Thursday, April 21, 2011

"The Gathering" by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book 1)From Goodreads: "Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations. 

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark."

I must preface by saying that I love Kelley Armstrong, she is one of my most favourite authors of all time. There isn't anything of hers that I have read before that I haven't enjoyed, from her "Darkest Powers" trilogy to her "Women of the Otherworld" series. But while I did enjoy this book I don't know if I enjoyed it quite as much as her others books, especially her "Darkest Powers" trilogy.

I think that Derek and Simon (from the "Darkest Powers" trilogy) made more of an impact on me than this book's Daniel and Rafe did, however Maya totally made a bigger impact upon me than Chloe did (I found Chloe to be really dependent upon the boys in the first two books of the trilogy and somewhat of a quiet character). But Maya? Yeah, the girl had balls. She wasn't afraid to tell it like it was and she had so many great one liners throughout the book, there were so many times I found myself bursting out laughing at what came out of her mouth, for instance this little conversation: 
Maya: "Have you met the tattoo artist? Is he hot?"
Mom: "He's a she."
Maya: "Is she hot? Cause I'm still young, you know. My sexual identity isn't fully formed." (pg. 37)

I think that what really frustrated me about this book was that because it is the first book in the trilogy I assumed that we would learn lots about Project Phoenix, like we did about Project Genesis in the first book of the "Darkest Powers" trilogy, "The Summoning", but we really don't. Whatsoever. I only have some sort of knowledge about what Project Phoenix entails (Spoiler alert: The resurrection of extinct magical races) from my own personal researching (reading lots of blog posts, tweets and whatnot) and I don't feel like it is my duty to do outside research to comprehend a book, the writer should provide us with everything we need to know to understand their story.

Also, I found the plot-line to be quite slow in some parts (I am used to the fast-paced-on-the-run-adventure of the "Darkest Power" trilogy I suppose) and I found that there was the whole teenagers-fall-for-one-another-as-soon-as-they-meet-one-another thing going on which was a bit of a bummer (I really liked how relationships didn't form in the "Darkest Powers" until the very last book, the characters really got to know one another before they formed any sort of relationship).

But like I said, Maya is a really great character and the epitome of snark and she really does make this story. While I do seem to have many complaints of this story I do think that it is a good story, not as great as the "Darkest Power" series, but better than many YA books that are currently out there.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Great review Avery! Knew you said you weren't totally "wowed" but glad that you still liked it! Maya did say whatever was on her mind and I kinda liked it, although sometimes it was really just so out there, you know? :)

  2. The quote is really funny ;)
    I can't wait to read this book .. I loved The Darkest Powers series so I'm sure I'll enjoy The Gathering !!
    Thanks for the review ;)

  3. Great review! I haven't read any of Kelley's YA books yet but they've been on my list for a while. Soon I hope!

  4. I adore Kelley Armstrong as well and I was really looking forward to this one! I still am, but you made some really great points and I'll be keeping those in mind when I'm reading. Maya does sound awesome, I love a girl with balls. Hm. That sounds off. Fantastic review as always Avery, can't wait to give this one a try!

  5. I loved The Darkest Powers trilogy and felt like it ended satisfyingly so I have yet to get my hands on The Gathering. I love witty banter and sarcastic humour so I know I will like Maya's character. Great review by the way :)

  6. You know those problems won't keep me away from this series. Oh I'm a Kelley Armstrong fan and I love those quotes. Too funny. Yep... looks like Maya is a girl with snark to spare. Love that. Great review!

  7. Love your review. And the Darkest Powers trilogy is one of my all-time favorites.

    But now that you point it out I do know what you mean about not learning more about the secret project stuff in this book. But I kind of like that it's not following the same exact path as the other trilogy or I'd have been a bit 'been there done that.'

    I really miss Derek and Simon and I don't think Rafe or Daniel come close, but I really like Maya. And I can't wait to see both worlds collide in one of the next two books.

  8. Great review!

    Love the quote LOL Gotta read this one soon =d


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