both contemporary and regency era. Crystal Cove is no different. It has a lot of humor, romance, and wicked hot sex scenes. I was so happy when I found out Kleypas was going to write Justine’s book. This is the final book in the Friday Harbor Series. The first three center around three brothers and the women they fall in love with. During those books, you meet the women’s friend Justine. I’d always liked her. She’s outgoing and funny and extremely unlucky in love. She’s also a hereditary witch.
Well, it turns out that a geas (a curse), has been cast on her that prevents her from ever loving anyone. Angry, she dispels the geas, not realizing the consequences. Hereditary witches have long ago been cursed to lose the men they love to early deaths. Trying to protect Justine from being hurt, her mother, Marigold, and her coven, had placed the geas on her when she was a baby. Now she’s met Jason and, with the geas lifted, she’s falling fast.
Unfortunately, Jason has secrets of his own. He doesn’t have a soul. This doesn’t make him evil or incapable of human emotion. It only means he won’t go anywhere when he dies. He won’t go to heaven or hell, or be reborn. He simply ceases to exist. Because of this, people without souls tend to live very short lives, like they’re unconsciously trying to compensate for that missing part. Jason once met a witch who promised to help him try to change his fate and they made a plan to steal Justine’s grimoire (book of spells). The Triodecad is very old and very powerful, having been passed down through Justine’s family and can’t be separated from the witch who owns it. So Jason planned to gain Justine’s trust and steal the book once he was close enough to her. What he didn’t count on was falling in love.
What I didn’t like about this book was the timeline. It goes so fast that Justine and Jason fall in love in only a few days. I understand it’s supposed to be love at first sight, and I would’ve been fine with that, but after she finds out he stole the grimoire it only takes her a few days to get over it. They still went through all the usual emotions; falling in love, betrayal, remorse, acceptance, forgiveness, etc. but it seemed like they were rushing through them, and I would have preferred if it’d been drawn out a little bit longer to make it more realistic.
Jason irritated me a little bit as a male lead. He’s controlling in an obsessive-compulsive kind of way. You understand why he’s like that but it bothers me when that behavior transfers into his relationship with Justine. She’s pretty good at putting him in his place and making him see that he can’t treat her like that, but it’s a trait I find really annoying in a man and, personally, there were a few times where it was hard for me to get past that and just enjoy their relationship.
Overall, I quite liked this book. I liked the magical concepts Kleypas used to make the plot exciting and the way she had them overcome their problems in the end really surprised me. Usually with romance novels, where the plot tends to be very straightforward, I can guess how the characters will fix everything at the end, and with this one I really couldn’t figure out how they would manage it until it was actually happening.
This is definitely what I would call a (slightly) trashy romance novel. It’s not just sex and there is a plot, but it’s more of an unsurprising quick-read with a happy ending. If you tend to like stories with complicated characters and plotlines that leave you falling off a cliff, then this probably isn’t your kind of book. But if you’re a hopeless romantic like I am, then I’d suggest you give this book (or one of Kleypas’ other novels) a try.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!