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"Terrifying ghosts, smatterings of gore and diverse teen voices will prompt young adults to pick up the next in this series.... Teen readers might scream loud enough to raise the dead."
— Kirkus (Starred Review)
SERENA STOOD ON THE rock ledge twenty feet above the lake, singing in a voice known to bring tears to the eyes of everyone who heard it. Everyone except me. “For God’s sake, Seri,” I said, “just dive already.” Serena stuck out her tongue and shifted closer to the edge, toes wrapping around it. She bounced there, blond ponytail bobbing, cheeks puffing. Then she dove. It was, as usual, an effort worthy of the Olympics, and she sliced into the water so smoothly that barely a ripple pinged across the glassy surface.
She popped back up, sleek as a seal. “Your turn, Maya!” I flipped her the finger. She laughed and dove again. Serena was the swimmer—captain of the school team. It’s not my thing, really. This was the part I liked, just sitting on the rock ledge, bare feet dangling. I basked in the morning sun, drinking in the rich, late-summer air and the perfect view of the crystal-clear lake, the distant snow-capped mountains, the endless evergreens.
As Serena swam to the middle of the lake, I squinted over at the path, looking for a familiar blond head. Daniel was supposed to join us.
Daniel and I had been friends since I’d moved to Salmon Creek when I was five. Then, last year, there’d been a school dance where the girls were supposed to invite the guys, and Serena thought we should draw straws to see who asked Daniel. I liked him, but not the way Serena did, so I’d fixed the game so she’d win. They’d been together ever since.
As Serena swam back toward me, I stripped to my bra and panties, dropping my clothes into the bushes below.
“Ooh la la,” she called. “Check out the new undies. Did some amazing friend finally take pity and buy you grown-up stuff?”
“Yes, and she’d better be right about them not going seethrough when they get wet. Otherwise her boyfriend is going to see a lot more of me than she’d like.”
Serena laughed. “They’ll be fine. White’s your color. Shows off your tan.”
I shook my head at her and plaited my long black hair. I don’t have a tan. I’m Native. Navajo, maybe. I’d been adopted as a baby and my mother hadn’t been around to fill in any background forms.
I climbed farther up the rocks and stopped at one overhanging the lake.
As I balanced there, Serena called, “Hey, those low riders show off your birthmark. Did you ask your parents about getting that tattoo?”
My fingers dropped to the mark on my hip. It looked like a faded paw print, and I wanted to get it tattooed so it would show up better.
“Mom says maybe when I’m sixteen. Dad says when I’m sixty.”
“He’ll come around.” She flipped onto her back and floated. “He always does. You should do it for your sixteenth birthday next year. We’ll get your mom to take us over to Vancouver, make a weekend of it. I’ll get one, too. I want a nightingale, right over my boob, so when I get up on stage in my sexy dress, cut down to—”
She flailed suddenly. “Maya!”
She went under. Disappeared completely, like a hook had dragged her down.
I jumped into the water, and I hit it wrong. Pain smacked me so hard I gasped. Water filled my mouth and my nose. I swam out in a frantic dog paddle. I could see the rings where Serena had gone under. They seemed to get farther away with every clumsy stroke I took.
I treaded water, looking around. “Serena?”
“If this is a prank to get me in the lake, it worked,” I said, my voice quavering.
When she didn’t reply, I dove. As I went under, panic hit, like it always did—my gut telling me this was wrong, dangerous, get above the surface or I’d drown.
The normally clear lake was brown, churned up dirt swirling through it, and I couldn’t see.
I shot up from the water.
“Help!” I shouted. “Someone! Please!”
I dove again, blind and flailing, praying my hand or foot would brush Serena.
She’s been under too long.
No, she hadn’t. Serena could hold her breath forever. Last year, we’d timed her at a swim meet and she’d stayed under for five minutes before the coach ran over and made her stop. I couldn’t hold my breath even for a minute. I bobbed up again, gasping.
I followed the shout to the shore. The sun glinted off the wet rocks and I blinked. Then I glimpsed blond wavy hair and a flash of tanned skin as Daniel yanked off his shirt.
“It’s Serena,” I shouted. “She went und—”
My kicking leg caught on something. I tried to pull, but it tightened around my ankle. I went under, screaming. Water filled my mouth as it closed over my head.
I fought, kicking and twisting, trying to grab at whatever had me. My fingers brushed something soft, and my brain screamed “Serena!” I tried to grab her, but I was dragged deeper and deeper until my feet hit the bottom. Then, whatever was wrapped around my ankle fell away.
