My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I only discovered that Kelley Armstrong had written extra material for the Darkest Powers Trilogy. Naturally, as soon as I made said discovery I hurried over to my Kobo & Kindle to check out the prices. Both bonus packs were initially released on Kelley's website as they were completed and once they were all released they were removed from her site and sold as bonus packs. Each bonus pack contains 2 or 3 short stories, so I'll be first reviewing them individually story by story and then I'll combine them for each bonus pack review.
Dangerous is the first story in the first bonus pack. It is told from Derek's POV and deals with the events leading up to him & Simon arriving at Lyle House. As soon as I saw that Bonus Pack number 1 was entirely Derek's POV I was thrilled - I really liked his character right away even though I felt like I was in the minority and most girls would probably prefer Simon. Derek tends to have a hard time saying the right thing...or even saying it in a way people expect so I knew that being inside his head was going to be fun. The story starts off with a mini-prologue of Derek when he was only 5 years old!! OMG guys, it was so sweet & sad at the same time ♥.
The rest of the story follows Derek & Simon while they were still with their dad and offers the complete tale of how they managed to end up in Lyle House. It's a fairly short read but it holds your interest easily and quickly. It really does of nice job of establishing Derek's character but more than that it really cool to see how his mind works first hand. And the way he describes Simon & their dad...I think it made me like Simon more that I already did too. Derek has a great way of focusing on what the people he love are good at...and what their not - it made them all seem more real to me. Kelley Armstrong is just as gifted with her male characters as I found her with Chloe in the Darkest Powers series.
Speaking of Chloe - I really liked the contrast between Chloe, who only discovers she's a supernatural in her teens as opposed to Derek & Simon who were aware from an early age and who grew up with a dad involved in the supernatural world. Often times, series focus on the discovery of powers or gifts and it felt refreshing to read a story from an MC who already knew what he was and in what kind of world he & his kind live in.
Divided in the 2nd story in this bonus pack and again this one s told from Derek's POV. This one follows Derek & Simon during their escape with Chloe & Rae at the end of The Summoning. Since the 4 separate, we only got to see Chloe's take on things during this scene in The Summoning. Once again, it was fun to see Derek's take on the same events...especially since they reveal some evolution on his part regarding his feelings with Chloe. That was fun to witness :) Not much of the plot was really new in this one but it was still really interesting. Derek's voice manages to keep everything fresh & I love the little hints Kelley Armstrong wove in there for future events.
Disenchanted is the final short story in this bonus pack. It starts off from Simon's POV but quickly switches to Tori. Again, this isn't a particularly long story but it was cool to get a little bit of Simon's voice into the mix, especially after reading so much of Derek's. I was a bit disappointed when it switched to Tori. In the original trilogy, she did manage to grow on me somewhat but I never really liked her. I don't think we were really supposed to in any event & maybe inserting her voice was a way to make her a bit more likable, which it did. The story feels like a chance for readers to hear her side of things so it was definitely worth the read and it was fun to see what Simon & Tori were up to on their end while Derek & Chloe were off.
All in all, this was a quick and fun addition to the Darkest Powers story arc! A must-read for fans of the series and more specifically,of Derek ;)