The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Release date: April 12, 2011
Summary: Maya has been raised in Salmon Creek, a small medical-research town with an abundance of wildlife. She attributes her unique connection with animals to her Native ancestry, but there are certain things Maya can’t explain—like her paw print-shaped birthmark. After Maya’s best friend mysteriously drowns, other strange things start happening in town. Reporters show up to investigate just exactly what kind of research is being done at the facility; a new boy named Raffe and his odd sister Annie move in… Maya needs to get to the bottom of what’s really going on in Salmon Creek.
My thoughts: The best thing about Kelley Armstrong’s books is that despite all being set in the same world and being about the same types of paranormal creatures, they still manage to capture and hold my attention. The Gathering is no exception. From the very first chapter, Kelley Armstrong builds excitement and suspense. The Gathering was almost impossible to put down! The main character, Maya, is likable and strong-willed; the love interest, Raffe, has a bad-boy exterior but is ultimately vulnerable and sweet; and the story was just an intense roller-coaster ride.
Fans of the Darkest Powers series (or Kelley’s Otherworld series) will recognize some name-drops and concepts mentioned in The Gathering. Fortunately, this does not affect the mystery aspect of the book in any way. The mystery itself is initially simple, but over the course of the novel it becomes more and more complex. The Gathering does quite a bit of set-up for the future novels.
The only thing I really have to complain about is the ending. It’s a major cliffhanger! Barely any of the major questions are answered, which was frustrating. I literally shouted, “What? Nooo!” upon turning the final page. Still, I must admit that Kelley Armstrong did an excellent job of making me really want to read the next book.
If you haven’t read any of Kelley Armstrong’s literature collection, The Gathering is an excellent place to start. It’s engaging, fun, and just overall awesome. I’d recommend it to fans of paranormal YA. Though the paranormal aspect isn’t played up too terribly much in this installment (it focuses more on mystery-solving), you can be sure it’ll take center stage in the sequel.
I hope you have found this article interesting. Please, feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.