Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Book: The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 12, 2011
Published By: HarperCollins

Description: 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.
Until now.
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.

My Thoughts: The Gathering was an interesting book about Maya and her friends in the little town she lives in on Vancouver Island.It was quite interesting and set many things into motion for the next few books in the series.

We begin the book with Maya and her friend Serena playing at a lake near their home. Champion swimmer Serena quickly is pulled under and Maya jumps in to save her and she too is pulled under. Soon, Maya is saved by her best friend Daniel, bus Serena wasn't so lucky. The authorities drain the lake to find Serena dead at the bottom.

As per most books where the main character's friend dies at the beginning, not much happens in the life of the MC for some time. The death impacts them dramatically and they have trouble coping. Maya only continues her work helping her father, the Park ranger, help wounded animals. Meanwhile, strange things are starting to happen to Maya. It seems cougars begin to feel oddly attached to her. In addition, an old native woman calls her a witch and a skin walker, and finally, the attraction between her and the somewhat new addition to the town, Rafe, seems ridiculously strange. Couple that with a new reporter that's been snooping around and an approaching wildfire and we have the recipe for disaster.

Maya was a nice enough MC. I didn't completely fall in love with her, but she was nice enough. She was a semi-popular girl (as popular as one can get in a school with only 60-something students) who had a knack for healing and dealing with animals. She was pretty strong and focused as well. Her friend Daniel was very protective of her and somehow reminded me of a brother more than a love interest. The other love interest, Rafe, was cute and interesting, although he was a bit of a player but he had a lot of depth and I enjoyed reading the things he would say next.

As a whole though, this book just wasn't amazing. There wasn't much of a plot, I'm nos quite sure who the antagonist is, a ton of questions I have have yet to be answered, and the ending was just plain underwhelming. I remember reaching the end thinking, "That's it? That's all that's going to happen? What the heck?" It just needed more. This book really just missed something for me. Nonetheless, because I did enjoy it up to the ending and it kept me interested, I will give it 3 stars. I just hope the next book fills some of the gaps.


Lan said...

I remember feeling the same way about Armstrong's other book The Summoning. While I enjoyed the MC nothing really happened in the book at all and by the time it ended I didn't think much had been revealed or resolved. It's a shame because I think as a writer Armstrong is really good.

Anonymous said...

I haven’t read too many books in my life time, which I am bit of a ashamed to admit (I’ll admit),but of the books I have read, I can honestly say that I've never really been totally let down at the end of a read like it seems you were with The Gathering. Not surprising, I have not read this author, but I did kind of feel that way about Incarceron. With that book though, I was more disappointed with the middle than the end. I felt like the set up for the finish could have been better, but the conclusion somewhat saved it.

So I can't imagine really how you felt, but sounds at least like there is still hope for the second book in the series, so here's to hoping she (the author) spices things up a bit in the next one.

Just one side question. I'm sitting here thinking to myself, does the "champion" swimmer friend who drowns in the lake have anything to do with the plot; besides I guess creating the much needed teen angst element, of course. Lol. Seriously though; now I understand if revealing that information might give away too much about the book, but otherwise it just seems random and not likely to happen.


Anonymous said...

Who is the antagonist of all of this, would it maybe be the wildfire or maybe the people who created her, but I just don't know.

grace crawford said...

I found The Gathering to be a solid Armstrong book, and a great beginning to a new trilogy. Can't wait for more!
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