Title: The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background--the only clue she has to go on is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip--but she never had put much thought into her real parents were or how she ended up with her adopted family in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.Until now.Strange things have been happening in her 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.
The Gathering is the first book by Kelley Armstrong that I've read and I am glad I finally picked up one of her books off of my bookshelf. I highly enjoyed reading it and definitely wondered why it took me so long to actually read the book. I know that I won't wait again.
Maya doesn't really know much about her background or where she comes from. All she knows is what her parents have been able to tell her about her birth mother and a paw print birthmark on her hip. And until recently that was all she needed to know. But when her best friend mysteriously drowned in the lake, maya starts questioning everything and she isn't the only one asking questions. In her small town, nothing unusual ever happens, but lately, weird things have been happening and everyone is starting to worry. In her search for answers and information, Maya finds herself getting closer to bad boy Rafe who may not be as bad as he looks. And with his help, Maya may finally find out exactly who she is. But that's only if she can pull all this off before the forest fires get to town.
Until recently, everyone was telling me what a great writer Kelley Armstrong is but I couldn't really say anything about her from personal experience. Now I can finally say that I agree with what everyone has been telling me. I really and truly enjoyed reading The Gathering. The story was something different and even though I knew there was a paranormal element to it, it almost felt like I was reading a contemporary book. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, it was something I actually really liked about the story. And then the ending sort of took me by surprise. The last twenty or so pages of the book got really intense and then the story ended. I almost wondered if my book was missing some pages. Let me just say that I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.
The characters in this book were intriguing and it took me a while to figure them out. I liked getting to know Maya the best. She was an interesting character and I liked how independent she was. The best part about her independence was that she didn't necessarily need a boy and she was happy with her situation Not that she was completely closed off to the idea of boys, especially if their names were Rafe and Daniel. What was interesting about the two boys was how they were pretty much complete opposites by still had a lot in common. Where Rafe was the resident bad boy, Daniel was the good guys always ready to jump in to help. Though personally, I preferred Daniel because he just seemed more genuine and that made me like him better. Though Rafe wasn't all bad, I just need to get to know him better.
Overall, The Gathering was a highly enjoyable read and I am more than happy to have finally given Kelley Armstrong a shot. Now I really can't wait to get my hands on The Calling, the next book in what promises to be a great series.