The Gathering – Kelley Armstrong Review

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.

First off, I have to admit that I love all of Kelley Armstrong’s work, her adult series and her young adult series. That having been said, it pains me to admit I didn’t enjoy this book very much. There was a certain charm to the Darkest Power Series. Chloe and her friends were far more genuine. Maya and her friends seemed contrived. All of them seemed a little one dimensional and as much as I wanted to care about them, I couldn’t. Rafe is no Derek. He was pushy and tried entirely too hard to be charming, but I respected the way Maya handled herself with him. She was clear in her feelings towards him and made sure he knew it.

The setting seemed picturesque and the idea of a privately owned medical research town was definitely interesting and unique, but it still didn’t sell me on the characters. Speaking of characters, there were so many, it was almost confusing. In the first few chapters, we were introduced to a lot of teenagers AND adults.

I don’t want to say this book was all bad because Kelley Armstrong is a master at creating a foreboding atmosphere. I was definitely interested in learning what Maya was, and I’m so glad this series doesn’t revolve around a typical vampire/werewolf paranormal romance. Also, Maya is a fantastic role model. She’s smart, independent, athletic, and thinks for herself. She doesn’t let men define her and she doesn’t let her feelings for them overwhelm her, which I find admirable.

There isn’t much action in this book, but that seems to be formulaic for a trilogy. The first book has the intrigue, the second book has the answers, and the third has the action. I have high expectations for the next two books, but I know they can’t compare to the Darkest Powers.

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