Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

  Title/Author: The Gathering (Darkness Rising) by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher/Year
: HarperTeen  – April 2011
Genre
: YA Paranormal
Series
:  Yes — 1st book!
Other Books From Author
Darkest Powers series), Women of the Otherworld series

Amazon | Goodreads | Kelly Armstrong’s Website

Disclosure: The publisher sent it to me in exchange for an honest review along with its sequel — The Calling. This has in no way  swayed or affected my opinions on the book. My honesty is more important to me than that.

 

 

What’s It About: Sixteen year old Maya lives a pretty normal life in her small medical experiment town outside of Vancouver with her adoptive parents. Years after she witnesses a death under unusual circumstances, even more strange things start to happen to Maya — things like mountain lions being drawn to her, a mysterious guy moves into town and seems to have a fascination with her, outsiders start poking around the town, etc. She’s never really questioned her origins or the motives of her town until now.

I definitely enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I’ve never read the author’s previous works but I received this in the mail and decided I was in the mood to delve into a paranormal world. I’m not a HUGE paranormal reader, as readers of this blog probably know,  but I do try to dip my toes in from time to time because I do enjoy the genre but I’m wildly picky. I guess I just have a hard time wading through the not-so-good Twilight wannabes to get to the unique and wonderful paranormal books. This book definitely surpassed my expectations and I was thoroughly impressed and sucked in to this story.

The interesting thing is that, though there were clearly portions of this book where paranormal-y things happened, most of the book did not seem paranormal at all. I have a feeling this will change in the second book but mostly I forgot I was reading a paranormal book because it mostly took place in the “real” world rather than a paranormal world and there were only bits and pieces revealed of the paranormal tilt to this book. I was so intrigued as Armstrong slowly unraveled some of these elements though I predicted a lot of the things.

I loved the uniqueness of the Native American folklore that was incorporated into this story as well as the setting — I loved the forest and the mystery of this weird town. Have you ever seen The Village? Well, in The Gathering we don’t know exactly WHAT the town is up to that she lives in but you know there is SOMETHING off. I found myself reading quickly and furiously on my flight because there was just SO MUCH I wanted to know about this creepy little town and the creepy little mountain lions that seem to always show up wherever Maya is.  Also, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the storyline with Rafe and Maya but I’m not sure where I stand on him. I secretly want her to be with a certain somebody else. BADLY. Speaking of that someone else, I wonder what his deal is??

I have to admit the ending made me a bit stabby because revelations were far and few between, while the mystery and intrigue was page turning and could make one ravenous for answers, and the ending just ENDED. Holy cliffhanger. I swore pages were ripped out of my copy because I couldn’t believe it would just end like that. Throw me a freaking bone and give me at least ONE answer. I won’t be waiting too long before I read the second book — The Calling — because I need some answers to all the crazy things happening.

Final Thought: The Gathering was the perfect read for my travels. It kept my attention with its well crafted mysteries surrounding the town and Maya’s true origins. While sometimes it seemed like not much was happening, there were just so many riveting aspects of the story that had the power to make me able to tune out the screaming baby three rows behind me and the sweaty man overtaking half of my seat. It was unique and refreshing and I’ll be picking up the second book for sure because I really enjoyed it. But that pesky little cliffhanger…GRRRRRR. It just seemed to be abrupt and WAHHH. I’ll stop whining now and read the second book.

Review On A Post-It:

What did you think if you’ve read this one? I need to talk about it with somebody!! If you haven’t read this book, is it on your radar? Are her other series good? ALSO, any recs for any other good paranormal books that someone who isn’t “well versed” in the genre might like??

three-half-stars
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Glad you liked it! This one was in the goodie bag from RT, so I’ll probably read it this summer. Some of my students have and LOVE it!

  2. Requested this series from the library after our chat about it! 🙂

  3. This wasn’t really on my radar until we talked about it at RT, and between that and your review, I really want to read it now!

    PS – I love your Post-Its 🙂

    • YAY! Hopefully you like it. I was surprised at how much I DID. And thanks, I love doing the post-its! 🙂

  4. I agree, The Gathering is not perfect, but totally enjoyable. AND OMG IF YOU READ THE DARKEST POWERS TRILOGY you will be CLUED INTO why it feels like The Village. Like, there’s so much to be had as far as…like..hints go… after reading that one.

    I am such an unabashed fan of Kelley Armstrong, and definitely hope you check out the companion trilogy. Also? Derek. Read it for Derek. That’s all.

    • Eeee I’m def going to get that other series than if it’s a companion series! I hope I’m not missing out on a lot in not reading it first!

  5. This one sounds good to me but I was worried it wasn’t going to hold up to my expectations so it’s still sitting on my shelf unread. Looks like I need to just pick it up already!

    • Ah see I had the opposite..I didn’t (honestly..based on the cover) think I would like it but it totally exceeded my expectations. I guess I just thought the cover made it seem like everyyyy other paranormal book out there. I’m so judgy about covers and I have no reason to be because I’ve read things with beauteous covers and they suck and then some with crappy covers and they are amazing.

  6. I really liked this one! I was a bit disappointed in The Calling, but this one had so many spooky suspenseful elements and I never saw anything coming!

    Great review!

    • Aw sad that The Calling was disappointing. Hoping to get to it soon! I don’t know whyyy I was able to guess some of the things that happened. I mean, there were a few things I didn’t but the main things I think I did.

  7. I effing LOVED her Darkest Powers series. Have you read that one? So good, high on action and mystery and the real paranormally goodness doesn’t TRULY kick in until later in the series so I’m not surprised that there wasn’t TONS of Paranormal Stuff in this book. I’m slacking on Kelleyk, bro. I loved her first series and I STILL HAVEN’T READ THE GATHERING. Believe me, I’ve been dying to, but I just haven’t had the chance to hunt down a copy and I’m so stressed because the second book is already out and.. OH. I just NEED to start this ASAP. Can’t wait to see your thoughts on The Calling! 😀

  8. Okay, I haven’t read anything by this author but judging by the comments – people seem to like her! BUT I don’t like cliffhangers. SO…I might need to wait until I have both books available. AND I need to see if The Calling has a cliffhanger ending too. Because if THAT’s the case, I’ll probably wait until the next book is out so I can breeze on thru!

    Based on April’s comment above, The Darkest Powers Trilogy may be something I need to pick up. I LOVE a good paranormal thrown into the mix and I trust April’s opinion wholeheartedly as she has NEVER steered me wrong!

  9. You had me at “Native American folklore”! I have a fascination with mythology and folklore of all kinds, and Native American is actually one of the cultures that interests me the most. Plus, from your review, this book sounds pretty special – and definitely different from a lot of the paranormal books out there!

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (I had been dying for this 3rd book in the series) 2. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong 3. Take A Bow by Elizabeth […]

  2. Book Haul says:

    […] Rise coming out. Think I’ll finish that series soon! The Rising by Kelley Armstrong: I read book 1 which was The Gathering and really enjoyed it. I think I’m afraid of book 2′s apparently? Excited for this one! […]