Title: The Gathering
Series: Book one of Darkness Rising
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Page Count (hardcover): 359
Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya’s determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya’s home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts experiencing “bad vibes” about certain people and things. It does’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
After hearing wonderful things about #1 New York Times Best Selling author Kelley Armstrong I decided that I simply had to find out for myself what all the buzz was about. So, when I noticed The Gathering while perusing the YA section of the library I decided to check it out. Perhaps I've just been reading too many classics lately but in my opinion The Gathering just wasn't that amazing. Now that's not to say that I won't read the rest of this series, or that I won't read any of her other books, but what's for sure is that Kelley Armstrong's The Gathering just didn't strike a chord within me.
I think one of my main problems in The Gathering arose from a lack of connection to the characters. Yes, Armstrong did have decent character development and certainly went into great depth when describing the background history of Rafe (the love interest), but I just didn't form enough of a deep connection with Maya (the protagonist) to really understand her point of view. What I believe truly hindered my connection with Maya was the lack of foreshadowing to who she was. Though Armstrong did include a bit of foreshadowing, she simply threw in what would have been very intriguing clues, after she revealed what Maya was, which prevented the development of a truly intriguing mystery of her identity.
I applaud Armstrong for creating a world in Darkness Rising that is completely removed from all of the vampire and werewolf content that most YA books are based upon today. I found it rather refreshing not to have to hear all about another girl's discovery of vampires, and was pleasantly surprised to discover the book was based upon Aboriginal Mythology (not sure if mythology is the correct term but you see where I'm going). And I absolutely loved the setting of the novel, which was located in a small, remote town in the Bristish Columbia's Canadian wilderness.
Despite the fact that I'm not head over heels in love with The Gathering, I am looking forward to following the rest of the series. I'm curious to see what happens to Maya as her journey continues and whether or not Amrstrong's writing style improves!
If you want to check out The Gathering for yourself; click on the link below!