Monday, January 28, 2013

Challenge Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Gathering
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Shapeshifters
Setting Location: Salmon Creek, Vancouver Island, Canada (fictional) // Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Canada
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 359 Pages
ISBN: 9780061797026
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback // Audiobook

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

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 bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.


Strange and unusual things happen in Salmon Creek, one of them being Maya Delany's best friend Serena drowning. How could a star swimmer have drowned in a lake she swan in her whole life? Maya has never gotten over her friend's death, and she's never forgotten how strangely it happened. She's still looking for answers.

Maya is a half-Native who was adopted by her parents when she was a baby. They moved to Salmon Creek when she was 5 years old. And she has a faded mark on her hip that looks like a paw print. There is a lot that she doesn't know about her birth parents, and therefore herself. And it's never bothered her until an old woman called her a witch.

Through varying sources, but most importantly from Rafe, a new student and resident in Salmon Creek, Maya learns that she's a Skinwalker. That definitely explains why she feels most energetic outside and how she can wield some control over animals, as well as being able to heal them. Turns out that when their mothers found out about the testing being done on them, they went into hiding. Maya's mother's family hid by intermarriage--that's why she's half-white. She even learns that she has a twin brother out there somewhere.

Now the baddies are, of course, the St. Cloud Corporation, better known to the supernatural world as the St. Cloud Cabal. Dr. Davidoff makes annual visits to Salmon Creek, and you can bet that nothing good happens anywhere that man goes. There's even a statue of Samuel Lyle in the town center! If that isn't a clue that these are the same people behind what happened in the Darkest Powers series, I don't know what is.

Mina Lee, a "reporter," was working with someone to get information on the town and the kids that live there, but mostly those who weren't born there--Rafe, Maya, and Sam. There's mention of the Nasts and Cortezes, rival Cabals. The screw up in Buffalo that happened in the Darkest Powers series is brought up, along with Project Genesis and even an Elizabeth Delaney. Someone Maya is related to?

Then the woods surrounding Salmon Creek catch on fire, sending everyone fleeing from the town. But Maya notices that the fire is headed straight for Salmon Creek in an unnatural way, and there are armed men searching the blazing forest. But the most shocking thing is that one of the men who tried to get Maya to follow him looks just like her! Could he really be Maya's father?

I loved the Darkest Powers series, and this first book in the Darkness Rising series was just as exciting. There is so much left unsaid that it leaves you wanting to know what's going to happen next. I can't wait to read The Calling to see how things turn out for Maya and her friends.

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

PART OF.... 

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