The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Strange things are happening in Maya’s tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya’s home — and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.
It doesn’t help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he’s interested in one special part of Maya’s anatomy — her paw-print birthmark.
I thought that The Gathering was an all-around good read. I found that it started off a bit on the slower side (after the prologue, which was quite intense) and, if you didn’t read the synopsis, you would have no clue where it was heading. The novel begins with a bang and ends with a bang of a cliff hanger. The story is about a girl named Maya, who lives in a very small town of about 200 people. Strange things keep happening around her and to her body that she tries not to think anything of. But, once she starts digging into them, she finds out some very unexpected things. I don’t want to give away too much if you don’t know anything about this book, so I’ll stop there with details about the story.
I loved the characters. They were extremely likeable and easy to connect with. Maya is a very loveable character and I enjoyed being taken through her journey. Maya’s best friend, Daniel, is a very endearing guy. Daniel and Maya grew up together and are platonic friends…no love story with them, which I liked. Daniel is a tough guy, who has issues in his home life that we are privy to seeing a peek into. He is very protective of Maya, but only views her as a friend, which is endearing. Rafe, Maya’s love interest, is also likeable. But, also a bit frustrating and confusing at times (as is the norm in a lot of YA romance stories). But, as the story goes on, we learn about him and his secrets and the reader grows to love him.
The writing was good. Experienced and captivating. Not so much so that I couldn’t put down the book, but enough so that I wanted to keep reading and when I was reading, I was enveloped in the story.
I would definitely recommend this book to any YA fans out there. It was good and I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, The Calling.