The Gathering - Kelley Armstrong THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN POSTPONED BECAUSE IT WAS IN SETH'S BUTT.But I got it back again. So, yaaaaay. Uh yeah, I guess I should explain that. Well, so Seth is one out of the few people who actually read my reviews. And he's always like, "Briiigiiid where's your next revieeeeew?" And I'm always like, "UP YOUR BUTT." So, yeah. This review was in Seth's butt for a while.Now, the actual review. It feels like I read this ages and ages ago. It was like a week ago, actually. But in Brigid-time, that is quite a long time. I don't know why I've been postponing it for so long (besides the fact that it was stuck in Seth's butt). I really liked it, I guess I just don't have a ton to say. Or maybe I do and I don't know it yet. Let's see!So, I loved Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy––and if you haven't read them, read those before this one. Darkness Rising is a spin-off of Darkest Powers. As of yet, the two stories aren't directly related, but they share a few of the same characters and there are several references to Darkest Powers in The Gathering. (For example, Liz is briefly in this one, also Dr. Davidoff and the St. Clouds are mentioned, etc. ...) Now, when I first started reading The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1), I wasn't crazy about it. In fact, I actually disliked it in the beginning. But about halfway through, I got hooked. And then I loved the second and third books. I'm hoping that something similar will happen with Darkness Rising. If I hadn't read Darkest Powers, I would be more skeptical of this series. But now I have faith in Kelley Armstrong to develop an exciting plot and a good romance––and The Gathering is quite a strong beginning; it gives me hope that this series will turn out amazing.I'm always nervous about spin-offs, because at times it's really just the same story told all over again, but with different characters. This isn't the case with The Gathering. It's a very new and different story from Darkest Powers––with some connections, of course, but it is quite unique as well.The Gathering takes place in one of them creepy small towns where everyone knows everything about everyone else. Maya, our main character, is an adopted child who knows nothing about her past. The only sign she has is a mysterious birth mark in the shape of a paw print. Hmmmm.Weird things start happening, as they always do in these situations. Such as, mountain lions start killing people and following Maya around in the forest. And of course, there's a new boy in town––Rafe, whom the town frowns upon and labels a "bad boy", and with whom Maya feels an inexplicable connection. And then there's Daniel, Maya's best friend, who can sense when things are "off" ... or something like that. So, best friend vs. new bad boy! The clichéd love triangle! But oh well, I hope it doesn't get too corny. And at least the characters are compelling enough that I can dismiss the clichéd aspect for now.Maya is a very likable main character. She is determined and headstrong and kickass. And she has cool powers, which I won't talk about because I don't want to spoil it. But, it's quite cool. As for the romance, I'm on Team Rafe for now. Daniel is cool and all, just a bit ... dull. I don't even understand why everyone thinks Rafe is a "bad boy" because he doesn't seem all that badass. I guess people just make assumptions because he has a mysterious background and he's Hispanic? Eh, people are racist. Anyway, he's a nice kid. I'm not sure Armstrong can pull off a better romance than the Derek/Chloe one, but we'll seeeee.There wasn't a whole lot of plot in this book, just a lot of background and buildup of suspense. But I assume all the information was necessary and that a more exciting plot will come out of it. After all, that was the case with Darkest Powers.Also, the ending was a bit anti-climatic ... So then we got on a helicopter and the forest was on fire, and ... yeah. THE END! *Chucks book across the room* But, oh well. I can't wait to read the next book! *Thumbs up*