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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Gathering
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Pages: 359 (Hardcover)

Release Date: April 12th 2011
Published by: HarperCollins

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.

In The Gathering, our protagonists live on a research island with more or less 200 residents. The place is surrounded by forest which is inhabited by cougars, bears and other wild animals. Rafe is the newest guy in town. Nobody knows where he and her sister, Annie, came from. Maya thinks he’s a playboy and a poser. She doesn’t like him all too well. But after one incident in the forest involving Annie, Maya starts to think that there might be more Rafe than meets the eye. But she also couldn’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding a deadly secret. A secret that, maybe, has something to do with her own past.

The Gathering is the first book in the Darkness Rising series, a companion series to The Darkest Powers series. The Gathering focuses mainly on world-building, so the plot is rather slow-moving. There were a lot of questions that arose from the first half of the book alone, but unfortunately, most of them were not answered. In fact, after reading this book, I got more questions than answers. So this actually feels like an introduction or a prologue to the real first chapter, which is the second book.

The characters are likable enough, though it was a little hard to connect with them at first. Daniel, Maya’s bestfriend, for me was a little unrealistic. He’s too serious, sure, mature and responsible for his age. Maya’s other bestfriend, Serena, who was also Daniel’s girlfriend died a year before but Maya still mourns for her loss. Maya likes tending to injured animals and they seem to heal faster when she’s around. She is witty and sarcastic but tends to be unforgiving to people who have shown her their bad side.

The only (two) thing(s) that ruined this book for me was the whole “mysterious, new guy that the female protagonist should avoid but is too hot to resist” she-bang. I usually don’t mind books with this kind of character, but there was this book I recently read that has the same idea which I really didn’t like. And now, it has affected the part of my brain that says that those type of characters are okay. The plot is very predictable too. It lacked a great deal of suspense.


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I've read a few reviews that have kind of said some of the same you have here. It sounds like a set up book. :) Thank you for the great review!

alovelywriterxo said...

-Eeep! This book sounds great! From what your saying, it has a cliche kind-of feeling. But other than that, I can't wait to check it out.

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