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The Reckoning Cover Picture

The Reckoning

Kelley Armstrong

Published 2010       391 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe 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 now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that's not enough, 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.

The Review

The Reckoning is the “nail-biting climax to Kelley Armstrong’s bestselling Darkest Powers trilogy” according to the back cover of my edition of this book. Certainly it is the third book that Kelley Armstrong has written in her Young Adult Darkest Powers series, and it’s definitely got nail-biting potential. However since Darkest Powers has been extended to a contracted six books (rather than just three) and The Reckoning itself finishes on an open-ended note, I’m a bit confused about the whole climax to the trilogy thing…

The Reckoning is the third Darkest Powers book which follows the adventures of a group of supernatural teens who were genetically modified before birth as part of the Genesis project, in order to improve their supernatural abilities. Sadly Dr Davidoff, the leading project scientist appears to be more from the Dr Frankenstein school of medicine than an ethical scientist and inevitably the genetic modifications went wrong in some of the subjects. The series narrator, Chloe Summers, is one of those subjects and she has been left with a hugely increased ability to see ghosts and raise the dead.

Chloe is a typical nice-girl fifteen year old. In some ways she’s actually way too nice for a teenager who has been sent to a mental home by her own family; found out that the mental home is a front for the Genesis project and that she is one of their subjects; discovered that project subjects who are considered impossible to rehabilitate are “terminated”; and she’s definitely very well behaved for a teen who has escaped from a group home and been on the run with three of her friends. Chloe deals with the novel’s coming of age themes, including adult betrayal and first love/kiss, in a responsible manner – making her seem older than her years and keeping the story’s subject matter appropriate for a young teenage audience.

So apart from some of the most sensible teenaged characters left without parental authority to ever populate a YA story and a general lack of teen angst, what does The Reckoning have?

It has Kelley Armstrong’s wonderfully imaginative Otherworld fantasy setting and her typically fast-paced mixture of action and character driven narrative. It’s got no shortage of mystery and adventure for the story’s teen protagonists, as they once again find themselves hiding out from the scientists who made them, unsure of whom they can trust. Okay, so The Reckoning doesn’t have any vampires in it but with Chloe around there are no shortage of zombies, ghosts and poltergeists so there’s plenty of undead action even without them.

Another top instalment of fantasy adventure and action, The Reckoning is possibly the strongest book in the series so far. A one or two sitting reading is not unlikely for this engrossing story. If you liked The Summoning and The Awakening you’ll love this!

Rated at 4.5 out of 5 (I knocked off half a star for the lack of vampires)

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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