Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: The Gathering

Synopsis: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.

My Review: Kelley Armstrong has done it again!  I'm so glad she started doing YA books, because I love them all.  I'd even go so far as to say that she surpassed The Summoning.  I love The Darkest Powers Trilogy, but I have to say that The Gathering has me hooked.

The Gathering is set in Kelley's normal world (shape shifters, witches, etc. ya know the drill) so you know the supernatural is already going to be present.  Kelley sucks you in immediately.  With the death of Maya's best friend starting out the novel, there's no way you can put it down.  Scary, horrifying, and creepy as hell.  A year passes and Maya is still trying to adjust.  Maya and Daniel lean on each other in face of their grief, and the desire to move on.  Yet both of them are disturbed by what happened that day, and just how wrong it was.  Some things just don't fit with Serena's death, and Maya is finally spurring herself to action.  Yet when the local cougars start to become more active around Maya, and the resident bad boy in town takes a renewed interest in her, Maya starts to realize that things in Salmon Creek aren't all that they seem.

I absolutely loved Maya.  I don't think I've laughed that much at witty dialogue in a very long time.  She literally just cracked me up.  I really connected with her character, because I'm a very outdoorsy type person and I love wildlife.  She respects the environment and the wildlife around her.  Maya even helps rehabilitate hurt animals and then releases them back into the forest.  Maybe it's just me and my eco-friendly mentality but people just don't care anymore about nature.  Or even appreciate nature for that matter.  It was just nice to read about someone who does, even if she is a fictional character...Besides her nature friendly attitude, Maya was a great protagonist to read about.  Her wit and competitive nature were so entertaining, all I can say is that it was a joy to read about her.  While she was a bit stubborn and unforgiving at times, I really have no complaints.  I thoroughly enjoyed her character. 

I really liked Daniel! He is just so sweet and over protective!  And thank god there was no love triangle or unrequited love or something equally puke worthy.  They are BEST FRIENDS. Plain and simple.  They look out for each other and their friendship is truly admirable.  Daniel has had a hard life and does not have the best of a father.  The way Maya accepts everything about Daniel, and is always looking out for him and vice versa was truly beautiful.  You can't get a better friendship than that.  Plus his ability to sense out people and situations, and his uncanny persuasion methods were super mysterious!  *insert Twilight Zone theme here*

I liked Rafe just as much.  Even though I think Raphael just sounds WAY sexier.  He plays up the bad boy attitude, but he's just trying to create a facade.  He wasn't a legit asshole, and didn't even really act like one.  Just kind of half-heartedly tried to keep up an image.  He is a really sweet guy who takes care of his older sister, and takes on huge responsibilities in order to keep his family together.  He was just really sweet and good hearted, with that bad boy edge that everyone loves.

Kelley of course does a masterful job of creating plot twist after plot twist.  I really don't have many answers to my questions yet, well actually...ANY of my questions, but that doesn't seem to matter.  I'm hooked. Plain and simple.  The suspense and tension just kept building and building and it all erupted into flames.  Literally... and of course we're left with a huge ass cliff-hanger.  Kelley I love you, but sometimes you just make me want to throw your books. Of course I'd never do that because I'd never harm any book, but still.  Sometimes I want to.  As if it wasn't obvious enough, I loved this book.  I'm already dying for the sequel! There are just soooo many questions I have!  If you're already a Kelley fan, then you'll fore sure love The Gathering!


Missy said...

I think this is one of the best reviews I've read on The Gathering. It definitely sold it for me. Thanks for the lovely review!

Missy's Reads & Reviews

Michelle Flick said...

I have been seeing The Gathering a lot lately! And I agree with Missy, this is the best one so far. I am glad you told me you laughed at the character's dialogue...i love it when that happens!