by Lili St. Crow
****** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS******
I eagerly anticipated the release of this book. I dreamed up so many endings that I just had to know how this series ended. From all of these endings that I imagined not one of them came even close to how this series, which I really enjoyed, ended.
The book starts with Dru, Ash and Graves still fleeing from the vampires after the warehouse where the last book ended. Dru has decided that the Order cannot be trusted and that she can no longer place her safety in their hands. They flee to her grandmother’s house where she believes they will be safe for some time. During the interlude of peace they experience Graves confesses his love for Dru but she is not able (yet) to tell him that she loves him too. Soon the vampires (and Christophe) find them and it is a desperate race for them to escape. They eventually learn that the Maharaj have joined forces with the vampires to capture Dru and this makes their situation even more dire. Some tense moments pass between Dru, Christophe and Graves and it is clear throughout the book that she is more confused than ever. They soon learn that Graves has been broken by Sergej and the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket when they are all captured by the vampire king. In a climactic ending Dru and Christophe manage to kill Sergej and almost all of his immediate hangers on. Dru almost dies but Christophe saves her (again). Afterward the Order seem to come to some sort of an arrangement with the Maharaj who now believes that Dru has some of their blood in her veins. Graves leaves to sort himself out but promises to come back after he has done so and Dru eventually is able to tell him that she loves him. She seems to take control of her position within the Order and tells Christophe that she is not ready for any sort of meaningful relationship between them.
WHAT I LIKED
As with the other books this book was very fast paced and was packed full of action from the front page to the last. I once again enjoyed the descriptive style in which Ms St Crow writes… not too much and not too little. One could clearly follow and accept the growth in the characters and the majority of the questions that had previously gone unanswered were answered in this “final” instalment. There is a lot of intensity in the characters which I enjoyed although Dru’s introspection did become irritating at times. Despite her former kick-ass attitude Dru was much more uncertain and vulnerable in this book and it was actually okay and made her seem more feminine and more mature to me.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
This book seemed to me at most times to be written from Dru’s mind. Her constant thinking, over-thinking and re-thinking each and every event, action and emotion got on my nerves a bit. As always the love triangle dilemma got much worse in this last book and it definitely irritated me no less as a result thereof. The ending was wholly unexpected and to be frank – disappointing. I did not enjoy it at all and it made the book feel like the intro to a further (or another) series. Whilst it seems that Dru decided to be alone and that she did not pick between either Christophe or Graves, I do believe that she did pick Graves in the end, although he left (for the time being). This confused and upset me, not only because Christophe was my clear favourite, but because the hints in the prior books, in my view, hinted towards some permanent engagement between Christophe and Dru. Therefore this ending just merely did not gel for me with the rest of the story. There are several more plot lines which I feel were opened in the last two chapters and although I do appreciate that this might be leading to a spin-off series, I do want my final books in a series to bring some sort of finality, which this book simply did not.
SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT
Although my criticisms on the book certainly far outweigh my compliments, I did enjoy the Reckoning. I was however left wanting after turning the last page and not in that bitter sweet kind of way I normally feel when I finish the last book in a series I love, but in a “She’s not really ending this book this way, is she?” kind of way. I don’t really know how to explain it but The Reckoning’s ending (as opposed to the rest of the book) simply did not do it for me.
I am utterly convinced that there will be a spin-off series to Strange Angels but I do not yet have any information on such a series. We shall just have to wait and see. I for one would certainly want to know that Christophe finds a happy ending and from the way I am feeling now, I do NOT want it to be with Dru. Check back for more info as it becomes available.