Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

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Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: Tried and tested ingredients arranged in a fresh and interesting way. Kelley Armstrong doesn't disappoint with her latest Otherworld novel for teens.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: April 2011
Publisher: Atom
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1907410178

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Maya has lived her whole life in strange little rural town, Salmon Creek. Although 'little' means a population of less than 200 and 'rural' really does mean in the middle of nowhere, Maya is happy living where she does. Sure, she gets more contact with cougars than she does with people some days, but she's always loved nature and she's always been content at Salmon Creek.

But Maya would be lying if she said things weren't getting a little weird. First there's the 'accidental drowning' of Maya's friend Serena, who was captain of the swim team and more at home in water than on land. Serena's death left Maya heartbroken, but a year on and she's ready to look for answers. For Maya could have sworn something grabbed her ankle and tried to pull her under when she dived in after Serena.

Then there's her own uncanny ability to connect with nature. What starts as a gift for healing develops until Maya's injured animals are recovering at an unnatural rate. And when Maya touches them, she experiences their memories. And could there be more to best friend Daniel's instincts that tell him with infallible accuracy when something bad is going to happen? And why exactly is bad boy Rafe suddenly taking a big interest in her?

There's a lot about the set up here that is nothing unusual to the teen paranormal genre – deaths in mysterious circumstances, unknown supernatural abilities and secretive bad boys. What I've always liked about Kelley Armstrong is her ability to take a load of tried and tested ingredients and make them into something that still reads fresh and original. She doesn't disappoint with this latest novel.

Maya is a likeable heroine, both gutsy and vulnerable, which is always a winning combination in my opinion. Supporting characters are good too, particularly Daniel and Rafe, though fans of the love triangle trope may be disappointed to hear there's no case of our heroine being torn between them.

The story starts off a little slow, which is why I've docked half a star, but when the pace picks up in the middle, it doesn't just pick up, it rockets. By the climatic finale I was turning pages as fast as I could, painfully aware that there weren't enough pages remaining to resolve anything, and that I would be left wanting to own the sequel right now, thank you very much.

You don't have to have read any of Armstrong's previous works to understand the premise or the story here – though there are little nods to the adult series (and may well be to her previous teen trilogy – I wouldn't know as I haven't read it) which make for a nice hint for long time fans and a taster of the wider Otherworld for new ones.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable book that has me hankering for the next instalment, and reaching for my Kelley Armstrong collection to tide me over til then!

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

For more small town paranormal fiction, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl comes highly recommended by Bookbag.

Buy Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness Rising: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon.com.


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