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Book Review: The Reckoning by Kayla Knue

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

I can’t believe that it is really April 14th! It’s been a crazy couple of months in which my own writing process has exploded. I’m beginning to see the fruits of my labors of love.

I know that each step of this process is incredibly personal to an author, especially when it comes to their debut novel. There’s a surreal quality to every step of the process in which one asks ‘Is this really happening?’. Over the last few months I’ve watched as Kayla has taken these steps, shared blurbs, teasers and revealed their book cover as seen below.

The Reckoning by Kayla Knue, Book Cover

It has been an amazing process to witness, especially as someone who understands both the heart ache and excitement of publishing.

We’ve finally made it to the 14th of April. And today is not only the author’s birthday, but The Reckoning has released for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and other formats via D2D (this include Apple Books, Thalia, !ndigo and more). In addition to these digital releases, this debut novel is available in paperback and hardback through the Amazon Market Place.

I don’t want to give away spoilers to Kayla’s novel, but what I can do is offer you an honest review and a link to the live reading where you can hear the story strait from the creator’s mouth.

The back matter for The reckoning includes the following:

A Dark Fantasy novel with LGBTQ themes. Dark Fantasy comes with dark themes. Some which may make readers uncomfortable if they are outside of their own comfort zone. Including those found in reviews written by other readers:

Beatings, blood and gore, death, loss of a loved one, murder, physical violence, psychological abuse, rape (explicit description), sex, sexual violence, trauma, victim blaming.

If these elements are not for you, The Reckoning may not be the book you want to pick up next.

What I will tell you is something that may not make much sense to other readers who enjoyed the Hunger Games and similar dystopian novels that pit characters against each other in a fight for your life type of tournament.

First I HATED the Hunger Games. Hated. Capitol H, full stop. I barely made it through Katniss volunteering as tribute in her sister’s stead. That doesn’t mean I didn’t finish the book. It just means that I found Hunger Games very contrived and predictable. It needed something more to make at as immersive and captivating as Kayla’s debut novel.

If Hunger Games had broader spectrum of characters, magic, and a Beauty and the Beast trope, I might have enjoyed it and gone on to read additional works by Susan Collins.

In The Reckoning, the characters are not only diverse and well rounded, they’re relatable. They felt and continue to feel real in a way that meant I found myself disappointed at the end. That disappointment wasn’t in the quality of the story telling or the world that the author created, it was from reaching the end and knowing I have to wait for the next installment.

I cried with Harrison in the beginning. I despised what happened to him and wanted to jump through the pages and claw out Jess’ eyes. That or scream at the author for putting him through such a horrific experience. I cried again when he finally was able to feel the love that he deserves.

If you haven’t noticed, Harrison is my favorite character. I really dislike Jess with a passion of a thousand fiery suns and actually hope that at some point Daniel kills her. Mercilessly and viciously!

The kind of death where there’s nothing left for magic to re-animate and the remains of her soul shredded. Wait… I hope Kayla hasn’t planned for some sort of zombie type death magic in the future. If so, I apologize for the spoiler! Sorry, not sorry?

What else can I tell you without giving away the guts of this amazing story? Lets start with reviews that have been posted by other readers:

Still not sure if The Reckoning is for you? Why not give a live reading of the first seven chapters a try? The first is linked below and you can find chapters 2 – 7 (with the seventh during Kayla’s stream on Friday, April 16th) below.

I can only hope that you love the story as much as I have and that you’ll consider purchasing your own copy in order to support this talented new author.

Me, I’m off to start a second pass through The Reckoning before I get to my writing for the day.

Until next time!

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