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The Gathering - Kelley Armstrong Genre: Paranormal YA (Urban Fantasy)

The Darkest Powers trilogy is one of my favorite paranormal YA series, everything about it is just supper-duper fantastic!! After the first few pages of The Gathering, it was clear that it was no Darkest Powers—by the end I was an embittered fan. After a few weeks it hit me, this was not a continuation of my beloved Darkest Powers, this is a “new world” being introduced. Once the bitterness faded it struck me how striking Armstrong's The Gathering really is.

Maya is one of the best female leads in YA I have read in a very long while. She's bright , sensible, and has one heck of a sense of humor that had me chuckling constantly. It's still evident that she's an adolescent, and she takes responsibility for her flaws and short comings. What was wonderful is that she was not a damsel in distress, Maya could take care of herself—she also knew when she would need to call in the cavalry. The two boys in Maya's life, Daniel and Rafe, both understood and respected her. Even appreciating that she could stand on her own two feet. Daniel is the childhood best friend that has been there since day one and Rafe is the hot new bad boy in town. Both have surprising inner depths and I was just lapping up any details on the two. There are only vague hints at this point of a love triangle, which doesn't worry me as Armstrong has never written a bad love triangle that I've read.

The bulk of the story takes place in a tiny town—population 200 or so—in the middle of a forest with no paved roads leading to it. The place is kept running by a drug research facility. To tempt the scientists into living out in the middle of no where the children are given the best education and health care. Which out shines any thing you'd find in a privileged big city. The story really grows as you get to know the people and the feel of real rural town life. Everyone has a story, no matter if they're the good or bad types.

Armstrong has unmistakably made a new twist on Skinwalkers, weaving Native American myth in to a tale that will win readers over to this new trilogy. Old fans will love the hints to the universe of her other series. Armstrong uses this slower pace to really develop her characters and make her readers more involved. There's a mysterious drowning, shifting, hints at strange new magical beings, genetic mutation crisis's, mysterious fathers, and the required bite-you-nails cliffhanger. Nothing is off limit in this new series, so hold on paranormal fans!!

Sexual Content: There's some heavy make out scenes, sexual humor, some talk about how far Maya's “gone”, and a date-rape drug slipped in.

Rating – 4/5 Great! Really enjoyed it.

Originally posted at Book Whispers.