Original Title: The Gathering
Year Published: 2011
Published by: ATOM
Number of Pages: 359
First Sentence: “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.“
Maya Delaney has always felt a close bond with nature. The woods around her home are a much-loved sanctuary and the pawprint birthmark on her hip feels like a sign that she belongs. But then strange and terrible things begin to happen in the tiny medical-research town of Salmon Creek!
This was a really interesting story and it was definitely captivating. Funnily enough, I started reading this several years ago but couldn’t get into it back then. I decided to restart it, just to either finish it or once and for all decide that it was not worth reading. Boy, am I glad that I gave it another shot! Turns out it’s actually a really good book.
It does take the whole shapeshifter myth and twists it to create something original and fun. It doesn’t feel like any old shapeshifter story, which must be quite difficult to manage when there are so many books centred around shapeshifters or werewolves.
Our main character, Maya, is fun and engaging. I really liked her as a character and narrator. She is adopted, but we didn’t get the storyline with her being sad and “ruined” by this, instead we got when where she is well adapted, although slightly curious about her biological parents. I can understand why people who are adopted might develop a complex because of it, but it is a very heavily used trope that does tend to get a bit … boring (I’m sorry!). In fact, all characters are really fun and I loved that you got several different types of relationships = family, friends and partners.
The overall plot was fun and really entertaining. It is a sort of mix between a young adult thriller and paranormal adventure. It has a huge mystery that is sort of solved (I guess you need to read the other books to get it fully solved) and which keeps the story interesting.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do.