Title: The Gathering
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 8 hours & 8 minutes
Description from Goodreads:
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 its closet.
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong is a unique blend of mystery, Native America folklore, and teenaged drama. Maya is a character I found not only likeable, but also relatable. She has an intense connection to the wildlife, is loyal to her friends, has a good relationship with her parents, and her only real fault is in sometimes judging people too soon. Daniel and Rafe are the two main male characters in the book. I wish taht I could combine the two guys and then the story would have the perfect male lead. Daniel is protective and sweet, but he needs to stand up for what he wants. His lack of doing this makes his character seem a little too flat at times. When it comes to Rafe I love his protectiveness of his sister, but he isn't a favorite character of mine and this is a bit of a disappointment when he is the love interest in the book. The secondary characters bring a little levity and mystery to The Gathering and the animals, especially Marv, are cute and interesting. The whole concept and idea behind the story is intriguing. The mix of old world folktales and new medical research are two subjects that Ms. Armstrong shows go very nicely together. The Gathering ends on a rather abrupt cliffhanger and I can't wait to pick up the next installment.
** This is an audiobook review and the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, does a great job. Nothing is too over the top, all voices are appropriate to the characters, and they each have a unique voice. I give this book a 3 1/2 STAR rating.