Sunday, July 8, 2012

Canadian Spotlight Month: Review - The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising, Book #1
Published: April 12th, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
359 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult paranormal
Acquired this book: From the library
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon}

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. 

The Gathering is the first book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. In it, we’re introduced to Maya, along with her friend Daniel, and the new boy in town, Rafe, who all live in a small medical research town on Vancouver Island. Maya’s best friend Serena died the year before in what was considered an accident, but Maya believes there’s something more to Serena’s death, especially when odd things start to happen - things that seem to be connected to her in one way or another.

I felt like The Gathering was the perfect start to a series - right away, we’re introduced to a mystery. The tension and mystery build throughout the book as secrets are slowly revealed, usually causing even more mysteries to unfold. The foundation is laid for the characters to grow and develop, and we slowly get to know them better, but it's obvious there's more to come later in the trilogy. 

I liked Maya very much, and found it easy to connect with her. She was strong, independent, and smart. Her natural instinct with animals went beyond simply being in tune with them, and again, that laid the foundation for interesting revelations to come.

Daniel and Rafe were great male leads. They were both mysterious, and although we learn a lot of Rafe’s secrets, he’s still a conundrum. Is he genuine or is he really a player who’s putting on an act? I found it hard to get a good grasp on his character, but that intrigued me. He and Maya obviously had a strong connection, and I look forward to seeing how things progress. I especially liked Daniel, though. There’s something more there - his strong intuition and ability to ‘persuade’ people made me curious. He’s an amazing friend to Maya, very protective and intuitive of her feelings, and I loved him for that. 

Overall, The Gathering puts an exciting, unique spin on shape shifters. The story is full of thrilling, heart-pounding action that had me almost breathless at times. The secrets and mysteries keep coming throughout the book, and then the ending leaves you practically begging for more. Fans of Kelley Armstrong will love this book, and if you’ve never read anything my Armstrong, I definitely recommend The Gathering

Have you read any of Kelley Armstrong's books? What's your favourite one? Have you read The Gathering? What did you think? What's your favourite shape-shifter book?

This post has been part of the Canadian Spotlight Month. Click the graphic below to check out the schedule and all things Canadian here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you got to read this one. (Thank you for the lovely comment on my review of it, Marie!) I ADDDDDOOOORRRREE Daniel a lot. Like, more than I should. Rafe is an alright guy but there's just something about him I don't trust.

    I think you'll enjoy the second book. There's some great character growth. I really love how Kelley doesn't info-dump. She makes you work for the answers!


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