Dear CW Television: If you are looking for a new YA book series to adapt into a great TV show to partner up with The Vampire Diaries, then please look no further than The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. This book has all the elements you’d need: a great cast of characters, a small isolated community, supernatural elements, and a secretive scientific company that may or may not be doing some insidious, shady things.
Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Gathering. Having just finished two fantastic books (City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and Blood Red Road by Moira Young), I wasn’t sure what to read next. I was positive that anything I picked up would utterly disappoint me. So when I decided to pick up The Gathering, I forced myself to open up the pages with zero expectations. It didn’t help that the synopsis hinted at possible shape-shifter qualities to the story, which isn’t usually my favorite supernatural twist.
Much to my surprise, I quickly found myself sucked into the world Armstrong had created. I haven’t read her other books, so this was my first foray into her writing — and I’m glad I made it. I am certainly adding her other books to my TBR pile now!
The Gathering follows the mysterious goings on in 16-year-old Maya Delaney’s life. She lives in a tiny, isolated community on Vancouver Island — where all the adults in town work for a shady scientific research company. In fact, the company built the entire town for the sole purpose of keeping it isolated from potential corporate spies. But strange things are happening in Maya’s life. First, the mysterious death of her friend, Serena. Then, her increasing encounters with cougars. Her best friend Daniel’s unique talent for “feeling out” people and situations — good or bad. Questions surrounding Maya’s birth parents (she’s adopted). And then throw in the sexy new bad boy Rafe, who’s got some hidden secrets of his own. All of these elements combine to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.
But what really captured me the most about The Gathering were the characters themselves. All of them — not just Maya — are completely engaging and interesting and multi-layered. They bring color and vibrancy to the story and give you a reason to care about what is happening to them. Likewise, their relationships and interactions with each other is engaging. There is a lot going on — and part of the intrigue of this book is uncovering the dynamics behind these relationships and watching as new ones unfold. And just when you think the characters are getting predictable, Armstrong surprises you with a new twist! (And it’s the many layers to this story that make it so perfect for a TV show adaptation.)
Armstrong’s writing also brings the setting of this isolated Pacific Northwest community to life. It’s no secret that I love stories set here in the Pacific NW (I live in Oregon) — and having recently visited Vancouver Island myself, I could easily picture the sort of place where Maya lived. I could see the trees and the cliffs and the lake and the small collection of shops that make up the town’s “downtown” area. The town itself may be imagined, but these sorts of communities are very real — and Armstrong brings it to life.
And because there are so many great characters, and so many mysterious goings-on layered within the story, I could easily picture The Gathering as a TV series adaptation. It has all the necessary ingredients — from a great cast and an interesting setting, to gobs of mysteries to layer into a serial TV format. I can just picture the cliff-hanger endings to each weekly episode now … so, seriously, CW TV. Get on that. Because I’m ready to start watching.
And I’m certainly ready to keep reading more. The Gathering is the first in a new trilogy from Armstrong and is in stores now. But I can’t wait until the next book hits store shelves.
Here is the official synopsis & book trailer:
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.
Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.
In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.