Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 1, 2014 | 2 Comments

Review: The Gathering by Kelley ArmstrongThe Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Published by HarperTeen (4.12.2011)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 359 pages
Source: I own it

3.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

This was my second time reading this book – the first time was years ago, before I started blogging. I remember the ending being pretty open, and I wanted to read the second book, but then it came out and I just…never read it (this happens a lot, actually). I’m going to be honest, I remember absolutely nothing about this book. Reading it the second time was basically the same as reading it the first time. Parts of it sounded vaguely familiar, but I didn’t know what was going to happen before it actually happened.

The second time around, I felt exactly the same way as I did then: I enjoyed it while reading, but it’s not particularly memorable. I can tell that it’s not a book that will stick with me.

The characters are good – not great, but I did like them and found them to be pretty realistic. I just didn’t really care about them. I can, however, relate to Maya. A lot. Especially when it comes to her don’t-trust-anyone-never-give-second-chances mentality. She reminded me so much of myself! She pretty much didn’t give a second chance to anyone. If they hurt her or screwed her over, they were done. She also had really high expectations of people, so she took it offensively when they did so. But not only did she have trouble forgiving them for it, she also had trouble forgiving herself. For trusting the wrong person.

I didn’t dislike Rafe, but I didn’t really have any feelings for him, either. Nor was I a fan of the romance between Rafe and Maya. Not that I didn’t like it, it just…didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t find their relationship particularly inspiring.

The main part that killed this story for me was that I flat out didn’t care. Not about the characters, not about the romance, not about the plot. I had little to no feels whatsoever. My overall feeling of the book can be summarized by the word “meh.”

I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong – I love love LOVE the idea of the skin-walkers, and the fact that she’s a cougar and not a wolf is refreshing. I like the Native background there, too.

Despite it not being memorable, I am curious to see where the series goes and will be continuing on to The Calling!

Side note: This book can’t even begin compare to Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series. I loooved the Darkest Powers books. If you didn’t like this book, you should still give The Summoning a chance!


Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 1/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

  1. I’m not a fan of YA, but I’m a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong. I read this book right when it came out and I don’t remember much about it, other than I enjoyed it. I do remember a little bit more about the Darkest Powers series, but not much. I hope you like book two better.

  2. Christina R.

    It’s awesome you related to her – I believe it’s one of the most important parts of a successful novel. Even if it’s not a book you fangirl over, at least you enjoyed it a little and at least you liked the lore.

    Lovely review :)

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