I devoured this book. Read it in one setting even and I was glad to see The Reckoningtook us back to The Summoning eerie roots. To a place meant to be a sanctuary, but is eerily much more similar to a prison, where the do-gooders may pull a Judas, and the menaces make for the best allies. While this series may have a red-herring or two, I was so caught up in these characters and their journey that I didn’t even notice them until I had read the last page. In my mind, that is a testament to good writing, to see a flaw, and not register it or care because the story is just that good.
Chloe is equally impressive. She has shown tremendous growth and has somehow avoided the Mary Sue pitfall. It seems as though writers pen two types of heroines, the uber sweet, oh so pretty girl, despairing over her shortcomings as a mortal, who somehow rises to the challenge and smites everyone, becoming the bestest superhuman ever and miraculously saves the day or the oh so snide and cynical girl, jaded by everything and everyone, who has a hard edge, but somehow softens and like her counterpart, rises to the occasion and saves the day. Both types are cliché, neither apply to Chloe. Chloe is a necromancer, but as she often admits, isn’t of much use unless there is a corpse nearby. She is petite, but not overly pretty, or exceptionally smart. The word that comes to mind is average. And yet, Chloe doesn’t despair over things she lacks, nor does she turn into Chloe, Necromancer Goddess, though she is an extremely powerful necromancer. Rather, Chloe does what she can, and admits, that sometimes the best she can do is keep out of the way, and let those with more suited gifts run the show. Can we say refreshing?
I’m also enamored with Derek, who like his leading lady, avoids the stigma attached to leading men. He doesn’t kiss Chloe’s ass, nor is he mocking. He is honest and frank, protective and insecure, yet confident in his abilities. I appreciated the fact that Armstrong allowed him to lay into Chloe when she had made a mistake, and didn’t then force him to grovel as though honesty were a sin. And I’ll admit, I think Armstrong might lace her books with a bit of magic, cause she made me lust after someone, who upon first description, is very physically unattractive. That is simply unprecedented.
But what ultimately garnered my attention is the stereotype that Armstrong herself manages to bypass with ease. She can write and adult series, filled with some of the best steam I’ve read, and then turn around, write a book about supernatural teens, whose scenes together are so freaking sweet and endearing, that my stomach flips. Kudos.
All in all, a great non-ending to a series. While there was certainly a conclusion to the trilogy, Armstrong has left Chloe’s story fairly open ended to allow for more adventures with Chloe and Co, and hopefully, we’ll see her again, in Women of the Otherworld.