Monday, 2 April 2012

[REVIEW] The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Published: April 2011
Publisher:HarperCollins New York
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Darkness Rising #1
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, 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. (From Goodreads)

The Gathering takes place in a small town on Vancouver Island with a population of about 200. There, the St.Cloud company filled the town with employees that were promised the best care for their children. All employees that were hired have young children and the St. Cloud company thought that the best way to attract the parents is to promise the best for the children. In this town, the main character, Maya lives with her parents. Maya was adopted at the age of five and has a paw print shaped birthmark above her waist. Her best friend's called Daniel and her other best friend, Serena, drowned in a lake. The incident was deemed an accident but both Maya and Daniel have different opinions. Besides that, the new guy, Rafe, is constantly following Maya, wanting her to be his girlfriend. Mix that was a bunch of cougar appearences, a shady women by the name of Mina Lee that wants any information the towns children can tell her, and the unnatural events that are occuring and you have a very complicated life. So what does Maya do when she figures out who she really is and uncovers a huge conspiracy happening in her own town?

I love Kelley Armstrong books. More like i really like her adult books (The Women of the Otherworld series). Her teen books (The Darkest Powers Series) wasn't too good in my opinon so i was quite hesitant to read this book but i gave it a shot and well, it's definitely Kelley Armstrong.

There aren't as many, shall we say, romantic scenes as one expects from the Women of the Otherworld but this book has it's fair share. For once though, i'm happy to say that the plot of this book was not driven by the romantic relationships the main character has. In fact, the entire plot of the book is introduced ever so slowly. The reader does really know what it is until the main character realizes.

Basically the lie gets bigger and bigger and more secrets are revealed as the protagonist realizes that her small and quiet town might have more secrets then it seems to have. 

Of course, this book has to have some reference to the supernatural but Armstrong took a different route this time. The supernatural part of this book was more connected to First Nations and their tales as oppose to our perceptions of vampires, werewolves, etc. 

What i also really liked about this book was that Kelley Armstrong wrote it so ingeniously that you don't even realize that at the beginning, she's already revealed what the big secret is, but you don't know about that because you don't know clearly what's happening to the main character and what you're reading about. In fact, all i though about when reading the first couple of chapters is that the main character was getting visions and possibly she had some sixth sense. 

Well i was sort of right. The fact is, when the secret is revealed, the facts sort lining up, and you have a EUREKA moment when you realize that the signs were all there, you just didn't know what you were looking for. 

I found the characters to be also very intriguing. Maya is a very stubbern girl who often thinks too much in to events and people. Daniel is the overprotective best friend who has his own problems to deal with. The romance in this book was also not what i wanted. I always seem to be rooting for the overprotective, caring boy; not the bad-guy who the girl is obviously attracted to. 

Lastly, the ending of this book is a major cliff hanger. I'm probably going to read the second book just to see what's going to happen to them. Leave it to Kelley Armstrong to keep me hooked. 

So if you're a fan of fantasy, action, dark secrets, and Kelley Armstrong of course, read this book!


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