From the BLURB:
Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. First of all, she happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are on the run from the evil corporation who created them. To top it all, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf. Definitely not normal...
This is the third and final book in Kelley Armstrong’s YA series ‘The Darkest Powers’. I was sad to read this one, knowing it was the final installment… but my melancholy didn’t last for long because this book is a DOOZY. A rollicking, fast-paced rollercoaster of a read, and I loved every page of it.
The series is set in Kelley Armstrongs’ ‘Women of the Otherworld’ universe – characters from that world are alluded to, but never make an appearance. ‘The Darkest Powers’ trilogy instead follows four uniquely gifted children as they learn the truth about their childhoods and ‘abilities’ - Chloe; the necromancer, Tori the witch, Simon; the sorcerer and Derek; the werewolf. All are children of the ‘Edison Program’ – a scientific study that genetically modified supernatural’s to increase and sharpen their abilities. The only thing is that the program worked a little too well – each of the children was born with a unique gift, amplified. The study tweaked their abilities to manifest at a younger age, and much more potently. The scientists behind ‘Edison’ now believe these kids are a threat to society, and cannot be allowed to roam around with their increased powers. That means, termination…
The action in ‘The Reckoning’ picks up where second book, ‘The Awakening’, left off. Chloe, Simon, Tori and Derek are free from the Edison group and on the run with their dad’s friend, Andrew. They’re hiding out in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere, and desperate for answers.
There’s a lot happening in this final book – a lot of answers and explanations are given and there’s emotional closure.
Kelley Armstrong is a master of action writing. Her scenes are filled with adrenaline and read vividly. The action is ten-fold in ‘The Reckoning’ – the emotional stakes are high, the clock is ticking and I spent 391 pages on the edge-of-my-seat. And I loved it. Armstrong really is a master of action writing, and she definitely shows her prowess in this book.
Royce spun like a shot-putter, whipping something at us. I dove out of the way. Derek caught it - a bowling ball - then snarled at Simon, "Upstairs!".
"Oooh, good reflexes, superhuman strength, and a very convincing snarl. I think we have ourselves a werewolf." He got right in Derek's face. "How about a little one-on-one, wolf-boy? Battle of the superpowers?"
Since book 1 there has been romantic tension between Simon, Derek and Chloe. Fans will be relieved (/thrilled) to know that their love triangle comes to a head… with a very satisfying conclusion. The romance is tame, very PG13 (since Chloe is only 15). But it’s still very sweet and tender, and there were plenty of times throughout when I was saying “awwww”. Armstrong navigated this romance beautifully. Fans will know that she is talented at writing ‘hot n’ steamy’ romances, Clay/Elena and Lucas/Paige are prime examples from her ‘Otherworld’ series. But Armstrong has proven in this series that she can write such romance at a different pace for a younger readership. Like I said, very tame, but still satisfying and tingly-inducing.
This may be the final book in the ‘Darkest Powers’ trilogy, but my reader’s intuition tells me it may not be the last we see of Chloe Sanders… A character is introduced toward the end who hints at a possible reappearance. I for one would be thrilled if that was the case. Yes, Armstrong answers lots of pertinent questions in this final book. BUT there’s still plenty of room for future plots and revisiting of characters. I think it would be great if these teens could be introduced to the ‘Otherworld’ world and pick up their continuing stories that way…
But even as I say this is the ‘final’ book, it’s a bit of a fib. At the back of ‘The Reckoning’ is a small (tiny, miniscule) excerpt from new book ‘The Gathering’. This new book is set in the same ‘Darkest Powers’ universe, but will follow a new group of supernatural teens as they navigate their way through the Edison Experiment. So while Chloe’s story comes to a close in ‘The Reckoning’, the series lives on for another trilogy (release date pending).
But like I said, I strongly believe that Chloe, Derek, Tori and Simon would make wonderful *adult* characters in Armstrong’s ‘Otherworld’ universe. I don’t know if her YA readership would follow their story over to an adult series (that is, admittedly, already 10 books deep) but I think Armstrong’s adult fan base would really appreciate the new additions to a beloved series. Just my 2 cents.
I love, love, loved this book. This was another ‘most anticipated’ 2010 release for me, and as usual Ms. Armstrong did not disappoint. ‘The Reckoning’ reiterates her status as one of the head-honchos of the Urban Fantasy genre, while also highlighting her versatility in genre swapping from adult to YA. If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you read her ‘Darkest Powers’ trilogy – it’s a doozy!