The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)
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.
In The Gathering , New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.
Maya is an interesting heroine who loves the wildlife in her tiny medical-research community. The animals love her in turn and that includes mountain lions that seem to follow her. I liked the romantic angle between Daniel, who she grew up with and Rafe the new kid in the community. Daniel is protective of Maya but it's Rafe mystery that first fascinates Maya then leads her to find out more. I have to say the chemistry is hotter with Rafe. I did like how multi-layered these characters were.
The revelation behind what's really going on in the community was equally fascinating especially when one reporter comes in and snoops around a tad too much. Let's just say the leaders of this community haven't exactly been truthful with the teens. With Rafe and his sister's arrival more unanswered questions come up.
The Native American legend of shapeshifters is explored in this novel too. I wanted to know more about skinwalkers(which Maya and Rafe are). Also the cliffhanging ending made me anxious to know what happens next with all the characters including whether Rafe and Maya go further in their relationship and how they will deal with their paranormal abilities.
She has a set way a book will play out and she just uses that for all her books but changes it up a bit. Different characters. Different setting.
And no matter how much I know that, I will still read all her books. (Dessen included).
I didn't not like The Gathering as much as I expected to. (I was comparing it to the Darkest Powers series the whole time and I'm sure that took some of the spark from it. Cant beat that series, in my honest opinion).
It was a quick read while the sky was pouring, and I enjoyed it nonetheless
The plot holds few surprises, and those, generally, were not the big ones. Her relationship choices were inevitable, and future relationship drama is emerging along clearly defined lines. The emergence of the fantasy elements of the story was wholly expected as well. If you like to be completely caught off guard by your book, then Armstrong might not be for you. Remember that Armstrong has a strong basis in paranormal romance, so there are certain elements that are just going to happen a particular way.
That does not change the fact that her YA novels are compulsively readable. They go down quick and easy, and leave you wanting more. Her romances, if the previous series is something I can go by, are very cute, take a long time to come to fruition and may involve some missteps along the way (like dating the wrong guy and then realizing your feelings lie elsewhere). Although it would be repetitive, I hope for the latter yet again, as Rafe's little bad guy routine did nothing to make me like him. Bad boys are good only in certain circumstances, as better detailed in my previous post. I am fully rooting for Daniel. Normally, I would not ship her with the best friend, but I really liked him for some reason and think he has some awesomeness hiding beneath the surface.
If you're looking for something fun to read this spring/summer, you can't go wrong with The Gathering.
My Thoughts Note: This is my first Kelley Armstrong book, and I didn't have a problem reading it without reading her previous ones.
What I liked: I liked the mystery of the book. The prologue really had me at the edge of my seat and I was ready to find out the mystery behind Serena's death and the strange things that have been happening to Maya. I liked Maya's funny relationship with her parents (reminded me of Olive Penderghast's parents from Easy A) and the kids in school. I thought it was a new take on the supernatural type book and I can't wait to see the secrets that the will reveal in the next book. Armstrong's writing style is simple and easy to follow along which makes the mystery a bit easier to uncover.
What I disliked: With that said, this book was alright. I the premise was interesting and so were some of the characters, but I didn't really get into the book as much as I thought I would. It might be because I had some high expectations going into this book and was waiting for that moment that I would be hooked and at the edge of my seat. After the prologue, I felt the beginning was a bit slow and when they do uncover something "huge," it wasn't very shocking to me. I think because Armstrong didn't really build up to it and would just have it happen out of the blue (which does work at times, but I think she doesn't do enough to build up the tension and mysteriousness).
Conclusion: All in all, I would say pick this book up if you see it at the library or give the first prologue and first chapter a read if you see it in the bookstore. I am going to read the second book when it comes out though because they left a lot of questions and didn't explain much about Serena.