The Rising – A Spoiler Free Review

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Image by LissethKay on dA.

First off let me take a moment of this review to explain my disappearance. Life has been biting me in the butt and stealing my inspiration to do anything creative, including writing book reviews. But, that has not stopped me from reading, as much as you guys as my followers may question otherwise. This is the first of three posts that will be coming in the next three days to try and make up for my lapse. First a book review on The Rising by Kelley Armstrong, followed by my favorite cake recipe, and finally my review on Soulless by Gail Carriger so keep your eyes out for these. Now onto the review!

Book: the Rising

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Age Group: Teen

Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

First off go ahead and gasp at the low rating, only rivaled by Fallen in my review spectrum. Especially, if you read my review on the previous book in this series, the Calling. It is pretty hard for me to reason with myself to give a book a low rating like this, but sometimes books just fall below my expectations, and in this case it was quite far below.

I love the Calling and the Gathering, the two previous novels in this series, and was stoked for the Rising. I even got my hands on an uncorrected proof of the novel, the version right before the published one. I began reading it, enjoying the action and picking up easily where the last book had left off, and then it all began to slow down. Mountains of dialogue, political schemes, characters not acting as they had in previous novels, and the slowed down pace of this book quickly began to wear on me. Maya Delaney, previously such a strong character, had suddenly become very weak in my eyes and for some reason. A previously action ridden book had slowed down to allow large amounts of dialogue to take the place of action, and even when action was introduced in the novel, it was at a much slower drawn out pace. I didn’t feel like I was running, I felt like I was doing a fast walk. It felt like I was reading a book written by a completely different author. I also felt, at times, that important sections were just skimmed over. Maybe the deadline that the author was put to was too short to get in all that needed to be said. Or maybe there was just not enough time to sit and wonder if a particular scene had been thoroughly divulged given the situation.

The saving grace of this novel, for me, was the crossover with Armstrong’s first series, the Darkest Power’s trilogy, and the characters there being thrown in. I’d always felt that there were more “diverse” characters in her first series, but that Armstrong hadn’t been able to take full advantage of them yet as that was her first published series. The Darkness Rising series had, until this point, been written better than her first series, although the characters didn’t have nearly the number of dimensions.

Armstrong continued with interesting themes of history and the supernatural. At times, I felt that she was going out on a little bit of a limb as I tried to do research on some of the supernatural types she introduced and often got very conflicting opinions, but interesting none-the-less.

Another saving grace of the book was helping solidify the romantic interests introduced throughout. I know I’m a sucker for these sorts of things, but honestly it helps me feel complete on at least one level, even if all the other levels of the book don’t pan out. Paired with this was the answers to many mysteries that the series introduces earlier, including Serena’s death paired with confrontations of the characters. In this way, the book felt real.

Overall I’m still feeling disappointed about the book, after two weeks, and am on a limb about recommending the series to others for fear of their eminent disappointment.

As always I have just one opinion and there are many more out there for you to check out before deciding whether or not to purchase the book.

Thank you for taking the time to check out this review,

~ Yoku

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the Calling – A Spoiler Free Review

ImageImage of Maya Delaney by mangalover-96 on dA (check her out!)

Book: the Calling

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Age Group: Teen

Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural

Rating: 4/5

If I had to choose one and only one word to describe this novel, it would be survival. This being the second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, that makes one question what I would categorize the first book to be. Background. The first book gave us the basis we needed to run up the climbing action that Armstrong provides us with this second book. We struggle with the characters, ask the questions they’re wondering, and spectate about the information that as readers, we know, but that the characters do not. Armstrong strings together a thrilling tale of teenagers struggling to survive in the wilderness of Vancouver Island fearing not only the wilderness they are in, but also the people who are chasing after them.

Armstrong’s take on the supernatural intrigued me with her first series, the Darkest Powers which followed a Necromancer as the main character, an unusual supernatural to say the least. Her honesty and development with the characters led me to pick up her second series, Darkness Rising, and she has yet to disappoint me with that decision. My biggest thing about her first series is that all three books read as a single book would. The first book provides the background and presentation of the problem; the second climbing action; the third climax, falling action, and conclusion. All this in my mind makes a well rounded novel, but for some reason Armstrong chooses to spread them out. Her second series is the same so far. Although, as a reader I imagine this is more of a personal choice between her and her editor.

Both of her series follow a female lead as coming-of-age novels and both have multiple potential romantic interests involved. Both also deal heavily with ethical and moral issues of how society treats mental illness, genetic research experiments, and what happens when people involved in an experiment are not told. As a student studying the sciences myself, this intrigued me as it’s subtle, but present in both her series.

If you’re looking for a thrilling novel following a strong female lead that dips into the unusual sides of the supernatural I highly recommend checking this series out. I’ll be picking up the third and final book once the price falls a bit, but I’ll keep reading and reviewing as always. Once again, I have one opinion, but there are many others out there so be sure to check them out.

Thank you for taking the time to check out this review,

~ Yoku