Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Challenge Review: Darkest Powers Bonus Pack 1 by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Darkest Powers Bonus Pack 1
Titles Included: Dangerous, Divided, Disenchanted
Series: The Darkest Powers #0.5, #1.5, #2.5
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Sorcerers, Werewolves, Necromancers, Witches
Setting Location: Buffalo, New York
Publisher: Traverse Press
Format: Kindle Edition
ISBN: 9780987703149
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Amazon.com
Rating: 4/5

Purchase Here: Kindle

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

Summary: Contains three companion stories to the #1 NYT bestselling Darkest Powers trilogy.

Dangerous (prequel to The Summoning) The story of how Derek and Simon came to Lyle House, told from Derek's point of view.

Divided (set between The Summoning and The Awakening) Derek and Simon's adventures while separated from Chloe and Rae in the factory. Also told from Derek's point of view.

Disenchanted (overlaps part of The Awakening) Simon and Tori continue their journey after Chloe and Derek are left at the truck stop. Told from Tori's point of view.


What I love about some novellas is that they can be from the POV of a character that you're just dying to know what they are thinking while you're reading the main storyline. In the Darkest Powers, Derek is that character for me, and most of the novellas are from his POV.

Dangerous - Derek's POV

This novella is the prequel to the main series and it starts 10 years before, when Derek was 5 years old and living in the lab with the other werewolf pups. I really liked being able to read about what Derek's life was like before Simon's dad took him. And even at 5 years old, Derek felt better being around Simon and was just as protective of him.

We read about why Simon and Derek ended up at Lyle House, but it was just a vague explanation given to Chloe. But in Dangerous, we get to read about what really happened. We see how Derek protected Simon from a bully with a knife, which resulted in that bully being put into a coma. We see how people judged Derek by how he looked, assuming he was up to no good. Then we see what happened when they arrived home one day to their dad missing and what they went through to try to find him. Which then led to them being caught an sent to Lyle House. I felt this was a pretty good lead up to the main story when Chloe arrives at Lyle House and meets Simon and Derek.

Divided - Derek's POV

This novella takes place between The Summoning and The Awakening when Derek, Simon, Chloe, and Rae escaped Lyle House and were being pursued in the factory. This is Derek and Simon's side of the story when they end up separated.

Derek is really not happy with Chloe not following the plan and having stayed with him while his Change began. We learn why Derek used Chloe to escape Lyle House: Simon had withdrawn into himself and Chloe was bringing him back to himself. Chloe needed their help and Derek used that to get Simon to leave Lyle House. It wasn't until Chloe confronted Derek about using her and still staying with the plan that he started seeing her as a person and feeling responsible for her.

So when he realizes that Chloe and Rae are nowhere in the factory and that she called her aunt, he begins to feel anxious. Derek and Simon go from library to library trying to find information on where Chloe could be, while still trying to find their dad. It's during this that he notices a paper with the reward notice of $500,000 that her dad is offering for her return. You can imagine this doesn't make Derek very happy. You can also imagine Derek's relief and annoyance when they return to the factory and Chloe's there, but with Tori in tow.

I really liked reading this novella because while Chloe and Rae are hiding in the warehouse and eventually recaptured, we get to see what is happening with the other half of their group. Derek is almost desperate to get to Chloe and you can see small changes in the way he sees and feels about her. While I believe that the true changing point in his feeling for Chloe was when she stayed with him when he started Changing again at the truck stop, I think the beginning of those changes started here.

Disenchanted - Tori's POV, partially Simon's

Now Disenchanted takes place during the time that Chloe and Derek were left behind at the truck stop, but this is the story of Tori and Simon's continued journey to Andrew's.

Simon wants to go back for Derek and Chloe, while Tori wants to continue on to Andrew's place. Tori gets her way and they eventually make it to Andrew's. But along the way, Simon doesn't bother to hide his dislike for her and Tori knows that they don't want her there. When they get to Andrew's house, he's just gone, like Simon's dad was just gone. It's while they are hiding out in the pool house waiting for Derek and Chloe to arrive that Simon tells Tori why he doesn't like her. She's inconsiderate and selfish, only thinking of herself.

I think the moment that really got Tori thinking was when Simon protected her from a perceived threat, someone he doesn't even like. It's after this point that Tori slowly begins to change. Although she can still be a brat sometimes.

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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