Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong - review

The Reckoning
Kelley Armstrong
Darkest Powers #3
Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

cover - The covers are simple, but each cover in this trilogy catches your attention, and shows this pendant that is important to the story.  Stark and dramatic.

Part of a trilogy set in a world of werewolves, demons, ghosts, necromancers, werewolves and witches, The Reckoning starts right where The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) left off.  The foursome - Simon, Derek (Werewolf), Chloe (necromancer) and Tori (witch) have finally found one of the boys' "uncles", and have traveled with him to a safe house.  Having been on the run for a while they're very relieved to be in a house with running water, food, and real beds.  And the uncle has contacted some allies, some of whom are coming around to help the teens train and work on their various powers....

But there's something weird going on.  Chloe is in contact with a strange ghost - a young teen boy who is kind of creepy.  And her friend - Liz is unable to appear to Chloe at first.

And the people who are "training" seem a little pushy....

There's something weird, alright.  Plenty of action, some relationship growth and some interesting dialogue.  I enjoyed this final of the Otherworld teens trilogy.  

Even so.... I wasn't left with the feeling of "oh wow! what a book!".  Not sure if it's because the characters are so young, if it was because at times I felt like I was 'listening in' to an adult's thoughts, rather than a teen's thought processes... it all boils down to this; when reading a teen's narrative, especially if it's first person, I need to feel like it's really the teen thinking or talking - not an adult.   Now there is not arguing that Armstrong writes a very good story - but I didn't always feel like the characters were really teens.  Sometimes they were - especially when they were reacting like teens, feeling awkward, etc.  But some of the word choices just don't match.  I'm around a lot of teens and preteens, so I get a feel of speech patterns, etc - even factoring in the occasional genious I.Q. teen...most don't use exactly the same language that an adult uses.  And that tends to pull me right out of a story when it's first person teen pov - or yanks me out because suddenly it's as if another character is narrating, or the character has suddenly turned into a stodgy stuffy teen. :)  

As usual, Armstrong does a good job of writing a teen story - with only those occasional wordage that made the teens sound like adults.   I still feel like Armstrong wrote an excellent story-line.  There's plenty of action and twists in the story.  A quick read, but very enjoyable with some heartstopping moments.  I enjoyed this enough to want to get a hold of the next trilogy in the Otherworld Teen universe, Darkness Rising.  I want to read about some of the other teens in the Otherworld universe, and I did feel nostalgic for the adult Women of the Otherworld - especially those early novels.

Even though at times, I felt pulled out of the story because of a word or phrase here and there, did enjoy the story, the plotting, the twists and the overall novel.   When comparing the total book experience with the occasional odd teen phrasing, my complaint seems minor - I still feel as if I chose wisely in buying the hardbacks of this series.  My plan, when choosing not to wait for the ppb versions was to donate the  trilogy to be entered into the {my} school library's collection of MG novels - so I'm still happy I bought the h/b, they last longer than PPBs do, after all.  I would also recommend this trilogy (The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning) to lovers of fantasy, urban fantasy and books with supernatural characters - MG and up.

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