Book Review: The Reckoning
(Darkest Powers #3)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Published By: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Page Count: 400
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
The Reckoning, the third book in the Darkest Powers trilogy, starts off with intensity and ends triumphantly. And all good stuff in between!
Unfortunately, it's going to be hard to write a review without some spoilers... but I'll try to keep the major ones out.
Where the first two books lacked in a bit of romance, it was made up for in this book! Chloe and Derek's budding romance was such a refreshing change from the typical *gorgeous* teenagers in most other stories. Chloe is described as average but it is Derek who surprises me the most at his leading man abilities. Derek is a genetically altered human/werewolf. In the first two books, he is going through a rather unattractive growth spurt fueled by the rage of hormones supposedly involved in his completing a full change to a wolf. 'Puberty Smackdown' was not kind to Derek but it seems that as he gets closer and closer to making that full change to a wolf, his attractiveness improves (and Chloe certainly notices).
As much as Derek is maybe a bit of a 'bull in a china shop', some of his moments with Chloe are just so incredibly sweet. For a tough guy, he admits to wanting to have Chloe there with him while he changes -- seeing him at his worst -- and all the while, she is holding his hand or rubbing his shoulders offering encouragement. These two characters especially grow to a point where you really, REALLY care for them. I think I fell in love with Derek right along with Chloe (not that they admit to "loving" each other (yet)... which is another thing I liked. Their romance is now just beginning at the end of this trilogy... making it very believable.
The story was full of unpredictable twists and turns -- a couple of things I saw coming but overall I was surprised by most outcomes. It was hard to figure out (for them and us) who Chloe, Derek, Simon and Tori could trust and who was playing them. They continue their life on the run... first looking for Simon & Derek's father's trusted friend Andrew for help. Once they find him, they're off to a safe house where they can plan their attack of The Edison Group's headquarters. Meanwhile, Chloe wants to go back to rescue Rae and her Aunt Lauren, if either are even still alive. Andrew's friends are also there to help teach the kids to control their abilities, however, the adults soon find out that these kids are much more powerful than they could have imagined and two of them decide on an alternative plan of action. The foursome also discovers that The Edison Group has terminated some previous experiments/subjects because they could not be controlled. So they are basically running for their lives.
Chloe continues to hone her necromancer skills... Derek finally makes the full change to a werewolf and back. Tori's and Simon's powers also come in handy throughout. We also get a little back-story on some of the characters.
What I loved about the ending was not only the love-story coming to fruition, but Chloe's personal acceptance. All along, she longs for her previously normal/boring life... before she could see ghosts, before she could raise the dead and control them, before her life on the run. But she slowly realizes that this is going to be her life from now on... she's a powerful necromancer and wants to try to put her powers to good use.
I truly cared for these four supernatural teens and their outcomes. I wanted to see them all happy in the end, and I wasn't disappointed even though it didn't quite end the way I was anticipating. The resolutions are satisfying enough while still leaving just a couple of threads hanging for the story to be revisited in the future, which I understand Kelley is doing in her next trilogy... Darkness Rising... and I for one, look forward to it!
Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.