One of the most prolific and popular is Kelley Armstrong.
After a dozen books in her “Women of the Otherworld” series, Armstrong released The Summoning in 2008, the first in her “Darkest Powers” young adult series. The Awakening followed in 2009, and last month (April 2010) The Reckoning hit the shelves.
The series centres on a group of teenagers who discover they not only have supernatural powers, but that they’ve been genetically engineered.
Without giving too much away, The Summoning provides the set up, The Awakening further develops the characters and the threats they face, and The Reckoning is the big showdown.
The best scenes involve increasingly self-reliant necromancer Chloe (the narrator) and ill-tempered werewolf Derek. Their erratic relationship effectively drives the third book, even more so than the plot developments.
Armstrong is clearly aware how easily a story like this could fall into clichéd territory, and provides a nice variety of twists and inconvenient moments for her characters to avoid that fate.
She also ups the tension in The Reckoning, with more blood, ghosts and zombies than the previous two books combined.
While the third book provides closure on a number of fronts, it definitely leaves plenty of room for future stories.
The “Darkest Powers” series is aimed squarely at teen readers looking for an action-packed paranormal read. I’ve got two novels from the “Otherworld” series waiting on my shelf, and I’m keen to have a read and see how Armstrong delivers her stories when writing for a more adult audience.