Google+ Reading Teen: Audiobook Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Monday, May 23, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Reading Level:  Young Adult
Listening Length: 8 hour(s) and 8 min.
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Harper Audio (April 12, 2011)
Series: Darkness Rising, Book 1
Buy the book:  Amazon

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn'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.
I haven't read any of Kelley Armstrong's books books before, so I was really excited to get The Gathering on audiobook for review.  I thought this was a fantastic book to listen to on audio.  I don't know what it is about some books as opposed to others, but there are some books that I prefer to read, and some I prefer to listen to.  This one I definitely preferred listening to.  The reader was a woman, and I thought she did a fantastic job.  I loved all the voices that she did, especially Maya's voice which seemed to fit perfectly.  Even the guy voices were done well.  The only guy voice I wasn't too crazy about was Rafe's, he just sounded a little off.  Maybe it was because he was supposed to have a strange southern accent, I'm not sure.  It really wasn't bad, though, and I still enjoyed the audiobook a lot.  I will definitely be looking for the second one on audio. 

As far as the story goes, at first I have to say I thought it was a little slow.  There was a lot of description, which sometimes loses me because I like to get into the meat of things, but that was another reason I was glad I was listening instead of reading.  I do better listening to stuff like that than reading it.  Another thing that kind of bothered me in the beginning was that it seemed a little political, or at least a little agenda-based, and I tend to get irritated at that.  Especially when it seems like it is supposed to be subtle....but it isn't.

But that all faded away pretty quickly and soon I found myself lost in this fascinating story.  There are so many elements to this book, and so many possibilities.  I felt like I had a grasp on what might be going on in this secretive town, then something would happen that made me question what I thought.  With elements of science fiction, possible gene-altering, maybe paranormal, who knows?  Maybe all of those things combined.  It's funny, I would usually tag this book as a sufferer of series syndrome, but somehow, even though I still have as many questions after reading this, as I did when I started it, I was never bored.  I never felt like the story was full of fluff.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  Maybe it just goes to show that a good writer can leave us hanging on a cliff at the end, and we'll thank her for it!

I had questions about whether you had to read the Darkest Powers books first, but this series is definitely it's own story, so even if you've never read any of Kelley's books, you can pick this one up no problem.  I hope that you'll try listening to it on audio, and maybe you'll fall in love with audiobooks like I have!



  • Sexual Content: Mild/Moderate Dialog
  • Profanity:  Moderate
  • Violence:  Moderate 
  • Other Notables:
    • Underage drinking
    • Mention of using drugs
    • Alcoholism by a parent
    • Teens smoking
For more details check out The Gathering on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I listened to the Darkest Powers audio books and loved it. Probably my favourite YA series out there. I'll be getting The Gathering soon. Very glad to hear the reader is a good one. I've had to stop listening to great books a few times because I couldn't stand another moment of the reader's voice!
    Also, I was worried this one might end on a cliff-hanger, and thought about putting it aside until the next books are released. But dammit, I can't wait any longer! I'll make some notes of the general storyline, so when the next book comes out I won't be frowning so much. I'm getting forgetful in my old age, haha.

  2. I loved Kelley's Darkest Powers series so I was waiting like a mad person for this one. I have to say, even though I loved Maya, I didn't like the book as much as the other books. The other books were faster and I loved the couple whereas here I didn't really like Rafe that much.
    It is a bit too descriptive, but I guess that's because Kelley's writing about new powers she hasn't written about before. In Darkest Powers the kids had powers adults had in her Otherworld series, but in this Darkness Rising trilogy all the powers are extinct or completely new, so maybe that's why it was so descriptive. I guess.

    Anyhow I love Kelley and all her books, so I won't stop reading these now :D

  3. I kind of had a hard time connecting with Rafe too. There was just something about him that was off for me. I guess we'll see how it goes in the next books.

  4. Her Darkest Powers series has been on my TBR for some time...

  5. I own Kelley's Darkest Powers trilogy and The Gather because I saw so much love for them. Unfortunately, I've not yet read them. I really should.

  6. I loved this book. I wish my library had more audio books available.

  7. I haven't read Armstrong's Darkest Powers series either. I'm glad it's not a requirement to understand what's going on in The Gathering. Thanks for letting us know.


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