Paperback, 378 pages
Expected publication: May 22nd 2014 by Pan Macmillan
In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor. But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide? Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .
This novel is the first in a new, up-coming YA series by Kerry Wilkinson and is a science-fiction dystopia. It follows the main character, Silver Blackthorn, who lives in a small, poor town called Martindale. She has grown up with, and has feelings for her best friend Opie. But unfortunately, the pair are wrenched apart after a test every 16-year in the country takes. Silver was expected to get a high place in society, unlike Opie who expected to become someone from a lower class; but neither of them anticipated for Silver’s name to be chosen for her to become an Offering. After dozens of teenagers never leaving King Victors castle, Silver begins to question her survival.
This book was ok compared to other books of the genres. Reckoning is like a mixture of Veronica Roth’s Divergent along with Kiera Cass’s the Selection , with a sprinkle of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. So overall, not very original. But, it was still a good read, especially the ending. Unfortunately the beginning is slow-paced and there is next to no action or thrills. Personally, that is why I gave this book such a low rating because it simply didn’t drive me to continue reading. The characters were stereotypical to say the least and there was also a lack of detail and history from a lot of them. We see that Silver clearly has feelings for Opie and that Opie does share them, but no advances is made on this so I gave up with them very early on. I have a felling that this will come to play later in the series where a very annoying love triangle will form. I do hope that I am wrong.
This book is written solely from Silver Blackthorn’s perspective, which allows slightly more of a connection with character than 3rd person permits. The writing was simplistic but effective at times. Other times it was patchy due to lack of information and descriptive writing/language. This book could’ve been a lot shorter than what it is with a lot more action. I feel like this because, some scene’s felt unnecessary and slightly repetitive. Also, more topics that popped up within the book could’ve been broached and explored further; leaving a bigger impact on the reader. The flashback’s in this story, however, were very well written and excellently placed and laced with clues that come to play later in the novel.
Most of the characters felt one-dimensional and had very over used character traits that could have been built on and improved. Also, Silver didn’t talk to a lot of characters, which was another way we lost connection with them, as it is written from her point of view. In fact, speaking of Silver, there was a lot of things in Reckoning that Silver did that completely made my eyes roll. Additionally, I really liked the character of Hart and wished he was in the book more and hope he plays a key roll in the following books. The love interest in this book felt rushed and forced, this had an impact on the final climatic scene in the book as I felt it would have been more jarring if the reader felt more for the couple.
The ending of this book was fantastic and the premise was alright. But because of how predictable and unoriginal this book felt, it gained a low rating from me. The characters and the relationships between them felt forced, rushed and unexplored throughout the whole book. I was tempted at times to put this book down and rate it as “unreviewable” as there is a lack of action and/or intense scenes. And any scenes that attempted to be either of those things didn’t work and left me desperately reading, trying to find the end. I wouldn’t recommend this book personally, but fans of the Selection by Kiera Cass might want to check it out.
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* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.