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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Gathering

The students at my middle school love Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers Trilogy: The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning. So, I couldn’t wait to read her most recent book - The Gathering – the first book in her Darkness Rising trilogy which ties into a supernatural Native American theme. In the introduction, Maya, a sixteen-year-old who was adopted by her parents, witnesses her best friend, Serena, drown. Maya wonders how Serena, captain of the swim team, could have died this way. Time has passed, but Maya still hasn’t gotten over Serena’s mysterious death. Although Maya and Daniel, Serena’s boyfriend, have always been close, they have a difficult time talking about her. When a new guy, Rafe, moves to their small private community, rumors begin. It seems like Rafe bounces from one girl to the next and is trying to get to know Maya. Although Maya is determined not to be next on his list, she finds herself attracted to him. Maya has the gift of healing animals and even feels what they feel. When her mother takes her to get her birthmark enhanced with a tattoo for her birthday, they meet an elderly woman who lived with the Navajo for many years. The woman fears Maya and calls her a witch. A visitor appears in Maya’s community asking questions concerning Serena. When the visitor turns up dead, Maya and Daniel know they must finally face the unknown. Will Rafe lead Maya to the answers she is looking for? This was an intense read that ultimately leaves you hanging until the next book, The Calling, which will be published in April 2012. This book is appropriate for 8th grade and up.

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