Friday, April 30, 2010

Review: The Reckoning- Kelley Armstrong

So… guess what arrived today?

‘The Reckoning’, by Kelley Armstrong. Yess!

I realize that I never actually reviewed the first two installments on here, so I’ll do a quick little recap. Here's the blurb for 'The Summoning': 

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

‘The Summoning’ was a book I thought I wouldn’t like but ended up getting hooked on.  Fast paced and mysterious, not to mention dotted with an intriguing cast of characters, (and mad science! Woo-hoo!) it set up a unique world of supernaturals including a main character whose ‘differences’ deal with the dead—a similarity to Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy, which I absolutely loved. Between schizophrenic teens and ghosts in the closet, it never let up on the action!

I won’t deal with ‘The Awakening’ here, except to say that it involves Chloe plus a few Lyle House teens (namely spitfire spoiled brat Tori and romantic lead brothers Simon and Derek) on the run from the creepy organization that holds the key to their pasts.

And now…. ‘The Reckoning!’ I’ll try not to include spoilers, but stop reading now if that kind of thing bothers you—my analysis might give a few things away. ;)

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.
This installment was slow moving at times, and I often had a hard time keeping track of where all the characters were at any given time! That said, the action built up further along in the book and finished with a satisfying ending. But oh, the loose threads! There’s still a lot I want to know and that I’m hoping desperately will be resolved the in the next trilogy, based in the same world. On the plus side, ‘The Reckoning’ did let us in on a bit more information about the supernatural races and the characters’ ‘enhancements’—we get a lot more necromancy-related action, including a very creepy poltergeist and a comic ending to a cemetery session gone dreadfully wrong! 

To be honest, ‘The Reckoning’ seemed to focus much more on the characters than the Edison Group and the associated plot line, though I suppose the drama had to diminish somewhat once all the characters involved figured out that they’re not insane!  I liked the way that Chloe and Tori have developed and changed over the series—Chloe has grown up a lot from when we first saw her, and Tori seemed to have come to terms with herself a little. I also enjoyed the way little bits of Derek kept gradually getting uncovered, but Simon felt a little stagnant to me; he’s been pretty much the same from day one, and I never felt that he had much depth. But that's okay, because I’ve always been firmly in camp Derek! :)

The relationship between Chloe and Derek played a pretty major role in ‘The Reckoning’, and as much as that pleased me I wish that they’d had a bit more emotional exploration. Then again… Derek isn’t exactly a ‘Deep Meaningful Conversation’ kind of guy!

In conclusion: A fitting end to this trilogy that’s made me even more excited for the next!

Also, you can read the first couple of chapters of 'The Summoning' here


1 comment:

  1. I think that Simon was deliberately stale so he wouldn't 'compete' with Derek. Least I suspected midway through the second book. I don't know if I blame the author for doing that. I mean, when I read the first book, my intial mental-picture of Derek was something like Pugsley from the Addams Family. :O

    As he developed into a stronger character, it was easy to look past that, but I think that Simon would still have had an advantage. :)

    *I haven't read The Reckoning yet, but looking forward to it!


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