I pushed up through the murky water. But as soon as my feet left the lake bottom, I couldn’t tell where the surface was anymore. Everything was dark. My lungs burned. My head throbbed. I kept fighting my way up. Oh God, let it be up. Finally I broke through. I felt the sunlight and the slap of cool air, only to go back down again. I pushed up, but couldn’t stay afloat, couldn’t seem to remember how to tread water. My whole body ached. Staying above was such a struggle, it was almost a relief when the water closed over my head again, peaceful silence enveloping me.
I had to struggle not to give in, had to force my arms and legs to keep churning, get my head back above—
Arms grabbed me. They seemed to be pulling me under and I struggled against them.
“Maya!” Daniel shouted. “It’s me.”
I didn’t care. I needed him to let go of me, leave me be, let me breathe. He gripped me tighter, wrapping one strong arm around me as he swam.
I told Daniel to let me go, that I could make it to shore, just find Serena, please find Serena. He thought I was still panicking and kept hauling me along until, finally, he heaved me onto the rocks.
“Serena,” I gasped. “Get Serena.”
He hoisted himself up and scanned the shore and I realized he hadn’t understood. Oh God, he hadn’t heard me.
“Serena!” I yelled. “She went under. I was trying to find her.”
His eyes widened. He twisted and plunged into the lake. I huddled there on a rock, coughing, as he swam out. I watched him dive and come back up. Dive and come back up. Dive and come back up . . .
They dragged the lake that afternoon and found Serena’s body. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning. A healthy teenage girl, captain of the swim team, had drowned. No one knew how it happened. An undertow. A cramp. A freak panic attack. There were plenty of guesses but no answers.
Soon all that was left of Serena was a monument in the school yard. The town moved on. I didn’t. Something had happened in that lake, something I couldn’t explain. But I would. One day, I would.
Posted April 12, 2011
THE GATHERING, by Kelley Armstrong, is the start of her second YA series. After reading the whole Darkest Powers series, I was dying to jump into the start of this new one, still taking place in the same 'world' but with new characters.
I love Kelley Armstrong. Ask anyone who knows me and they can probably tell you she is one of my favorites. I will read anything with her name on it no questions asked. I love the 'Otherworld' that she created that spans across her series's. BUT, I have to say this was the first time I was slightly disappointed. Let me explain...
The first chapter hooked me right away, the drowning of Maya's best friend sent shock waves of sadness through me. I needed to know what happened. Also, the mysterious heritage that Maya soon discovered via a crazy old woman made me crazy with anticipation. Let's add in a new kid who is hot and has the hots for our leading lady (with an equally hot best guy friend). These elements raised questions that I was dying to have answered. But sadly, at the end of the book I felt I needed more.
This book felt like just an introduction to the series and not a self-contained book. Maya's heritage was explained somewhat, but a zillion other questions were left hanging. The pace was always high but I felt it ended too quickly and easy.
Overall, I did like the story. I fell in love with the characters (Rafe and Daniel especially, yum!) and the unique circumstances Maya experienced. The romance was steamy and the mystery of the small Canadian town piqued my interest. I loved Maya's connections and powers with animals and I yearned for each time she experienced them. The book as a whole was a great start to the series and although I expected more from it, I am actually dying to read the next book for more of my questions to be answered.
Cover note: Love this cover! The blue hues make it look mysterious and I would definitely buy this book right off the shelf for the cover alone.
31 out of 34 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This series has a lot to live up to for her young adult series, i kind of wish though she will tell more about Chloe and Derek. I fell in love with Derek and i need to know what had happened to him.
14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2011
The Gathering is the first book in a new trilogy by Kelley Armstrong, it is a companion series to the The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1). I very much enjoyed the first trilogy, and was willing to give The Gathering a shot. Unfortunately it didn't deliver. The character relationships are pretty much the same as in the Darkest Powers series (and like 80% of paranormal YA books too). Special teen finds out she's special on her birthday, there's a pseudo triangle, and same as the original series there's another girl chasing one of the boys in the triangle and hates hour special teen heroine. The only difference is the setting and the abilities of our special teen. That said, I found Maya very likeable, as well as Daniel and Rafe, the boys closest to Maya.
The pacing of this books is also not very good, pretty much nothing happens for the first 15 chapters. The ending does leave you with more questions than answers, so I suppose it's a good hook for the next book. I did enjoy speculating who the St. Cloud corporation was, and finding a couple of 'easter eggs' that reminded me of the first series.
