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The Awakening: Darkest Powers #2    by Kelley Armstrong order for
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Awakening follows The Summoning as the second in Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series. The first book introduced motherless film student Chloe Saunders. With her father an absentee parent, her closest family member is her physician Aunt Lauren.

In late puberty, when Chloe began to see needy ghosts, she was diagnosed as schizophrenic and sent to a group home for troubled teenagers. But of course, all was not as it seemed at Lyle House. Discovering that her fellow inmates had strong supernatural talents, Chloe joined levitator Simon, werewolf Derek, and firebug Rae in a jailbreak. They left Tori (a witch with serious attitude problems) behind.

Now, as The Awakening opens, Chloe and Rae have been re-captured by the Edison Group - the adult supernaturals who kill those whose talents they deem uncontrollable. They attempt to use Chloe to bring in Derek and Simon. With help from her aunt and the ghost of her dead friend Liz, Chloe escapes again, this time with Tori for company. They join up with Simon and Derek.

The teens bus cross country, squabbling all the way. They seek Andrew, an old friend of Simon and Derek's dad, and are relentlessly pursued by Edison Group minions. Though they have problems with Chloe's inadvertent summoning of ghosts and with the emergence of Derek's wolf, they eventually find Andrew, just in time for a major run-in with their enemies - who are shooting to kill this time.

If you're a fan of the Twilight series, you'll find Darkest Powers equally gripping but edgier. Kelley Armstrong keeps the action humming with horror and danger, while also capturing the vulnerability of young love, filled with angst and constant misunderstanding. Don't miss this one!

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