The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong
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.
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.
Publishes in US: April 12th 2011 by Harper
Genre: YA paranormal
Series? Darkness Rising #1
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Huh. Just had a weird moment as a book blogger. I have wanted to read The Gathering because I totally loved Darkest Powers series. But then I went to search for my reviews... and it was before I was blogging. It's hard to believe that moment of searching and remembering that this hasn't been an amazing part of my life for as long as I even thought. So. Here's a plug for an older series that is amazing. Derek was smoking hot and I loved the story line and I was pretty sad when it ended and I knew my time with the characters was coming to an end.
So here I am three years late discovering the series and my love for her writing and characters that are easy to like. Maya has an affinity for the animals and she has a bordering on weird relationship with the bob cats in the area. And she really begins to wonder when she's called a witch by an old lady at a tattoo parlor when she went in to get work done on her birthmark, shaped like a cat's paw.
I enjoyed the exploration into her abilities as well as the mystery with the rest of the town. The medical research, the focus on the teens, the death of Maya's best friend the summer before. I feel like it did take a bit to get set up in the paranormal aspect of the plot, but I didn't mind at all because I liked Maya as a character.
The cast of secondary characters was great as well. Daniel, her best friend was great to read about. I loved the easy time they spent together and their natural sweet friendship. They were so open with each other and he is such a good guy, protective and strong that I was still half rooting for a relationship between the two. But as the synopsis suggests, the bad boy sexy new guy makes an appearance.
Just like Maya since Rafe has done the catch and release with so many other girls, I was so weary of him and his advances on Maya. But the fact that he lets down his guard and his relationship with his sister I can't help but give him a chance. Plus the chemistry between him and Maya is pretty undeniable.
I will definitely be continuing this series, but the ending to the first book didn't really give me a whole ton of closure. It felt like it stopped too soon with climax and not answering enough questions while still raising even more. But that aside, it was an enjoyable and quick read.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you have an affinity for animals?