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The Reckoning: Darkest Powers #3    by Kelley Armstrong order for
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Reckoning follows Summoning and The Awakening as the third in Kelley Armstrong's gripping and edgy Darkest Powers series, a mix of fantasy and horror. It stars motherless fifteen-year-old film student Chloe Saunders, whose closest family member is her physician Aunt Lauren - her dad has always been distant.

In late puberty, Chloe began to see needy ghosts. She was diagnosed as schizophrenic, and sent to Lyle House, a group home for troubled teenagers (who all turned out to have strong supernatural talents). Chloe (a necromancer) joined sorceror Simon, werewolf Derek (Simon's foster brother), and firebug Rae in a jailbreak. Later, they lost Rae and were joined by Tori, a witch with serious attitude. They were pursued cross country by the Edison Group, adult supernaturals who made the genetic modifications that created them, but who kill experimental subjects they deem uncontrollable.

As The Awakening ended, the four were pursued by hunters with rifles, but found refuge in a safe house with Andrew, a friend of Simon and Derek's father. Now, it's time for The Reckoning. Chloe worries about her aunt Lauren, a captive of the Edison Group since she helped her niece escape. But soon she has much more to worry about. After she barely survives an encounter with a very nasty telekinetic half-demon, the four fugitives meet other supernaturals in Andrew's resistance group. Though the teens hope to learn from them how to better use their talents, the adults are horrified by the adolescents' power.

Chloe goes on a first date with Simon, but it doesn't work out as hoped. She helps Derek with another Change. Adults betray them and there are several violent encounters, but trust grows between Chloe and Tori. There are captures and escapes, which they survive with a little help from an old friend - and through Chloe's release of a demi-demon named Diriel. This episode ends, after a conflagration of violence, on reunions and a safe haven - which we know is temporary at best. Fans will devour The Reckoning and wait anxiously for more.

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