Thursday, June 26, 2014

Author Spotlight: Kelley Armstrong

Me with Kelley Armstrong in 2010
Kelley Armstrong, a best-selling author from Canada, has written 7 series with a total of over 30 books and countless short stories. Most of her worlds are fantasy based, with characters ranging from werewolves and vampires to hit women and serial killer's daughters. Her stories are full of strong women, unbelievably attractive men and more than a little bit of danger. Almost all of her works are told from the perspective of one of her female characters, though several of her short stories are told by the men in their lives. She is skilled at creating addictive worlds and stories that you absolutely cannot get enough of, and if you are a fan of a compelling narrative and good plot lines, she is someone that should not be overlooked.


Bitten is the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series and it follows Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf in existence. As the title would suggest, Elena isn't a hereditary werewolf, she was bitten and she has had a difficult time adjusting to the change over the years. Having finally broken free from her pack, and the man who drives her crazy, the last she wants to do is head back to Stonehaven. But when bodies start appearing and rumors of wolves running rampant in Bear Valley are being passed around, Elena knows she has to face her past. Full of suspense, action, romance and a dash of tragedy, Bitten is one of the best werewolf books out there. Recently, the book has been made into a TV show in Canada, and while it's no where near as good or as compelling as the novel, it's still an interesting visual adaptation. The rest of the books in the series alternate protagonists, though they are all intertwined together, and we see Elena Michaels as the main character in several of them. The last book in the series, Thirteen, was released in 2012. As of now, Armstrong has no plans to continue the series, though she has said that her decision to focus on other works is not permanent.


The Summoning is the first book in the Darkest Powers Trilogy and this series follows Chloe Saunders, a teenager who suddenly begins to see things that no one else can. After an unfortunate incident at her school, she is sedated and brought to Lyle House, a halfway house for troubled teens. Told that she has schizophrenia, all Chloe wants to do is to get better and get back to her regularly scheduled life. But the longer she stays there, the more she starts to question her diagnosis. When one of the kids is supposedly taken away to a different hospital, Chloe begins to see her ghost. Is her friend really OK, or is there something to what Derek and his brother Simon have been saying about her being a necromancer? Chloe has to decide who to believe and what to do with this new-found power, and more importantly, how she can escape. As always with Kelley's books, the romance and suspense are perfectly balanced, and her characters are extremely relatable. This series is her first YA series and it is set in the same world as her Women of the Otherworld books, but The Darkest Powers series stands on its own without having to read her adult works.


The Gathering is the first book in the follow up to the Darkest Powers series, Darkness Rising. This series follows another group of genetically altered teen supernaturals as they discover their lives aren't quite as normal as they were lead to believe. Maya and her friends live on an ultra exclusive reserve in Canada, where only a couple dozen families live. They have mostly only known each other their whole lives, having only minor contact with the outside world. Maya has been trying to deal with the loss of her best friend, Serena, who she witnessed drowning, helpless to do anything about it. Serena's boyfriend Daniel is Maya's other best friend and they are inseparable. When Rafe shows up in town, things start to change. Maya starts to question her paw print birthmark and her affinity with animals and when strangers start showing up in town, she finally has a chance to get some answers. But the St. Cloud Corporation, the company that built Maya's town and reserve for their employees, are not going to make it easy for her to find those answers. While The Darkest Powers series is not necessarily required in order to enjoy and understand the Darkness Rising series, it is highly recommended that you start with Chloe's series first.


Outside of the Otherworld realm, Kelley has several series published. Exit Strategy follows Nadia Stafford, a Mafia hit woman, as she hunts down a dangerous serial killer. Loki's Wolves, written as K L Armstrong along with Melissa Marr, is the first book in a middle grade series about Matt Thorsen, a descendant of Thor. Sea of Shadows is Kelley's first fantasy series for Young Adults. It follows two sisters, Ashyn and Moria, as they are separated by an ancient evil and forced to fight that evil in order to find each other again. Omens is the first book in the Cainsville series, and it follows Olivia Taylor Jones as she uncovers a dark family secret. She finds out that she was adopted and that her birth parents are none other than Todd and Pamela Larsen, convicted serial killers serving out dual life sentences. As with all of Kelley's books, her worlds are sure to enchant and her characters are guaranteed to delight. No matter which series you start at, there is something for everyone in her works.


  1. I need to start reading some of her other books!

    1. You do! Do you have the Darkest Powers series? I have like 4 copies of each book, I can send a set to you if you don't have it!