The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong

You know, I really didn't think that this book could get any better than the first, but it did. It's everything The Summoning is, only more.
The stakes are higher. The chemistry is more intense. The action is more edge-of-your-seat. It's just more, plain and simple.
First of all, let me say, my'ship, the Good Ship Chloe/Derek, is only getting better. I like that it isn't rushed. In fact, we have no real guarantee that it's actually going to happen, but there's just too much chemistry there for it not to. Derek is still gruff with Chloe sometimes, but she hardly cowers from him the way others might do. She just gives it right back to him, and I think we can all respect her more for that. He harps on her a lot, but it's mostly for her own safety. Normally, I don't condone the whole 'He's mean to me because he likes me' crap. That's just a cover-up for abuse most the time. However, Chloe doesn't let him get away with it. She does what she wants so long as it's just herself she's endangering and not anyone else. She's brave and resourceful, and she knows it. I think that means something to Derek.
Of course, it also means something to him that she doesn't simply lie down and let him control everything. Not to mention she has stayed with him through two near transformations now when everyone else, including Simon, probably would have left him alone. She's seen him weak and vulnerable, and not only does she not make him feel bad about it, but she doesn't embarrass him by telling everyone else.
There's also something going on between Tori and Simon, but it's hardly romantic. I suspect some sort of family relationship, my guess, siblings.
Tori is her own sort of beast in this book. She pulled out some serious magic against her mom. Points for Tori!She's tough, but behind it, it's obvious there's a softness. She's obviously jealous of Chloe, and really, I don't blame her. Chloe gets all the attention, and she's yet to do anything remotely, well, wrong. She's made mistakes, but it doesn't seem like there's a a non-perfect bone in her body as far as getting angry or anything like that. I can see where Tori would be frustrated by that. Chloe is perfection. She'd never hurt anyone. Never make anyone feel unwanted. She'd share her cookies with the school bully. She's just that kind of person. Besides, she makes friends wherever she goes and has a father who will do anything to see her home safely. How could Tori compete with that? Her jabs are Chloe are on target. but still, she doesn't have to be such a bitch.
Personally, even I'm at the point where I want to see Chloe act selfishly or rash at this point. Prove that she's human.
As I said, the action is non-stop here. I was seriously rooting for them in spots, anticipating their next move, hoping that they would make a quick escape. They had so many close calls. My favorite bits, of course, were the ones with just Chloe and Derek. It was nice to see the softer, funnier side of him for a change. The part where he had just transformed and he's holding her ankle in his sleep is adorable. I totally ship it!
The bickering between Tori and Simon is humorous, which leads me to my sibling theory.
There were some good questions left at the end. Who is this Andrew guy, really? Maybe he's turned since the falling out with Simon and Derek's dad? Can he really be trusted? And is Aunt Lauren really dead? As much as I hated her in the beginning of this book, I really hope she isn't, even if just so she can make it up to Chloe.
On to The Reckoning!