The Wicked Within (Darkness Becomes Her #03) by Kelly Keaton Review

urlI am glad to have finally finished this series. This book has been languishing with me for quite sometime but for some reason, I just couldn’t get around to reading it. I did try once earlier and ended up putting it aside for later. But this time, when I finally started, once I really got into it, I found that I couldn’t stop reading. It is really quite enjoyable.

This is the final chapter of Ari’s fight with Athena and this time the entire city of New 2 is at stake (along with the lives of everyone Ari cares about) I read the first two books a very long time ago and didn’t refresh my memory before starting this so there was a bit of a disconnect but I soon overcame that. I was just not as invested in these characters as I might have been had I reread the previous instalments. This time around, Ari and her friends are approached by Athena’s (unwilling?) henchwomen, Menai and Mellinoe, with a proposition: if she can find the Hands and bring her child back to life (he was turned into stone a very very very long time ago) then she will lift Ari’s curse and leave her and her friends alone. Sound too good to be true? Well, Ari had the same concerns, she doesn’t trust Athena and judging by her previous track record, I can’t say I blame Ari for her cautiousness. Of course, she soon discovers that a similar offer was made to the Novem with the minor difference where she offered to make one of them immortal with all her powers thrown in for good measure. Being the goddess of wisdom and battle strategy, Athena knew exactly how to cripple the Novem so that they couldn’t unite against her and it worked like a charm. Soon all hell was breaking loose with Athena attacking a city, an ancient Egyptian god rising from his Sleep and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff.

Part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much was that it was fast paced. The action started fairly late in the book and didn’t let right up until the very end. But the initial part was also fun because it was laying the groundwork of the big fight to come. The quiet moments were nice and they didn’t slow the narrative in the slightest. It was a very satisfying conclusion to the series. It is still Ari’s narrative with bits from Sebastian’s perspective, which I thought, worked well. Plus, I was also glad to see some very annoying characters meet their end.

I liked Ari, she was kick ass and didn’t waste time second guessing herself or whining about her life. What I also liked about her was that when she had doubts, she spoke about them instead of wallowing in them. And with regard to Sebastian, she was supportive of him without being a doormat and when he was acting like a jerk, she wasn’t afraid to call him on it. I like straightforward heroines and Ari was certainly that. I also liked that she wasn’t afraid of asking for help, which was such a welcome relief.

Sebastian acted like an ass sometimes but having his POV certainly helped in that regard. And he was quick to apologise (and mean it) He was going through the transformation into a vampire and for some reason he was afraid that if he let Ari in, she would see him differently and he didn’t want that. Of course, he soon realised that this approach wasn’t going well and worked hard to repair the damage. But when Ari needed him, he was always there. Also, he didn’t take her for granted.

The rest of the gang was back of course but I didn’t really connect to them apart from Violet and Henri. There were some nice moments with Ari, Crank and Violet. Violet is someone who really stood out from the rest group, perhaps because she was so different from the others but also very lovable. We finally find out about her origins and I certainly didn’t see that coming. So that was unexpected.

And now on to Athena. I love Greek mythology and Athena is among my favourite goddesses so it’s always tough to see her as the out and out villain. But I’m glad that Keaton made her a more sympathetic character in the end. She was still batshit crazy but it was nice to read that she had been good and kind once and it was a crippling loss that started her on this destructive path. That the reason Artemis and Apollo stuck with her was because they still loved her and she loved them. That it wasn’t borne out of blackmail, as it was earlier implied (I do remember some stuff from the second book, yaay J)

It was nice to see more of Ari’s father and that they were starting to bond. Bran is around as well and as hard ass as ever. We also meet his daughter, Kieran and she’s just as kickass as her father. Menai and Mellinoe were as ambiguous as ever, though I quite like the two of them (I would have liked to see more of them, maybe a spin off about the two of them wreaking havoc together?)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was a lot if fun. Once I really got into it, I ended up reading till 2 in the morning. Good fun…

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