I loved, loved, loved Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy. So much so that when my friend told me she had an ARC of The Gathering, the first novel in the new Darkness Rising trilogy which is set in the same world as Darkest Powers, I offered her my soul for the book. No, really. I mean, who wouldn’t when offered an ARC back in September of 2010? She told me to keep my soul, though, and gave me the book anyway. While I’m glad I didn’t give my soul away for this book, it was still pretty damn awesome.
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.
The Gathering starts off with a bang. Maya’s best friend, and captain of the swim team drowns in a calm lake. People wrote it off as a freak accident, but it never stops haunting Maya. After that heart-wrenching introduction, the plot of The Gathering took a decidedly long time to unfold (especially if compared to The Summoning). But once it did, the intensity only continually increased, creating an emotional, pulse-pounding novel. The seductive, bad boy Rafe only added to the mystery and fervor of The Gathering. Teenage angsty romance intertwined with murder and ambiguous biological parents – Maya suffers through it all.
Maya had all the qualities for a strong heroine: smart, courageous, out-spoken and loyal, but she’s not without her flaws either. That is, she’s stubborn and will hold a grudge against a person for years over something small, which is something that I’m known to do too.
Readers don’t have to read The Darkest Powers trilogy in order to understand The Gathering. However, I would recommend that you do simply because there are a couple things that will make more sense and because I think that Chloe and her gang of friend are slighty more kickass. While I loved The Gathering, it wasn’t as stunningly marvelous as The Darkest Powers. But all the same, it left me craving for the answers left unsaid.