Monday, 1 October 2012

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

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Source: Won from Inkpop!
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 359 pages
Release Date: April 12, 2011

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.
In The Gathering , New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.
Exciting new paranormal creatures and a strong cast of characters liven up the seemingly normal town of Salmon Creek in Kelley Armstrong's latest YA series.

There were a couple of huge things that made me want to read this book. First, I'm a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's other YA series, The Darkest Powers (oh Chloe and Derek!). Second, this book is set in CANADA! Never mind that I've never been to that side of the country but my national pride wouldn't let me skip this book!

One of my absolute favourite things about Kelley Armstrong's series is her characters. Although they aren't all immediate favourites (hi Derek) I still feel something for them straight from the start. It takes no time at all for each character to leave their mark on me and willingly or not, I'm invested in their story. The Gathering was no exception. I immediately fell for the main character, Maya, who leads this story so well with courage, confidence and a great sense of humour. The secondary characters were wonderful additions as well and I especially loved Daniel and Maya's parents!

Although this is probably the smallest town I've read about (it has less than 200 inhabitants!), Salmon Creek is definitely not what it looks like at first glance. It's owned by a medical research company and all of the people in the town work for it. There were some great possible plot points for later on being suggested and I can't wait to explore the whole mystery further! Aside from that, the town itself was stunning. The lush and exotic environment was described so well and I wanted nothing more than to zoom away to the forest and observe some cougars!*

So, did I enjoy The Gathering? Absolutely! However, I do think it very much has that 'first novel' feel to it. There's a lot of set-up being done for the next books and it made the novel feel slow at parts. It definitely speeds up toward the end but there were moments that the plot felt a bit underwhelming. Still, definitely a great start to the series!


Cover Comments: I kind of struggle for what to say about covers with faces. Like, I guess she has a suitable face? She's very pretty? I don't know! Um... I like the blue!

* Apparently 'cougar' is the Canadian equivalent of 'mountain lion'?! I did not know that! 'Puma' is also a synonym. Am I the only one that didn't know this??

4 Golden Crowns!


  1. Can she talk to ANIMALS!!?? If so, give me. Powers are popular nowadays and I don't mind getting on that band wagon (might be the correct expression?)
    I did not know about the mountain lion part but I did know about Puma's. It's a spanish way of saying cougar (pretty sure).
    I would have never thought this book was about anything like you described. It looks vampire-ish.
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

    1. I'm not teeeeeelling! :D You'll have to read the book to find out! Oh, is it Spanish? That is so cool! I had no idea.

      LOL I hadn't thought of that before but looking at the cover now... I see the vamp vibes!

    2. Mean :P
      Fine... I'll have to read it.
      Which I don't mind at all (:

  2. Oh this is such a great series - I absolutely love it! I haven't read her Darkest Powers series, but I do love this one! The next one was awesome too!

    1. I'm already so excited to read The Calling... especially after that ending! Glad you loved it! :)

  3. Oh I agree that it had that 'first novel' feel to it, but I still really enjoyed it too. Though maybe not quite so much as the Darkest Powers books. :) Lovely review, Sonia!

    1. It's not quite at Darkest Powers level for me either... but I still enjoyed it :) Hopefully it just goes up from here!

  4. I kind of thought cougars and pumas and mountain lions were all SIMILAR, but not exactly the SAME.


    ANYWAY. This sounds GOOOOOD.
    And I've been meaning to read something by Kelley for YEARS! And I SOOOOO agree with you one this:

    "I kind of struggle for what to say about covers with faces. Like, I guess she has a suitable face? She's very pretty? I don't know! Um... I like the blue!"

    Like, there's nothing to it.

  5. I love it when you connect with the characters right away; if you already have some feeling for them. It makes the story so much more enjoyable :) Great review and I'm glad you liked it! I know exactly what you mean with that 'first novel' feeling.

  6. I STILL HAVEN'T READ A KELLEY ARMSTRONG BOOK. And you know what the saddest part is? I own 3 of them. The first two books in The Darkest Powers series and a copy of this. What is wrong with me, Sonia? They've sat in my bookshelf for well over a year! You have definitely convinced me that I NEED some Armstrong (uh, and Derek...) in my life asap. This sounds super entertaining and it's set in CANADA. That's where YOU live! Instant must-read :D


  7. I've been so wary about picking this up since I LOVED Chloe and Derek in The Darkest Powers Trilogy and I doubted this one would live up, but I think I'll have to read this after all. I'm definitely glad you enjoyed the characters as that is a HUGE plus for me, so now I know I'll love this one. Wonderful review, Sonia! :D