Will I read the next book in the series? Right now I'm not sure I want to read the next book in the series I felt I had to force myself to finish this book. Perhaps I will wait until the series is completed because truly this book doesn't reveal much, so as a standalone it really didn't do it for me.
Cover Commentary: Gorgeous, I think Maya is gorgeous and I love the sparkly earring!
10 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2011
I am so excited for this book! I absolutly loved the darkest powers series. And just to let people know, Kelley said on her blog that Chloe and the gang might show up in the third book of this series! Anyways, super excited for this book, and the first chapter of this is on the darkest powers website (that's also where kelley's blog is and three novellas for the darkest poweres series, and one of them is in Derek's point of view) just thought you should know =)
9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2012
I came across this book as a daily find and decided to buy it. I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down. I'm about to buy the second book and hope that it answers some of the questions left unanswered from this book. In a way it's like having one long book to read which is great, but sucks that you have to keep buying $10 books to keep reading it! I really did enjoy it and recomend it for kids and adults alike.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2012
Posted January 3, 2012
Posted December 30, 2011
My roommate let me read this and it was very hard to put down. I think it was an amazing book. I reccomend (sorry bad spelling) this book to anyone who likes love and mystery.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2011
This book is a good 360 pg. of a bunch of crap! Not only was it slow paced and dragged on foreeever, but at the end when you're expecting answers, you find out that you have to wait for the next boring book for answers ... which you probably wont recieve. What was she thinkging when she wrote this? It was truely agonizing to read but I spent my money on this book and forced myself to read it. Writer, if you're reading this, at least answer some of the questions! I didn't get nothing from this book. Terrible. I won't read anything from this author ever again ... period.
3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2011
Maya lives in a special community - it's based around a research hospital. And only certain families are invited to live there. Maya's family lives in a park where her dad is the ranger. She's always had a special connection with the mountain lions, but recently they've been seen around a lot more. Suddenly, Maya is having flashes of the world from a mountain lion's point of view. But she has no idea why. And she still wonders what really happened a little while back when her best friend, who was a strong swimmer, suddenly drowned. Things are definitely not what they seem to be in this little town. Add in her best friend, Daniel, and the new hot boy, Rafe, and you've got a great trio of characters. This book will keep you wondering as to what will happen next. THE GATHERING was a nice change in that I really enjoyed it! I think I was in a reading rut and just couldn't seem to read a book that I really enjoyed until this one. That being said, I do have to say that for the most part, this book is pretty predictable. I knew Maya's secret pretty much from the beginning, as well as Rafe's. But I'm not sure just how Rafe's secret is tied to Maya's. Hmmm. And I"m not sure how their little community plays into it just yet, but I'm sure it does somehow. And Daniel...sometimes I felt like he had feelings for Maya, and other times he just seemed like a big brother. There were so many unanswered questions - but in a good way! In a way that makes it so you can't wait to get your hands on the sequel. I can't wait to read the next book, THE CALLING. Hopefully, it will answer a bunch of questions that I have!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2010
Posted July 15, 2012
Maya is a girl who is adopted. For some reason she has a birthmark on her hip the shape of a paw print. She didn't know why she she had it but didn't think to much about it. Until a new stranger comes to town and she gets involves with him. It turns out he has some secrets of his own. That might change her life forever. Maybe for the wrost or for the better, that depends on who she love and who she love more, family or the boy she is in love with.
The question is not if you are ready but when Maya.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2012
This book was awesome I love her entire series, and the new characters with the relatively same story line was a fantastic idea. However, as much as I did love this book I do feel it ended way to short and was rushed. Like there should have been and extra few chapters left to answer some hanging questions and to extend the ending some more so its not so abrupt. Other than that I fell in love with all the characters and what powers they had. Fantastic! so to sum up my words. READ THIS BOOK ITS AMAZING CANT WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL 4/2012!!
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2010
I absolutley loved this series. I kept wanting to read this series to find out what would happen next. Derek is a great character, and i fell in love with him. I hope Kelley's new series is just as good as the darkest powers. I wish though that she hadn't stopped the sereies, maybe she might add on to it or something. I hope so!!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2010
Posted August 31, 2010
i really hope this book will be as amazing as the Darkest Powers!! i fell in love with her characters and can't wait to see what she'll do with this series! i hope she'll mention the characters from the past series.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2010
Posted August 22, 2010
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