Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review for "The Reaping" by M. Leighton

Beautiful, Dark, and Creepy, but too many Questions left Unanswered

3.5 stars. Beautiful imagery sucked me into the beginning of this book. Leighton describes Carson and the scene around her in a way that really makes you feel like you’re there. The story also moves along at a nice pace and leaves enough mystery for you to want to keep reading.

I really liked some of the supernatural elements of this story. I liked Carson’s powers, and her dreams. In particular, the way Leighton shows us that Carson has developed these powers is wonderful. She connects them to her emotions and then gives her believable reactions to them. I think my favorite scene in this book is the funeral scene, where we see Carson deal with her emotions over losing her father. It is well written, has beautiful imagery, and you really feel what she is feeling then.

One thing I found odd from the start were the names. Carson, and her sister, Grey, have odd names for girls. Although, there is an explanation for why they have these unusual names. Really, the first half of this book had me sucked in with just the right amount of mystery. Everything was being set up for a great story. But as the book went on I had more problems with it.

The biggest issue I had was that I didn’t find Carson’s relationship with Derek believable. She’s drawn to him for no reason. Had why she was drawn to him been explained I would have felt better but it never was. Also, she even admits that she barely knows him and yet feels like she can say that she loves him. Even at the end of the book I have questions about Derek’s motives, which at parts were an interesting twist to the storyline, but the fact that Carson so easily overlooks them bothers me. I think had their relationship been built up better and they gotten to know one another better I would have given this story 4 stars. I will say though that the steamier scenes between them were well written. Still, they would have been more fun to read had I believed that they knew each other well enough to be that crazy about each other.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was how many questions it left me with at the end. The mystery that kept me reading at the beginning never got fully explained. Derek in particular keeps so many secrets from Carson, and he keeps them for far too long. Some things I could figure out on my own, like I assume that Carson’s powers were either related to her upcoming 18th birthday, or the fact that her sister makes a deal with Fahl. And, I know Derek has the power to control water, but I’m not sure what his other power is, fire? I also want to know the significance of 306 and why it kept repeating in the story, and why her sister’s hair is red and then black at the end of the book. Most importantly though I have questions about the ending. There are so many deals made with the devil that I was wondering what people got in exchange for their souls, and if so many people were trading up to keep Carson safe then why was she ever in danger?

There is a second book, and I can understand some of these questions not being answered until I read that one, but I feel like there were just a few too many left open. Also, I liked the message of this book, but it gets laid on a little too thick at the end. And there’s one scene where Carson saves a girl’s life but another boy is basically damned and she considers it a good deed. She also probably gave them both third degree burns and destroyed the girl’s house, not to mention left her with serious psychological damage. So, I don’t quite understand why she thinks she’s done a good thing.

Overall I would say that there is some good writing here and an interesting idea, although there are some issues with the plot. If you’re the kind of person that can look past those ‘drawn to you for no reason’ romances I think you would enjoy this. And, I am considering reading the next book, although it’s mostly because I’m hoping it answers the questions that were left open in this one.

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