The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Release date: April 12, 2011
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Purchase: Book Depository
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.
Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.
This is one of those books that sits on the shelf forever, and once you finally read it you wonder why you waited so long. I enjoyed The Gathering very much, and I’m kicking myself for waiting since I bought this shortly after it was released.
Before The Gathering I hadn’t read anything by Kelley Armstrong, but I knew it had to be pretty good since she’d written quite a few novels, mostly for adults, but also her YA series. The writing flowed and all the dialogue and interactions felt real. And even humor from the main character, and humor can sometimes be hard to write. But Kelley nails it.
All of the characters felt real, even Serena, though we weren’t with her for very long. I absolutely adored Maya. She’s so strong, knows her own mind and has natural leadership qualities that others just follow instinctively. Probably has to do with the fact that there’s something different about her. What’s revealed wasn’t really a surprise, but I definitely enjoyed it since it was a different take on the paranormal genre than what’s out there currently. Of the two boys, my favorite was actually Daniel. Rafe was an awesome bad boy, but then he wasn’t really. I’m rooting for Daniel.
The only thing that I was annoyed about with this book was the ending. It’s left on a sort of cliffhanger, but there was something else too. You’re reading the last chapter, though you don’t yet realize it’s the last. You turn the page and realize that OH, that was last page. What? Seriously?! The ending was somewhat abrupt, and with the cliffhanger definitely serves the purpose of you wanting the next book. I will definitely read on.