Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Challenge Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Reckoning
Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy #3
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fictions, Young Adult Fiction
Elements: Necromancers, Werewolves, Sorcerers, Witches, Ghosts, Demons, Zombies
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 391 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-166283-6
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is on thing I'm not.

For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother--who just happens to be a sorcerer--but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us--permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I'm a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.


Now that Chloe and her friends are safe with Andrew and his rebel group things seem to be settling down. They have a warm place to stay and tutors to help them control their abilities, but there are dangerous secrets roaming the halls of the old house and unrest is forming among members of the rebel group. When a member of the group witnesses Chloe's true power, fear and greed lead to betrayal as Chloe and her friends are forced to run again.

When their enemies begin to close in from all sides, help comes from an unexpected but very welcome ally. Chloe knows that life on the run won't be easy and nothing will ever be close to normal again, but she's come to accept this life and the person she has become.

In the very first chapter Chloe has a visit from the ghost of a Volo half-demon who lures her to the roof with the promise of information on the experiments. It is later found out that he was the nephew of Todd Banks, the founder of the Genesis Project. Royce and his cousin, Austin, were the first subjects if the very first Genesis Project (yes, there was more than one wave of testing), but even more disturbing is that there are also the Icarus and Phoenix Projects. What those entail, no one knows, but it can't be good. But back to Royce. He is a very disturbing ghost and not very nice (i.e. using his Volo powers to pelt objects at Chloe), even when he was alive. He's probably one of the most powerful ghosts that Chloe has had to deal with so far, and he's very persistent, in a twisted way.

I found the members of the rebel group so infuriating. They used to work for the Edison Group at one time, so they should very well know what EG is capable of, but when Chloe tells them all that has happened to them, they chalk it all up to her overactive imagination. Margaret, the necromancer, annoyed me the most. She took Chloe to a cemetery! How stupid can you be to take a genetically altered necromancer, with unknown abilities, to a cemetery full of corpses? Chloe even warns her that all she basically has to do is step into a cemetery and bodies start rising. But it's not until the ground cracks open in earthquake-like proportions, the dead start moving and moaning, and the living begin screaming, that she believes Chloe tell the truth.

One good thing came from Margaret though. I had been wondering about Chloe's necklace, what its function is and the reason for its color change. The necklace is supposed to reduce a necromancer's glow. That is what the ghosts see and Chloe's is really (and I mean REALLY) bright. But when Chloe asks why it changed color (from ruby to sapphire to amethyst), Margaret blanches and just says something about superstition. So I'm still left wondering about the reasoning for the color change.

I loved how defensive Chloe becomes of Derek. Andrew voices his concerns about how "attached" Derek seems to Chloe and how it's different for Derek with his wolf instincts than it is for Chloe. Chloe realizes that they don't see Derek, they only see the werewolf. Chloe can relate to Derek very well and understands his position better than anyone. They both have powerful abilities that can be quite dangerous, and because of that people only see what they are and not who they are.

I felt kind of bad for Simon in this book. Simon and Chloe went on their first date, but when he kisses her at the end of the night, he realizes that there is someone else. It looks like Chloe was leading him on all this time, but she didn't even realize the truth of his words until that kiss. This creates a wedge between Simon, Chloe, and Derek for a little while. After Derek completes his first Change (yay!), Simon gives Chloe a drawing of her crouching beside a black wolf with her arms around its neck, and a message for Derek saying "It's okay." This makes me wonder if Simon had walked out to the woods unawares when Derek was Changing. How else could he have known what Derek looked like as a wolf? Seeing Derek and Chloe together during his Change would definitely show Simon the bond forming between the two of them. But I liked that he bowed out in typical sweet Simon fashion by giving the drawing and message.

Another message that Chloe received is after she freed the demi-demon Diriel. Diriel's master demon tells Chloe to "Grow up strong, little one. Strong and powerful." I can't wait to see just how strong and powerful Chloe will become.

Book Trailer:

Excerpt (Page 100):

"You're telling me you can raise the dead simply by summoning?"


"My God," she whispered, staring at me. "What have they done?"

Hearing her words and seeing her expression, I knew Derek had been right last night. I'd just done something worse than raising the dead--I'd confirmed her worst fears about us.

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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