When I started this book, I had lost all memory of the first book in the series, The Summoning. I just knew that I'd given it 4 stars. Luckily the important bits came back to me as I went along, and my reading experience didn't suffer for it.
At about page 60, I was wondering what was so great about The Summoning, and why I'd so badly wanted to read this sequel. Nothing stood out for me as particularly good. But I kept reading, and I figured out what I'd liked about the first book - the pace. Never a dull moment. The relationships between the characters can be rather interesting as well, and they do have distinct (though bordering on stereo-typed) personalities. There's no deep hidden themes going on, but you don't usually get that with young adult books. I am pretty tired of young adult books, but I will read the final book in this Dark Powers trilogy when it comes out. It's a fun, quick read and I'm somewhat compulsive when it comes to finishing series.
The Awakening is better written than the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but has a similar pace, imagination and sense of humour. Over all I think the two series are about equal in my esteem. Where Harris fails in writing, she makes up for in humour and sexiness. Armstrong does better with introspection, but I prefer her more mature works from the Women of the Other World series. Which seems appropriate since I'm 35, not a teenager!