The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book I)

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, Book I)

By: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-179702-6
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: May 2011 

It will come as no shock to hear that the fantastic author of the Darkest Powers trilogy, which climbed the New York Times Bestseller list has, once again, begun a series with a fantastic “first” story that is out of this world.

In the series, Darkness Rising, Kelley Armstrong fans and audiences are introduced to Maya. Maya has a bit of an odd background. She was adopted when she was very young; she is of Native American descent; and has a paw-print birthmark on her thigh. She is also a girl who seems to share a kinship with certain wild animals.

Maya and her family live in a tiny little town called Salmon Creek, which has a population of two hundred people. So, of course, everybody knows everybody. Now, everything in this town is owned by the St. Cloud family. Almost everyone in Salmon Creek live in homes provided by the St. Cloud family, and they work in a very ‘hush-hush’ medical factory/facility owned by the St. Cloud’s. In fact, when families move to Salmon Creek in order to work for the St. Cloud’s, they have a very difficult time ever moving out.

Maya spends her days missing her best friend Serena, who died by drowning; hanging out with her friend Daniel, who has a very difficult home life; and, caring for all the animals she finds. Maya’s adopted dad is the game warden, and they live on an extensive piece of property that serves as a wildlife park and refuge for the town; so there are a great deal of wild creatures roaming around Maya at all times.

All Maya wants for her birthday is to go into the City and turn her fading paw-print birthmark into a tattoo, so she’ll have it forever. What she doesn’t know she’ll get as a birthday present is a woman telling her what the frightening myth is behind the odd birthmark. Not only does Maya have to deal with this new information and what it means for her future, but she also has to deal with an out-of-state reporter who shows up in Salmon Creek with a whole lot of questions; and, a boy named Rafe.

Rafe is a huge ‘player’ who Maya can’t stand…until she finds out that they have a great deal in common which comes as a life-changing, shape-shifting realization.

This book was so tantalizing, so fascinating, and so full of adventure that every reader will find this new series a "must-read." Fans will be wishing Ms. Armstrong already had the series done so they wouldn’t have to wait to see what Rafe, Maya, Daniel, and more than a few hungry “cougars” are going to do next.

Quill Says: Armstrong has, once again, knocked it out of the park. A fantastic beginning to what will be another bestselling Armstrong series!

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