Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Book Review: The Gathering

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island. 

Until now. 

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.
In high school I was obsessed with Kelley Armstrong's adult paranormal novels, so when I discovered that she had started writing YA I was super excited! The Gathering is one of those books that is easy to sit back and get lost in. I fell in love with the setting, the characters (especially Daniel!), and the fact that this novel was different then your typical transformation tales. *Spoiler Alert* I really respect Armstrong for the fact that she felt no need to have Maya transform into a cougar within this first book. I was expecting it to happen throughout the novel, and was happily surprised for once that it didn't happen. I think that this really adds to the suspense and anticipation for the novels which will follow in the series. *End of Spoiler*

Another thing that I loved about this novel was the relationships between a lot of the characters. Maya's tendency to tease her dad caused me to crack a smile on more than one occasion. I was especially happy that for once that an author could present a female character having a male best friend without making either of them fall in love with each other. While male best friends are great for love triangles, I've gotten kind of tired of feeling bad for them when the heroine always tends to choose the mysterious new guy over the one that they have grown up with. Instead, the character of Daniel provided support for Maya without crossing into the boundaries of hopeless love, acting more as a brother figure at times than a friend. This one character portrayal alone really made me enjoy reading The Gathering so much more!  

Despite the fact that I enjoyed reading The Gathering, there were elements about the book that bugged me at times. One of the main things that annoyed me at first was Armstrong's style of writing. It's been a really long time since I've read any of her adult books, but I felt that she could have been a little more eloquent at times and used better sentence structure. As well, the book kind of gets by without any major climaxes in the plot. Sure there is some action near the end, but that is quickly resolved, leaving readers with more questions just as they reach the last page. Nevertheless, The Gathering is a good book to read for fans of paranormal novels who don't mind having to wait until the next book to get some answers. Kelley Armstrong's book Bitten remains her best book in my opinion, and I would perhaps suggest checking The Gathering out from the library rather than spending the cash. 

Rating: 3.5 Stars


Jenny said...

I have this one on my TBR list. What you said about it not offering a lot of answers reminded me of Shade. I loved it but until the second book you're almost completely left in the dark. Maybe I will just get it at the library. I should check out Bitten too.

Post a Comment