Review: The Gathering

The Gathering 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.

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.

I’ve read Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and really enjoyed it, except for the The Reckoning. So I was pretty excited when I picked up The Gathering at the library.

Writing: 3.5 wings

I was a little disappointed with this one. I remembered the Darkest Powers trilogy (at least, the first two) being a lot more…well, subtle. There almost seemed to be more time taken to describe things that were happening, and also hinted that there was more going on. Oh, there’s more going on here all right…but somehow it just didn’t hold me this time. However, as always, I did enjoy Armstrong’s witty dialogue.

Characters: 3 wings

I liked that there wasn’t a standard love triangle. The protagonist, Maya, isn’t one to jump into a relationship; she’s pretty rational, and I respected that. Everyone had a little flair to them that made them unique and memorable, but I wish that they were a little more developed. Maya, being the protagonist, is the one that does the most growing–but even then, it’s not a whole lot. I was expecting more out of 300-odd pages.

Plot: 2.5 wings

It’s kind of special when a fantasy novel is set in Canada. We’re so used to having everything happen in the States that when something actually happens here, it’s a treat. This book is set in Vancouver.

The story starts out pretty slow. It’s not until after about 100 pages when things start to get going. I was thinking, great, stuff is happening.

But then…

The ending is just…horrible. The story just stops. Some of the last few lines are: “We had a lot of questions that still needed answers, but for now, the biggest danger[…] was behind us. We were safe, and there would be plenty of time for questions later.

I don’t think so. Either you structure a book so that it holds my interest and doesn’t make me rage, or you don’t get readers for your next book. It’s one thing to actually have a cliffhanger. It’s another to crash your narrative into a wall in slow motion.

Overall: 3 wings

This is an displeased 3 wings. Started excited; finished angry. Probably will not read the next one. 🙁