Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Date of UK Publication: April 7th 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads: Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.
It doesn'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.
I love Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series. I annoyed my friends about it for weeks, until one of them finally read it so that I would shut up. She loved it too, and we've been eagerly awaiting The Gathering ever since, and let me tell you, it didn't disappoint.
In fact, I loved The Gathering more than The Summoning. Maybe it was the setting, maybe it was the characters, I don't know, this one just seemed BETTER. Not saying that The Summoning was bad, this one was just AMAZING.
First though, I'm just going to say on thing about the ending. (Don't worry, it's NOT a spoiler :P) It's a very abrupt ending. The book just kind of stops. As if someone had taken a pair of scissors and cut off the last chapter/epilogue, and nobody noticed... I don't know, maybe you didn't feel that way, but to me, it didn't feel finished. I need closure at the end of my books...
The characters in this book were awesome. They were complex and interesting, and they felt real. I loved Maya. Maybe a little bit more than I loved Chloe, from Darkest Powers, but I'm not sure... I loved the way she was so caring about the wildlife and the animals around her, and the way she seemed normal. For the first half of the book, it was as if this wasn't a paranormal story, it was just a regular contemporary. And I liked that. I had no idea what she was, and even when she was accused of being something, I didn't even know what that was, so I was in just as much mystery as she was.
And then there's Rafe and Daniel. I loved Daniel, he was so sweet and caring, and even though Maya is not romantically interested in him, I think they would be a perfect couple. But no, Maya seems to be more interested in Rafe, the new 'resident bad boy' in town. And yeah, he's cool and hot and good boyfriend material, but I'm on Team Daniel. :D
Overall, I really enjoyed The Gathering, more than The Summoning. I think it was probably because it was in a happier setting, outside in the forest, rather than cooped up in a foster home. It is really good, and if you've never read anything by Kelley Armstrong, you're seriously missing out! You should definitely read The Gathering and The Summoning, though I couldn't tell you about her Women of the Otherworld series because I haven't read them, but I've only heard amazing things, so please, if you haven't read anything by this amazing author, you should! :D
I give it 5 Feet!
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #20
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #30