Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Synopsis: 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. Until now. 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.

Review: I enjoyed Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy (Summoning, Awakening, and Reckoning) and really looked forward to this spinoff Darkness Rising trilogy. A part of me wishes I had re-read Darkest Powers so I could refresh myself on characters and history, but another part is glad that I went into the Gathering somewhat fresh.

While I totally enjoyed the story, I was also a little disappointed. Not much happened and Maya took FOREVER to figure out what was going on. Since I could guess at least a little of what was going to happen from the beginning, I was frustrated that it was taking so long for the characters to catch up. I did like Maya. She was a good lead, very independent, strong and yet pretty nice too. I liked her relationship with her parents. It was refreshing to see a healthy family unit for a change. I also really liked Maya’s best friend Daniel. In fact I think I’m on Team Daniel, even though they didn’t have any romantic chemistry together, I was hoping he’d win out. I liked Rafe too actually, I thought he had good chemistry with Maya, but I just didn’t like him as much as Daniel. It was actually nice that there wasn’t the typical love-triangle going on. Maya knew her feelings and wasn’t leading anyone on, such a refreshing change! By the end though, I felt like nothing was answered and the cliffhanger was kind of lackluster. It felt more like an end to a chapter, not the end of a book.

I guess I felt like the book was kind of filler, we got to know the characters (which I liked), the setting (which I liked) and a tiny bit of Maya’s history. There wasn’t enough mystery/action, and if I hadn’t read the first trilogy I wouldn’t have enjoyed The Gathering as much as I did. I still really look forward to the next book, I love the story and writing and I know I’ll probably end up liking this trilogy as much as the first.

Content: A little swearing, underage drinking, and a bit of making out.

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