: Kelley Armstrong
: Harper Collins (April 12, 2011)
: Young Adult
: For Review
Young Adult * Paranormal
Description from Goodreads:
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 . . . .
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.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I didn't finish reading Kelley Armstrong's previous trilogy (The Darkest Powers
trilogy), so this review won't strictly be a comparison of the two series. There were several things I liked about The Gathering
, the first book in Armstrong's new Darkness Rising
trilogy. I loved the creepy atmosphere of the novel. I loved the idea of an incredibly small town living on an island dedicated to medical research. The backdrop of the medical research community, foreign doctors flying in for annual doctor's visits, and a history of unexplained behavior and strange deaths on the island made for a great setting for the story. It was a very different environment for a story. From the prologue, where an unexplainable accident occurs, the tone is set for a good creepy start to a new story. I also liked that some of the paranormal elements seemed to be derived from Native American folklore. There is a considerably smaller presence of Native lore in young adult novels, so it made some of the paranormal creatures/aspects that readers are familiar with seem more unique and original.
I had difficulty connecting with the protagonist, Maya, but I loved secondary characters Rafe and Annie. Their relationship was interesting and they both had very interesting character histories. I look forward to seeing more from them especially in future books in the series. Characters like Sam and Danial, among others, were fascinating, because there were so many suspicious or different behaviors that they showed, which suggests that they might not be who they seemed either.
raised many interesting questions and conundrums, but didn't provide many answers which could leave readers either very excited or very frustrated. The ending was very much a cliffhanger. The last few chapters were fast-paced page-turners, with things building to a great climax at the end. I look forward to future books explaining all of the fantastically creepy elements. Fans of Kelley Armstrongs previous YA series and YA paranormal suspense, will not be disappointed.
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