Friday, October 17, 2014

The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong

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.

My Thoughts:
I guess I was hoping for better writing when I picked up this series by Kelley Armstrong. But it was about the same as her Darkest Powers series. Even a lot of the plot development was the same. And plot devices. And since it's related to the world of Darkest Powers I saw a lot of similarities to that series, in general. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but since I'd just read Darkest Powers I was a bit bored by all the sameness.

That said, I did like The Gathering. Although I still don't fully understand the title. And I was mildly disappointed by the total cliffhanger ending. So, yeah, I'll read the whole series to find out what happens because not much was explained. And I like to know these things.

So, Maya. She was tough. Maybe a little to tough. I don't know what it was, really, I just didn't connect with her all that well. I could understand the not dating local guys thing and never getting too serious. I got her grief for her friend. I understood her friendship with Daniel. I even got her hesitation with Rafe. I just never felt connected to her. I felt like all her emotions were at arms length. I guess that was kind of part of her character but, as a reader, it made it hard for me.

Daniel kind of annoyed me because he was kind of flat. He always acted as expected. He was just an all-around good guy, which was nice, but... I don't know. Armstrong did try to give him layers, make him well-rounded and whatever but he just didn't act full enough for my taste. Rafe was probably the most layered character in the book but, even then, his mystery was solved a bit too abruptly. Armstrong let us into his world a little too quickly; I would like to have had more suspense about him.

And then there was the whole premise of the story. I really just wish it would have been something more original. The cougar thing is different, sure, but it's so similar to the wolf thing that it's really not all that original at all.

But it was a nice, mostly clean, fun fluff read.

Sexual Content: Mild (scenes of just kissing)
Language: None (Armstrong is amazing about not using foul language but having people "curse" and "swear an oath" or whatever. Love that about her)
Violence: Moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate

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