Release Date: April 12, 2011
More info: Amazon
Series: #1 in the Darkness Rising series
Book Blurb: Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students–for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.
Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya’s determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya’s home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts experiencing “bad vibes” about certain people and things. It does’t help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret…and he’s interested in one special part of Maya’s anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear me, happy birthday to me!
What a great present to have a new book by one of my favorite authors released on my birthday (April 12). Kelley is a wonderful author who can really weave a story so when she announced the release date for this book, it was a fun coincidence that it fell on my birthday. Now if it just came with chocolate cake and Jonny Depp, it'd be a truly awesome birthday. :P
The Darkest Powers part of the trilogy is finished for now. The Darkness Rising part of the trilogy - which starts with The Gathering (release date April 5th in Canada) is the second part. This part will also consist of three books, like that Darkest Powers did. There will be a third part to the trilogy after all three of the Darkness Rising story has had it's three books.
I really, really enjoyed this book. The story flowed right along at a brisk pace but never felt rushed, it grabs your attention from the first chapter and doesn't let go until the very last page, which ends in a cliff hanger (I'm already counting down the days until book two). There are twists and turns, some mystery, some romance, conflict, humor, all worked into an enjoyable story. Maya is smart, funny, realistic, and quite relatable. She's not a smart aleck (though she can be pretty darn funny) but neither is she perfect. There isn't a word or punctuation mark that I'd change.
The supernatural element is mild at first but Armstrong builds it up as the story goes along. Readers of her Women of the Otherworld series may recognize the name of the pharmaceutical facility, but you don't need to have read any of those books nor the books in her Darkest Powers YA series. The story is a stand alone in that regard though set in the same world as those. There are some similarities between Maya and Mercy Thompson in Patricia Briggs's "Mercy Thompson" series that readers of both series will spot right away.
Kelley's teenage daughter is her advisor for the YA books and you can tell. It's not just an adult writing what she thinks or hopes will interest teens and young adults nor does she talk down to them. There are several mysteries in the book that all mesh together and I think sustaining the three book story arc will not be a problem at all.
This paperback ARC was received from the publisher for review.