The Gathering

By Kelley Armstrong
Published on April 2011
Published by Harper Teen
Source: Library

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

I know that Kelley Armstrong is supposed to be an amazing adult paranormal author, but I hadn't had the opportunity to read any of her books.  I saw that The Gathering and The Calling were both available at my local library and I was looking for something quick and easy to read, to take a break from my review books- I am so glad I picked this series!

The Gathering starts with 16 year old Maya and introduces the reader to her strangely normal life.  Maya is part of a town that is made up of workers for a drug corporation.  It is a small town in the mountains and Maya is living a normal small town life. The one odd thing is, Maya lives with a forest ranger father and seems to have a connection to the wild life.  She starts having odd visions and is able to communicate with the mountain lions in the area- without speaking she can control their actions.

Maya discovers that she is not the only one having odd occurances and that is where the story really picks up.  There really wasn't a great deal of action or overall plot development until halfway through the story.  This wasn't a problem for me though, because the author used that time to set up the characters and relationships that really are the focus of the rest of of the series.  The second half of the book moves quickly and is almost all action.

This didn't feel like just another paranormal series (because sometimes they all blend together).  It really stood out to me as being different and unlike all the other paranormal romances out there.  The romance part of this story made me a little annoyed (but I will touch on that in my review of the second book).  I enjoyed this book- it was a fast easy read and excellent for a rainy afternoon.

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