The Wicked Within, the final installment of the Gods & Monsters Trilogy, puts Ari, Sebastian, her father, her Novem allies, and friends on a final collision course with Athena. Athena may have been temporarily defeated, but she isn't out of the game just yet. In fact, she makes things even more interesting for the NINE oldest families of New 2 (aka New Orleans) which leaves the Novem struggling with itself to remain viable.
Ari & Sebastian must find out where Josephine hid the Hands of Zeus fast so that she can use it to unfreeze Athena's child. In doing so, Ari can finally break free from the family curse that hangs over her head once she turns Twenty-One. Ari is finally getting a real opportunity to learn about her father, and the relationship he had with Ari's mother who abandoned her when she was Four.
She's a fierce, determined fighter, but sometimes she needs to be slapped upside the head to get her to use her abilities. As the last remaining descendant of Medusa, Ari needs a nudge or a push now and then to get her to understand that she is far from weak, and can kick anyone's ass if she puts her mind to it. I mean, come on! She's has the ability to turn people and things into stone! I love the fact that Ari finally has a real home to come back to after a hard day at the office.
Sebastian has to deal with his transition to a vampire and the need to drink blood which he has kept hidden from Ari to her bitter disappointment. Now that he's finally come into his abilities as a vampire, his overbearing grandmother, Josephine Arnaud, makes it known that he may be the strongest heir in New 2, and thus it is time to step up to his responsibilities. Bastian also has some pretty cool new tools to play with, and they come in handy when the melee hits the fan, and New 2's very existence is put to the test.
The Wicked Within features a collection of paranormal characters from vampires, shifters, and witches, to Greek Gods, and even a surprising Egyptian God who makes things interesting. While she's at it, Keaton also tosses in an unknown with the appearance of the River Witch who has a strange connection to Violet which I won't spoil. Readers will just have to have lots of patience before this characters true identity comes to be revealed.
Gods & Monsters has been an interesting journey from start to finish. Although Keaton does a fairly decent job of summation, I would definitely recommend that you keep notes, OR, read the books back to back so that you won't lose your memory of what happened in the previous installments. I have to say that as an older reader, it gets utterly frustrating having to go back to previous reviews in order to slap your brain into remembering what happened previously.
The world that Keaton has created is set in New Orleans 15 years after the city was flooded by Athena, and was later sold by the US Government to the Novem Supernatural families who renamed it New 2. I adore Henri, Violet, Dub, and Crank. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you learn about Violet's purpose, and why things just don't seem to chink her armor. Keaton choose to write this book from the POV's of both Ari, and Bastian. Bastian can be a hard character to like at times, but by the time you reach the end, it will have been all worth it.
Author - Kelly Keaton
Title - The Wicked Within (Gods & Monsters # 3)
Published by Simon Pulse
Released: September 17, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages