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The Rising by K. Armstrong

Armstrong, Kelley. The Rising. Toronto: HarperTeen, 2013. Print.

Ontario-based award-winning writer Kelley Armstrong, author of the New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling Darkest Powers young adult urban fantasy trilogy, brings us the third and final title of her Darkness Rising trilogy.  The first in the trilogy, 2011’s The Gathering, was previously reviewed in the inaugural issue of Deakin, Vol. 1 No 1 and the second, The Calling, was reviewed in Vol. 2 No. 4.

As with the previous book in the trilogy, this book is not meant to be read on its own, as again the author’s recap on events and characters is minimal. I felt the need to revisit the second book and familiarize myself with the plot before I started in on The Rising as it had been a year between books, the price of being a fan of series fiction.

Sixteen-year-old supernatural, Maya Delaney, and her fellow supe friends are assumed dead after an apparent helicopter rescue-turned-crash leaves them running for their lives.  With no one they can trust to turn to, the teens are truly in harm’s way as their supernatural abilities start careening out of control. Corey’s headaches are increasing, Nicole’s mental state is fragile at best and even Maya is concerned that she herself may be regressing. Like it or not, the friends need assistance from the rival networks that seek to exploit their abilities. Maya’s biological father, Calvin Antone, plays a larger role in this book and again, his intentions are often unclear.

The intensifying romance of the previous book does indeed lead to the expected supernatural YA love triangle, but it feels forced and formulaic, as if the author’s fans would expect it and so it was hastily written in. There is a continued lack of storyline that seems to centre around the characters’ need to run and hide, which is echoed in Armstrong’s other works. I am giving this book three stars out of four because true Armstrong fans will enjoy the series as a whole as well as the tie-in to well-loved characters in her Darkest Powers trilogy and devour it regardless of its limitations.  The epilogue will be particularly satisfying. I would not be surprised to learn of yet another spin-off series with Maya or some of the new characters introduced in the series.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Debbie Feisst

Debbie is a Public Services Librarian at the H.T. Coutts Education Library at the University of Alberta.  When not renovating, she enjoys travel, fitness and young adult fiction.