Title: The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
An ordinary town . . . full of deadly secrets
Strange things have been happening in sixteen-year-old Maya’s small Vancouver Island community — from the mountain lions that have been constantly approaching her to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations. There’s also a 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.
When I first picked up this book, I was kind of frustrated that Darkness Rising was a “new” trilogy with new characters, rather than connecting more fully with the Darkest Powers series. Once I got to know the characters, though, it was kind of a nice change of pace. The world-building was still the same, and there were similarities, but the new characters were just as interesting to me, in different ways.
I like that there’s a bit of romance in the story, but not too much. Lots of YA books seem to rely on the romance bit, and sometimes – like in The Gathering – it’s a better fit if it’s used judiciously. There’s just enough there in this book that the relationships seem realistic, but not so much that they overwhelm the characters and the rest of the story.
Overall, I think that this book is a good start to the second trilogy. It sets up the conflict and the dilemma that the kids are in quite well, and Armstrong does a good job of making things just unpredictable enough to keep the reader turning the pages. Definitely move on to this series if you enjoyed the earlier books.