I’ve loved Kelley Armstrong’s writing ever since I read Bitten a long time ago, so I was very excited to review The Reckoning, the last book in her YA trilogy Darkest Powers. I even read the first two in the series prior to reviewing to make sure I did justice to this book. I’m happy to say that this book ends the trilogy with a bang, and is my favorite of all three.P> We begin right where we left off in The Awakening, when Chloe Saunders and her three supernatural friends arrive at Andrew Carson’s home. Andrew is part of a resistance group of people who all used to work for Edison Group. The Edison Group is a group of supernatural scientists who believe that the answer to successful integration of supernatural beings into society is to genetically modify the children, so they come into their powers more smoothly. Things started to go wrong, and the children with more power than anticipated were “terminated” as a result. Andrew and others left the Edison Group in protest and began monitoring them, making sure they weren’t going to be a threat to other supernaturals.
Now Chloe and her friends are with Andrew’s team, hoping that the adults are strong enough to stop Edison Group and help find Derek and Simon’s dad. As they take a break from running, the group tries to master their powers and learn more about the history of the Edison Group. Meanwhile, Derek’s impending Change comes closer to completion, and dangerous ghosts start threatening Chloe. Upon meeting the rest of Andrew’s team, it becomes clear that not everyone on Andrew’s side is as well-intentioned as they originally seem, and it becomes harder and harder for the teens to decide who they can really trust.
Fun. This book is so much fun. The Summoning was all about the setup, The Awakening had a lot of running in it, and the exciting action and relationship development is all in this book. The horror element in the series is really quite fantastic – vividly told and quietly menacing, and not at all cheesed up or dumbed down for teenagers. You don’t know who is going to live or die, and I have to admit I was surprised a few times by the turn of events. The characters are equally well done, and I liked the gradual development of each teenager’s character. Tori, who was previously quite a bratty kid, turns a new leaf in this story, and I grew to admire her character the most. Chloe continues to deal with her super necromancer skills, and there is a bittersweet, chilling scene between her and an old woman that reminded me of all the elements of The Sixth Sense that I love. Chloe and Derek’s awkwardly sweet fumblings are adorable, although the jump between dreamy longing and actual “commitment” is a little large, and could have done with maybe a scene or two in between. Out of all the characters, I felt Simon was shortchanged the most; after he and Chloe realize that their friendship will never be something more, he kind of fades away into the background.
I enjoyed the trilogy and this last installment very much, but was a little disappointed to find that the ending was not as satisfying as I’d have liked. The story just ends, and I was left with my mouth hanging open a little. For a final book, there were a couple of loose ends that left me dangling, and I would have liked a more definitive conclusion in general. Or maybe I just loved the characters so much that I wouldn’t have minded an epilogue or two (or three).
In any case, The Reckoning was awesome. Don’t even try to read this one before the previous two, because you’ll be shortchanging yourself. Kelley Armstrong’s writing prowess easily extends to young adult fiction, and I only wish that I had had this book to read when I was a teen.