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The Gathering: Darkness Rising, Book 1

Review

The Gathering: Darkness Rising, Book 1

16-year-old Maya Delaney lives in the tiny, secluded town of Salmon Creek near Vancouver, Canada. Life is relatively peaceful in the wilderness park where her father is the warden. He is employed by a research company called St. Cloud, which bought up the 1,000 acres of land surrounding the research facility, and built Salmon Creek for the employees and their families. Everyone knows each other; when only 200 people live in a small place, it can't be helped. So the entire town mourned when Maya's friend, Serena, died inexplicably.

How can one explain the captain of the swim team drowning in a lake? Maya was there and she doesn't understand. One minute Serena was laughing and teasing, the next it's like she was yanked under the surface. Maya tried to help, but she isn't the best swimmer in the world. Her good friend, Daniel, arrived and pulled her to shore, but it was too late for Serena.

There are a lot of other unexplainable things in Maya's world, like her birth parents. Maya looks Native American, but beyond that, she knows nothing of her origins. She also has a strange connection with the wild animals and a curious ability to heal them. Surely none of it has anything to do with the paw print-shaped birthmark on her hip.

Things start heating up when the handsome new student Rafe shows an interest in Maya. She pushes him away at first, suspicious of his tactics. But when he reveals a vulnerable side, she can't help but fall for him. However, not everything is as it seems with Rafe. Soon after, a pushy reporter arrives, asking everyone prying questions, and the townsfolk suspect she's spying on the research facility. That's about the time when lots of surprising secrets start surfacing, both old and new, and Maya has to face the shocking truth of who she really is.

Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong delivers a new mesmerizing trilogy with THE GATHERING. The first thing that caught my attention is Maya's strong connection to the wilderness and its animals. Armstrong herself must have a great respect for nature for it to shine so brightly through her writing. A likable character, Maya is easygoing, friendly, and very solid and secure. Her special friendship with Daniel is heartwarming and reassuring, as is her mutually respectful relationship with her parents. Maya isn't perfect, though; she has a difficult time forgiving others, especially herself.

Armstrong cleverly takes her fantasy/thriller in a unique direction by delving into some Native American legends, inviting mystery from the Native cultures. THE GATHERING is an intriguing and captivating journey, sweetened with friendships and romance, and spiced with danger and excitement. Fans will be impatiently awaiting Book Two, THE CALLING, expected in April 2012.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on April 12, 2011

The Gathering: Darkness Rising, Book 1
by Kelley Armstrong

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Supernatural Thriller
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061797030
  • ISBN-13: 9780061797033