Maya has always had questions about her heritage. Abandoned as an infant, she was very lucky to be adopted by her wonderful parents. Her father is a park ranger and his profession led the family to move from Oregon to Vancouver Island and a small, close-knit community. Everyone on the island works for the St. Cloud Corporation, a medical research company. Security is very tight and tourists are discouraged. The nearest shopping is over an hour away, but Maya has never minded. She loves the woods and the animals.
The Gathering opens with the sudden “accidental” death of Maya’s best friend Serena. Maya doesn’t think it was an accident. How does the captain of the swim team accidentally drown? But, as time passes, Maya forgets her doubts until strange things start to happen. There is a sudden rash of cougar sightings, and Maya has a few up close and personal encounters with them. Strangely, they don’t seem to want to hurt her. In fact, they seem to understand her. She’s always had a way with animals but she always thought her gift of nursing wounded animals back to health was really nothing special. But along with the ability to communicate with them, she suddenly, just by touching them, can see and feel what the animal has experienced. She begins waking up in the middle of the night, longing to go running in the forest. What does all this have to do with who she is and where she came from? Can the paw print birthmark on her hip mean anything? And why is the new kid in town, bad boy Rafe, suddenly paying her a lot of attention?
Kelley Armstrong has done it again. The Darkness Rising series gives us another strong, likeable female heroine at the center of a mystery involving the supernatural, buried secrets and people who are not who or what they seem. There is also some romance thrown in. In fact, there are so many levels to this book that trying to summarize it in two paragraphs was nearly impossible. Ms. Armstrong slowly reveals only as much background information as is needed to carry the story along, which can be frustrating at times but it is definitely a way to ensure that you leave your readers wanting more. She ends this book with a cliffhanger guaranteed to leave you breathlessly awaiting book two in the series, The Calling.
- Reading level: Ages 13 and up
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (April 12, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061797022
- ISBN-13: 978-0061797026
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