f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Published: 04.06.2010 (HaperTeen)
Pages: 400
Series: The Darkest Powers (3)
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Further info: Goodreads / Amazon
Find the author online

My name is Chloe Saunders. I’m fifteen, and I would love to be normal.  But normal is one 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.

My Review

Having finally found a safe haven, Chloe and her group of fledgling supernatural friends batten down the hatches at a home used as a retreat for the rebel group seeking to bring down the Edison Group.  Simon and Derek's father's friend, Andrew introduces the teens to a few other members, each of whom can help one of Chloe's friends, or her.  The plot slows down for a little while; instead of the group living on the road, fleeing the Edison Group, Kelley Armstrong shows us the full ramifications of their super-charged powers: Chloe being taken to train in a cemetery, and the disastrous turn of events, and Andrew and his friend's disbelief at what their enemies have done to the kids.  I immediately disliked a few of the new characters, but all things considered, I think that was the point.  And it was nice to have a change of pace, because with that came a switch in focus.  Chloe's struggle over her feelings for Simon versus her feelings for Derek was guided into the forefront, in a way that was so well done that I teared up more than once. 

I am a huge fan of this pairing.  I love that they are unorthodox.  There will never be a perfect first date with these two, and they are not all hearts-and-flowers.  They're complicated, and unsure.  They have a tentative friendship backed by a bond forged out of their circumstances, a friendship that over the course of this book is tested, and found solid, a friendship that is beautifully allowed to grow into something more. Their interaction never once feels forced, and I wanted more scenes with them, even though a large portion of the book was kind of woven around them.

I also enjoyed seeing some character development from Tori.  Over the first two books, we saw glimpses into why she is the way she is, but in this book, Armstrong showed us the real Tori, a girl who has more talents than just her magic.  Tori starts to prove her usefulness and ends up helping the group a good bit in the book, and I was really pleased to, by the time I closed the book, be able to say that I liked her.

The plot picks back up when the group starts digging into an attempt on Derek and Chloe's lives from other werewolves.  I sped through the last 150 pages or so, because the climax of the book was drawing near.  And I was pretty satisfied.  The very ending felt a little too rushed for my taste, but it wrapped up enough yet left enough open for future books (I heard these characters may show back up down the road!)  There were a few plot arcs that left me sort of wishing for more - one connection between two characters that I truly truly hope Kelley Armstrong will explore down the road, and one that was just left dangling, again, hopefully to be brought back up in later books, or else I will be disappointed.  I'm also still curious to know more about the history of the Edison Group, and I'd love more info on that and on the teen's parents and all of their involvement.  But overall I really enjoyed this - I'm digging the YA/Paranormal vibe like crazy.  : )

Memorable Quote

I looked up at him. His green eyes glittered in the dark, reflecting the moonlight like a cat's. His scowl had vanished. The defiance was gone, too, replaced by a tightness around his mouth, a worry that clouded his eyes; and seeing that quicksilver change, I wanted to...
I don't know what I wanted to do. Kick him in the shins seemed like a good option. Unfortunately, bursting into tears seemed more likely, because here lay the root of the problem, the contradiction in Derek that I couldn't seem to work out, no matter how hard I tried.

One second he was in my face, making me feel stupid and useless. The next he was like this: hovering, concerned, worried. I told myself it was just his wolf instinct, that he had to protect me whether he wanted to or not, but when he looked like this, like he'd pushed me too far and regretted it . . . That look said he genuinely cared.
- Chloe