Review: The Gathering 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.

Life used to be simple for Maya. She knew everyone in her little town, she understood the rules, and she had her place. The research company her parents work for provided for everyone. But Maya’s security is shaken when her best friend – the captain of the swim team – drowns in the lake. Maya was in the water at the time, but she knows that the feeling of hands around her ankles had to be the panic talking, didn’t it?

A few months after Serena’s death a news reporter comes town, poking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Why does she seem to only be interested in the teenagers?

And then there’s Maya’s affinity for animals. They seem to trust her more lately, seeking her out when they shouldn’t.

In the midst of all this change, Maya finds herself drawn to the new boy in town, Rafe. His reputation is shady and her friends don’t approve, but there seems to be something more to him than the bad-boy vibes he gives off. What kind of secret is he hiding? What does it have to do with her?

Suddenly the death toll in their tiny town begins to rise, leaving Maya with more questions and more determination to find them. She realizes that Serena’s death may not have been an accident, and there’s something inside of her that’s growing stronger, yearning to break free. There’s the smell of smoke on the horizon. Will what she finds hurt her, hurt her friends and family? It’s a risk Maya might have to take…

While Kelley’s Darkest Powers trilogy still holds the number one spot in my heart, her writing in this newest novel is solid. There is quite a bit of set-up, understandable for any beginning. I think the strongest aspect of the story is the world she’s created. It’s very easy for the reader to become part of it, and this new group of characters is interesting and dimensional.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I was curious. There are so many questions to be answered and I wonder where the story will go. The Gathering is set to release on April 12.