What: The Gathering (Darkest Rising #1)
When: April 12th, 2011
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.
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
Not even going to try to give you a little summary, because there's already no way to explain this to you without seeming like a crazy/cheesy person. I loved the idea of a medical research town up in who-knows-where Canada, and what I liked even more? The teens liked it there! So many YA books with the main character boo-hooing about how she has to drive an extra hour to get to a city, etcc (maybe I have no sympathy for them, since I live in a city...), but hey, it's where you live! You should like it! The whole conspiracy theory aspect that automatically blooms when you think of a medical research town really added to the mystery behind what exactly goes on in there!
I loved Maya! She was strong, smart, and spunky enough that she vigour to find out what the hell was going on made the story move forward. I liked how when she made decisions, hasty ones at that (one in specific, if you've read it), and looked back at it to take it down a notch. I also like how she wasn't all "oh, i'm obviously some supernatural creature" when weird things started happening to her, because really? Who does that?
Daniel had to be my favorite character. He was sweet, protective, and really, an awesome best friend. I see a little bit of a love triangle possibly blooming in the second book, but for now, he's a great friend and he and Maya have a natural banter between them that I loved. Really, everyone in the town was entertaining and contributed to Maya's character development in their own way. Rafe, while I roll my eyes at the obvious "bad-boy" thing going on, was flawed enough that I believed him. I liked that he was impulsive and hot-tempered, but still sweet and caring when he wanted to be. Both sides of the spectrum are way too extreme, and he was right in the middle.
One thing I didn't like is the fact that not much gets answered in this first book. I was left with way too many questions, and really, Maya doesn't know a lot of what's going on by the end of the last chapter. While I do like some loose ends, I think we could've unraveled a bit more before ending! Definitely looking forward to book two!