Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Gathering

Rating: 3/5

Title: The Gathering

Series: Book one of Darkness Rising

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Page Count (hardcover): 359

Official Book Description:

     Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students–for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.

      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

My Thoughts:

      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!   


  1. I love Kelley Armstrong, but this wasn't her best ever! I still enjoyed it though. I just followed via GFC:) check out my book blog at

  2. It sounds interesting. I'll be checking it out :)
    New Follower

    Love your blog by the way!

  3. I have this book on my shelf. I've heard so many people raving about this author that I wanted to try out one of her books without committing to her other series- which has tons of books, I'm pretty sure. Plus I'm in a YA book mood, so I thought this would be perfect. Sorry to hear it's not great. She's written a lot of adult books, but this is her first YA book, right? I've read other authors that can't seem to transition to writing YA very well- almost like they think all they have to do is just add a teenage character. (Many times those aren't believable on top of all of the other problems.) Do you think that that's an issue for Armstrong in this book- the whole transitioning to YA thing? It does sound like from your review that it's still worth reading, so I'm going to give it a chance. Although this might be one of those books that I give 50 pages to wow me, or back to the library it goes.

    I found your blog through the Book Blogs Group. I'm following through GFC. My blog is at:
    If you want to exchange Twitter follows, just follow me and I'll follow back within 24 hours. I love your blog. What a great variety of books you've reviewed.

    1. To be honest, I have no idea whether this was her first YA book or not but I do know that she has many other books that are adult. I think the transition from adult to YA could quite possibly have been one of her challenges with this book. But I agree there is definitley a bit of an issue with believability (not sure if thats a word :p) in certain parts of the story. I think you should give it a chance because, you never know you could really like it & one of the previous commenters on this blog said that her other books were better, so I'm not going to give up on Armstrong just yet either.

      ps. I'm now following you back through GFC :)

  4. I haven't read anything by Kelley Armstrong. What else has she written?

    1. I'm not sure, I know she has a few other YA books and I believe she's written some adult novels as well...



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