The Gathering (2011)

By: Kelley Armstrong

Sixteen-year-old Maya lives in the small town built around the top-secret research facility on Vancouver Island. All she knows of her birth parents is the small paw-shaped birthmark on her hip. But then, strange things start to happen on the island. There have been a handful of mysterious deaths, and the animals in the sanctuary are becoming more brazen. Could this have to do with her shadowed past?

Honestly, I’m intrigued by novels that handle adoption. Most don’t treat the subject well, making children who’ve been adopted have inherent knowledge that they are “other” or giving them terrible relationships with their parents. The Gathering, however, handles adoption quite well.

Though the story follows a sixteen-year-old, it doesn’t fall into the same tropes as many other YA novels. Everything unfolds without much soap opera-like drama. There’s also a lot of history and Native American culture woven throughout. It’s a very entertaining read, and I can’t wait to snatch up the next book in the series.

Plus, I mean, there are werepanthers, guys. Super cool!

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