Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

3 Jun

Series: Darkest Powers, book #3

Published: April 6th 2010 by Orbit

Details: Paperback, 400 pages

My Rating: 3/5

My Summary:

Final conclusion to Darkest Powers Series. Chloe and Co. has now got help from friends of Simon’s dad, but can they trust them? I loved the fast-paced read and watching the romance unfold, but was disappointed with the end. So many threads were left hanging that it felt more like a middle book than the end to a trilogy. All in all good, but not great.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few chapters in:

It’s been some time since I read the other two books in the trilogy Darkest Powers and while I can’t say I remember everything about the plot (the details are a bit fuzzy), I do remember that I liked the books. Well enough to want to get this final installment.

A quick check on GoodReads (currently4.3) tells me that it has received great praise, so I’m probably in for an exciting conclusion to the series! Looking forward to get some answers to my questions, and of course to see who Chloe ends up with, whether that be Simon or Derek?

So I’m now a few chapters in. As you may recall, in the end of The Awakening, Chloe and her friends (Simon, Derek and Tori) found themselves saved from the Edison Group ambush by Andrew, who is Simon’s dad’s friend.

In the opening of The Reckoning, we find them at a place where Andrew has taken them, so that they can rest and regroup. And rest is exactly what they need. Being on the run has (not surprisingly) put a strain on everyone.

There is not much time to relax though. They need to save Chloe’s aunt and Rachelle who they left behind at the lab of the Edison Group. The next morning, Andrew invites over a few members of a resistance group, which was apparently formed by ex-colleagues of The Edison Group when they opposed the way The Edison Group treated their subjects.

So who are the Edison Group?

Well, I haven’t got all the details together just yet, but they appear to be a group of people who offered to help supernatural kids (witches, necros, werewolves and the like) who had problems controlling their powers. Their solution to the problem (genetic modification) didn’t turn out so well though. And when supernatural kids weren’t behaving the way they were supposed to, they were locked in or even worse, killed.

Problem is, this resistance group seems to be doubting Chloe and her friend’s story about what happened, and consequently don’t want to act straight away. Which is worrying, because what will happened to Aunt Lauren and Rachelle if they wait too long?

And this is as far as I’ve got. At this stage, I’m feeling that it is about as good as the first two books, a great and fast paced read. And of course, there is Derek, who I have a soft spot for.

 

 

 

 

After finishing the book:

I’ve now finished this last installment of The Darkest Powers Trilogy, which turned out to be as enjoyable to read as the two previous books. That is, until I reached the end, which left me very disappointed.

But let’s first talk about what was good.

The pace, the writing, the characters. Just like in the two previous books The Summoning and The Awakening, I though the story flowed really well. Not much happens in this installment, apart from the final chapters. Chloe and her friends essentially spend all their time in Andrew’s house. Yet, somehow, I never got bored. I had grown attached to the characters, and it was interesting to see them further exploring their powers.

About half way through though, my feelings towards to book started to change.

Why?

Well, my first reason for disappointment was, believe it or not, the romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love the romance that has been slowly (on emphasis on slowly!) growing throughout this series. In the final installment Chloe finally realizes who of the brothers (Simon or Derek) she wants to be with. But when something finally happens, it just felt a bit anticlimactic. Like, oh okay, that’s it?

I expected the guy to fight it more, given what he has thought about himself in the past. And I expected more conversations to take place between the two of them, of what this really meant for them. But no, it was more like, one kiss, and now we’re together.

After the romance having been “cleared up”, it was time to solve the whole situation with the Edison Group. And the final chapters end with a big bang in their headquarters, supposedly providing us with a resolution to the entire series.

Or so I thought. After finishing the book, I realized that nothing was actually solved. No questions were answered. In fact, it left me so perplexed, that I had to double-check if there weren’t more books planned in the series. Because it certainly felt that way. The Reckoning is definitely more of a middle book than the final conclusion to a series.

Let me give you a few examples of open threads that were left hanging (be aware of slight spoilers):

~~~

1) Chloe’s necklace. What was up with that? I was expecting all throughout the series to get an explanation, but alas, none came.

2) Chloe’s mom. She surfaces as a ghost, and it’s clear that she has secrets to tell, yet we never get to hear them.

3) The group behind the Edison Group. They show up in the final pages, yet we never find out who they are.

4) Tori’s parentage. This was never explored either.

5) Rae. Are we to just believe Rae’s mom appeared out of the blue and kidnapped her from a highly secured cell in The Edison Group head quarters?

~~~

Well, there’s more but you get my drift. I also had a problem in the ending with all the people getting killed. It suddenly seemed unlikely that they would spare the kids (Chloe and friends), if they could so ruthlessly kill off each other. I mean, these kids were obviously a huge problem to these people. Why not just kill them and be done with it? It just did not make sense to keep them in that house for weeks on end, if they had no scruples about killing people.

To cut a long story short, yeah I was disappointed. It felt like Armstrong was writing this great series, then got tired and decided to finish it off, as quickly as humanly possible. Hence, the ending felt rushed, it required a huge “suspense of disbelief” and left far too many important plot threads hanging in the air.

I’m still glad I read the series, as I thought it was enjoyable overall. If you are reading it though, consider yourself warned as this final conclusion does not deliver.

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4 Responses to “Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. jenika December 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi Tess!
    Two days ago I borrowed the full trilogy from library and I read it in one go!
    I enjoyed it, I liked how the characters developed through the 3 books (in the first part I didn’t really like Chloe but slowly I started to appreciate her).
    Actually in the first book I thought to stop reading but I kept going and I am happy I did.
    The character I liked from the start and made the series interesting was Derek.
    So sweet, troubled, protective guy!
    Even Tori after a while became interesting but Simon was quite boring.
    I had too the feeling the ending was maybe a bit rushed but I didn’t really mind it.
    Sometimes is good even if there are still questions not answered… I was wondering too about Chloe’s mother (and speaking about family ties it was very interesting the part about the real family background of Tori…)
    I didn’t like at all Chloe’s auntie, luckily she wasn’t much in the story.
    One character interesting was Simon’s father…
    I thought the story has good basis to continue… it would be interesting to know what else is happening to Chloe and her friends… especially her werewolf boyfriend…
    I liked how the romance went slowly… and also I really enjoyed all the part about Derek Changing… how we handled it and how Chloe was near to him all the times…
    Overall it was a very interesting story, thank you for making me know the series!
    🙂
    Jenika

    • jenika December 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

      ops, I just noticed a typos… what I wanted to write was “and also I really enjoyed all the part about Derek Changing… how HE (not “we”) handled it and how Chloe was near to him all the times…”

    • tess December 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      Oh wow you are a fast reader 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the trilogy, it definitely is very good. Especially if you, like me, fall for Derek. Such a sweet guy, I totally agree. Simon was always boring so no competition there! I had high hopes for everything to get resolved in the third book so maybe that’s why I was disappointed. I still hope she’ll write another one, because there are too many unexplored threads – like Simon’s father etc.
      Good to hear though you enjoyed as much as I did!
      And hope you’re having a great Christmas holiday!
      /Tess

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong « After Twilight… - June 3, 2011

    […] series to Kelley Armstrong The Darkest Powers, a trilogy I finished only weeks ago, see review here. This is also the series (I believe) that is partly to blame why The Reckoning ended in such a […]

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