The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date – April 5, 2010
Publisher – HarperTeen/Doubleday Canada
Pages - 359
My Rating- 8.5/10
Here is the synopsis from Good Reads
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 getting negative vibes from certain people and things. 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 had read Kelley Armstrong’s other YA series and enjoyed it. I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of this book to see how it would measure up. I was not disappointed.
The book starts out with the death of the swim team captain and Maya’s best friend Serena. We get the impression right away that this book is going to be full of secrets, twists and reveals.
I immediately liked Maya. She was strong, had clear opinions and stuck to what she believed in, and loves animals as much as I do. I loved her relationship with her parents. It was a bonus that her parents were present, responsible and actually took care of Maya. It is very common in YA for the parents to be not around, clueless as to what is going on, etc so it was a welcome change. I loved Maya’s teasing of her Dad and the how she was able to cutely embarrass him. I really like that Kelley Armstrong creates strong, and capable female characters.
The other characters in the book are well developed and interesting. I adore Daniel (Maya’s best friend). Daniel is relaxed, and a great friend to Maya. Rafe is the new boy in town. He’s the bad boy, the outsider, the rebel. He does appear, in the end, to be very sweet. We only know what he is telling Maya and Rafe likes to keep secrets.
The love triangle (or maybe not triangle) of Maya, Rafe and Daniel has my interest. I am not sure if Daniel is interested in Maya. I felt that he was interested at some points, but at others I was fully convinced they were just friends. Maya and Rafe do have some great chemistry and I am looking forward to more in the next books. I want to learn more about Rafe as I think we just scratched the surface with him. Daniel also seems to have things that will be revealed in later books. That seemed to be a familiar feeling throughout the whole book - I always felt that there is so much more to the story. We’ve only just began to uncover secrets and learn about these characters. The town of Salmon Creek itself seems to have it’s share of surprises in store for readers in the next two books.
The novel ends on a cliff hanger that is going to make the wait for the next book excruciating. It’s a world I am going to be excited to jump back into.
As a fan of the previous series I was thrilled to see references to characters from the Darkest Powers trilogy mentioned in this series. I am hoping that some of them make an appearance later on this series.
If you are a fan of Kelley’s previous work (either adult or YA) I would recommend this. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes strong female characters, or if you just enjoy a great YA series.