Book Review: The Gathering By Kelley Armstrong

Book Review: The Gathering By Kelley ArmstrongTitle: The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publication Date: 12th April 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Goodreads Summary: 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.

{ Review }

I noticed this book on display in the library and I picked it up seeing that it was a new book published earlier this year. (I started this review in 2011! It’s taken me this long to get back round to it)

This book was really slow to get started but once it was got going I was sucked into the story. This is the first in a trilogy so I guess it can be excused from this slow start as there was a lot of story setting and character introducing to be done. To be honest, not a lot actually happens in this novel, at least, not until the closing passages and this was really frustrating. I’d say that the slow start coupled with the really exciting ending combined to make this an average book that wasn’t that brilliant. However, as the story has now been set up and it’s clear from the ending of the novel that the author is capable of some really good writing, I’m hoping that the next to instalments in this trilogy will be jam-packed full of pure awesomeness.

When I read young adult books, it is rare that I like both the best friend and the boyfriend, but surprisingly I loved them both in this novel. Daniel, Maya’s best friend, is such a kind and caring character and maybe the reason I like him so much is because he does what he’s supposed to do. He’s the best friend. He doesn’t want to be anything more than the best friend and I’m glad that the author didn’t fall in line with many other young adult romances. Rafe on the other hand, is dark and mysterious. He’s clearly hiding something and you’re just desperate to find out what it is. Even Rafe doesn’t conform to the young adult stereotypes as he’s actually got a whole new persona that’s  just waiting to be unveiled as soon as he learns to trust someone. Rafe’s character is hot. Like super hot. You can’t help but falling in love with him and rooting for him and Maya.

I felt that some parts of the plot were very unoriginal, especially the whole mysterious new guy in town – what’s he hiding? sort of thing. However, the supernatural beings were different from any other kind I’ve ever come across, in some ways at least. Actually they have beings very similar to these in the TV series True Blood, but seeing as this was being written at the same time True Blood was being filmed it’s highly improbable that either one of the plots was copied. The book description really doesn’t give much away so I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone by telling you what sort of paranormal creatures are featured, but I will tell you that they’re not vampire and they’re not werewolves (was that a hurrah I heard?). You don’t really find out what secrets are hiding right until the very end so I really would be giving away the whole story if I told you anything.

This story ended on a brilliant cliff hanger and I absolutely cannot wait to read the next instalment, which, incidentally has already been released since it took me so long to write this review! This story was good, but far too much time was spent on the build up and not enough on the action. The series itself; however, has the potential to be really great so I’m hoping that now all the boring set-up is over the story can really get going!

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