Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: The Wicked Within

Her fate is not set in stone.

Having temporarily defeated Athena, Ari races to break the gorgon curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Her one lead sends her on a quest for the Hands of Zeus, an ancient relic last seen in the charge of New 2’s ruling elite, the Novem. But if there is one thing that Athena desires as much as revenge, it’s the Hands of Zeus—and Athena always gets what she wants.
Before either can locate the Hands, the statue goes missing, and a trail of blood follows those who once protected the relic’s secrets. Ari knows that her city, her friends, Sebastian—her life—depend upon her finding the statue before Athena. And with rumors an ancient power is on the rise, that may not be her only concern . . . Quoted from Goodreads


If you've already read the first two books in this series, this won't be a hard sell.  If you haven't, this might be one you need to pick up.  Individually, most of the elements of this story have been seen before.  Hodgepodge of mythological creatures? Check.  Tortured love interest whose inability to communicate causes angst? Check.  Tough as nails heroine, who also manages to be beautiful, while struggling with her own powers? Check.  New Orleans? Check. Evil villain? Check.  Mysterious side character who ends up being vital to the story? Check. Yep, all here---which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your mood.  Still, Kelly Keaton throws everything together to form a compelling story, one with its own twist and turns and background that makes this series one definitely worth checking out.

First, I love, love love the whole Medusa angle.  We get Athena as the villain (poor Hera finally gets a break), and a 2500-year-old curse about to descend on our MC, Ari.   That's what drew me to the story in the first place.  Medusa is always portrayed as the villain, and Athena gets to be the benevolent  enlightened Greek god.  This turns that all on its head, giving the mythology a twist, and this last book is no exception.  

All the characters that you've grown to love over the series are back, along with some new ones.  I've loved watching Ari figure out who she is and her place in New 2 (I love what the author has done in creating this city/world).  Sebastian is dealing with what happened to him at the end of the last book, adding even more issues to their relationship.  We do, however, get a few chapters from his POV, and I loved that.  I loved seeing why he did certain things, and other things, well, Ari wasn't there, so it's nice not to hear major plot points second hand.

The action in this book is even better than the preceding two.  Of course, it's the end, so you kind of expect that, but it's not always guaranteed.  I though the ending was done really well.  Tension continues to build, and Athena proves she really is the goddess of war, manipulating events in a way you can't help but admire (all the while despising because she is the bad guy here).  I love good villains, and she is brilliant.  

Basically, this is an exciting, paranormal adventure. It's a solid 4 stars and a satisfying conclusion to a fast-paced series.  I should probably warn readers about the language, if that's an issue. At this point, I'm kind of sad to see the series end, but I'll admit, I'm kind of hoping there's a spin-off.  Everything wrapped up nicely, but there are enough unfulfilled prophecies and new characters that I could easily see another story.  I'm kind of hoping it's from Violet's POV, but we'll see.

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