Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Wow, another week that goes by without a post ^_^; Let's hope I put an end to this right now with this review! Yes, finally a review! LOL. And you won't believe how long it took me to write this one ^_^; However, I'm glad that I've finally managed to finish it because The Rising is a book I've really wanted to share with everyone :) Beware, it's not my best review. I think I'm a bit rusty...

By the way, in case you guys are wondering, no new books this week, so no Hauling Sunday post. Now, ready? Because here we go! :P

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk***

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
published by Harpercollins in April 2013
Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they're quickly running out of places to hide. And with the whole world thinking they died in a helicopter crash, it's not like they can just go to the authorities for help.

All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they're so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control.

But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And now, like it or not, she'll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can't keep running forever.
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Series: Darkness Rising, Book #3

The Story: The Rising basically picks up where The Calling left off. Maya, Daniel and Corey are on their own and trying to figure things out - where to go, what to do, whom to contact... and to trust, all the while staying ahead of the Cabals hunting for them. With most of their companions captive and the world thinking they have died in a helicopter crash, their options are scarce. One thing they know for sure; they cannot keep running all their lives nor do they want to... Is there a possibility that life could go back to the way it was? If there is, Maya and her friends will do everything and reach the necessary people for it to happen.

My Opinion: I love Ms Armstrong's writing, but to be honest, the Darkness Rising trilogy hasn't been my favorite work of hers so far. So when I got The Rising, my initial intent was to take a peek and put it aside for later. However, once I took that peek, I was completely hooked - simply couldn't put it down and ended up reading the whole thing LOL.

My enjoyment of The Rising is in large part due to Maya's gang finally meeting up with Chloe's group from the Darkest Powers trilogy. This is something I've been hoping for throughout the trilogy and it finally happening, well it made my day :) I just enjoyed the interactions between the two groups as their circumstances differed a lot. On one hand, you have Maya's gang who all grew in this community of experiment subjects, being monitored without really knowing it. Now on the run, they have to rely on themselves. While most of Chloe's group has been aware of being experiment subjects and have been trying to learn and control their powers. In addition, they can rely on Chloe's aunt and Derek and Simon's father. The contrasting idea between the two projects was also interesting to me. Project Genesis which Chloe stems from was to genetically enhance powers of supernaturals while Project Phoenix which includes Maya was  to revive supernatural beings that have been extincted. But quite honestly, at the end of the day, I just wanted updates of Chloe's group as I personally preferred them to Maya's ^_^; And LOL, let just say Derek's reaction didn't disappoint :)

What I also really liked in The Rising was the resolution at the end. Maya and Chloe's groups have been on the run for a while... Is that all their future holds for them? The answer is no :) I personally really wished that they had gone to the supernatural council. I think Paige and company need to know about them, about these projects... However, as they hadn't gone to the council, I think the person they went to make the best sense: Sean Nast. With Lucas and Sean taking leading positions in the Cabal clans and the emergence of the supernatural council, you can see that things are starting to change... and it's quite exciting to actually see Sean's position in the Cabals solidifying :) Perhaps I'm biased, but I feel Sean is someone that Maya and Chloe can trust. He's the one that going to be the most upfront with them. In any case, as I said, I liked the resolution at the end. Yes, they are still dependent on the Cabals, but at least, they are no longer on the run. They can live a "normal" life with their families. Also, they are now aware of their powers and the choices they will have to make in the future. It's not perfect, but it's better than what they could hope for at the beginning of The Rising.

Now, what about the story of The Rising itself? It was okay. To me, the scenes where Maya and her friends were on the run were a bit draggy. There were also some events that I felt were a bit too convenient such as Maya's twin Ash appearance. Still, there were some good twists and those kept the story going :) And finally, Maya realized her feelings for Daniel! Finally! I've been rooting for Daniel since the beginning and seriously, he's such a good guy... How could Maya not like him? This is one thing that Ms Armstrong hasn't handled really well in my opinion in both trilogies: love triangles. There haven't really been any in her adult books and I know YA books need a bit of drama, but she's just not very good at them ^_^; Perhaps because there is such an unbalance between the two potential love interests. In the Darkest Powers trilogy, she did a better job because Simon and Derek started on an equal footing - they both met Chloe at the same time and as brothers, they knew each other so well. But in Darkness Rising? I think everyone was rooting for Daniel.

At the end of the day, I'm glad the Darkness Rising trilogy is over. Ms Armstrong did her best with this trilogy; however, I think the odds were stacked against her... There were technically two huge flaws to this series. The first one is that being an avid fan of Ms Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, I knew so much more than the characters themselves... So waiting for the blocks to fall into place and the characters to figure things out was just agonizing! The second flaw was the similarities of what Maya and her friends were going through to the events from the Darkness Powers trilogy. Yes, circumstances were different, but in both cases, the heroines found out she was a supernatural and ended up being on the run, having to figure things out. It just took a lot of the thrills out. However, I'm really excited to see what Ms Armstrong has in store for Maya and Chloe in the future! The Women of the Otherworld series is now going on hiatus and so are the characters for these two trilogies... but I would love Ms Armstrong to pick up this world again in a few years and show us what have become of Maya and Chloe and mix them with our beloved characters from the Women of the Otherworld series :) That is going to be really exciting :)

My Grade: B+. This grade is a bit on the high side, but keep in mind that I'm really a fan of the Women of the Otherworld series :) For me, The Rising was definitively the best installment out of three books in this trilogy and it was in large part due to the cross-over and the resolution :) As I mentioned earlier, once I started the book, I was hooked and that deserves recognition, hence the B+. As a whole, the Darkness Rising trilogy might not have been Ms Armstrong's best work, but the doors it opens... I can't wait to explore that!