Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release: April 6th 2010
Genre: Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, YA
#3 in the Darkest Powers trilogy
Series: The Summoning (#1), The Awakening (#2)


Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that's not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf...

Definitely not normal.


Wow. I'm really impressed. After my fallout with The Awakening, which was very boring and slow, I didn't expect to like this one, but I did.

What was impressive about this one was that it kept me guessing until the last pages. I could never be sure who to trust, who were the bad guys, who was going to turn against whom and so on. It was a mystery and trying to figure all of that out was a wild goose chase and I absolutely loved it. 

The characters improved vastly. Tori upgraded from annoying bitch to all out world destroying bamf. I loved her in this installment, she kicked so much ass and her personality is so awesome and well-rounded. She was tough and real, still showing her emotions every once in a while. I didn't expect her to do such a one-eighty for me, and neither did I expect Derek to do that either. In this last book, I finally got around to him. He grew on me and I started to really like him. He's a very good character, and while he still has — and maintains — all of his flaws, I think he is trying to become better and fix it, which I think is close enough to character development for him. But he has generally evolved a lot from the brooding, strange guy from book one to who he is now and I love that. Then there's Simon, who has also gotten a little more description than just cute guy and possible love interest. I liked that, although I still think Armstrong could have done a lot better than that. Simon deserves more development, but I'm okay with how he turned out. It suited him. Chloe got better as well, but she's still excusing her sorry ass-ness with saying she's just a flimsy necromancer and "can't really do anything", thus staying out of the action and waiting to get saved by Derek. While she did take initiative, I still thought she was being a bit too whiny about it all. However, all in all, Chloe was a good character. She wasn't unlikeable, at least, and I enjoyed her being my guide through this story.

Oh yes, the plot. It got rolling in this one! A lot of plot twists that kept me turning the pages (while also staring at the pages in abject terror) and a lot of action. The first, I don't know, 70 pages were unmemorable (I can't really remember what happened and I think I read that a week ago maybe?), but after that... I just read everything in one go. Could not put it down.

And guess what? I even finally got around to really love this romance/love triangle thingy going on here. Very nicely done, because before I knew it, I was suddenly rooting for them to finally face it start acting on their feelings. (Yeah we all know who the couple was going to be we've known since book 1...)

Writing didn't improve much from book one, at least not that I can tell. Doesn't really need much improving though, so that can slide. The writing was nice enough, while not blowing me away with beautiful prose, I liked Armstrong's style well enough. 

After The Awakening, I was convinced I probably would not be picking up the spin-off series, but now I'm not so sure anymore. Because I probably will. Hopefully soon. Anyway, if you can make it past book #2, book #3 is rewarding again and doesn't disappoint! The series is recommended if it sounds interesting to you.

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