Book Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Author:
Kelley Armstrong

Publication Date:
April 5, 2011

Publisher:
Doubleday Canada

Format:
Hardcover, 368 pages

Price:
CAD $19.99

Source:
Bought in-store at Chapters

Buy:
Amazon chapters.indigo.ca

Add:
GoodReads


Description

On the heels of the wildly popular “The Darkest Powers” series comes the first in another supernatural YA trilogy from New York Times bestelling author Kelley Armstrong.

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 getting negative vibes from certain people and things. 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.

About The Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG is the author of The New York Times bestselling The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning, as well as the internationally bestselling Women of the Otherworld series. Armstrong lives in rural Ontario with her husband and three children.


Review

Maya, an orphan teenager lives happily in the tiny town of Falls, British Columbia. She’s wonderfully happy, but not until tragedy strikes near her heart and she starts to uncover the secrets that her tiny town has kept hidden from the teenagers.

I’m always wary when a cover of a book says “New York Times Best-Selling Author” splashed on the front. I didn’t have to be hesitant at all when reading The Gathering at all. I simply enjoyed the journey that Kelley Armstrong took me. And that is right over to the west coast of Canada.

There is always something more with the secrets that are hidden around the super powers that some of the teens have. And you can’t help but wonder what they are! I certainly tried. There’s an air of mystery and intrigue and a tad bit of romance for Maya and as you read you find yourself lost in her world.( I forgot to eat because I was too preoccupied with this book! I have the pasta stain to prove it!) I love Daniel. He’s just too good and I’m a sucker for the good boys. Rafe on the other hand didn’t make me feel as happy and warm. He hides a lot of things from Maya which I dislike. But as always the girl falls for the bad one. I disliked how Maya denies him in the beginning, then turns right around and falls for him anyway. Knowing full well he’s a player. Talk about hypocriticite!

Kelley Armstrong you got yourself a fan for life! And I love that you’re also Canadian.


Rating 5/5


Quotes

“It was like jumping from a cliff, a terrifying, exhilarating, mind-blowing rush, and I didn’t want it to end, didn’t care where it led, only wanted to follow.”—Maya (136)


The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Author:
Kathleen Peacock

Publication Date:
May 8, 2012

Publisher:
Harper Collins Canada

Format:
368 pages

Price:
CAD $19.99

Source:
An ARC was provided by Harper Collins Canada for review! Thank you!

Buy:
Amazon  chapters.indigo.ca

Add:


Description

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome-also known as the werewolf virus-is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.


Review

Wow! What an incredible debut novel written by a fellow Canadian! Honestly I wasn’t into werewolve themed novels but this one just became my favourite. Maybe the beginning was terribly slow, but I was already interested in the characters and the plot so I had no problem plowing through. The mystery within this novel kept me reading on way into the night.

Mac and her friendship with both Kyle and Jason were just sweet and sure they were all friends even when Amy wasn’t around. Still I couldn’t help but feel weird when there were so many signals that Kyle and Jason fell for Mac, and she was too clueless until it blew up in her face. I guess there’s a trend with love triangles in young adult books and I can understand why. It makes for a great dramatic read. I feel like I’m reading a soap opera. Was anyone else aware that Mac was always in trouble and the guys had to swoop in to save her? Damsel in distresses in books make me laugh. She was so utterly stubborn and got herself into such dangerous situations for making such rash decisions. I love the witty dialogue between the teens.

So much mystery, romance, and action that I can’t help but pick up a final copy of this book. Can’t wait for the next one!


Rating 5/5


Quotes

“I stared into Jason’s eyes, and for a split second I had that feeling you get when B elevator drops too quickly.”—Mac

“You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.”—Kyle

“I put everything I had into the kiss, all the things I didn’t know how to find the words for—the fear that I had almost lost him, the relief that he was all right, the worry that he would leave.”—Mac

“Was everyone in town a werewolf and I just didn’t get the memo?”—Mac


Hemlock book trailer

Review: The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler

Author:
Heather Ostler

Publication Date:
June 12, 2012

Publisher:
Cedar Fort Publishing

Format:
328 pages

Source:
Thank you Cedar Fort Publishing for the ePub ARC from Netgalley!

Add:


Description

She tried telling herself to stop, but it was useless. Something had fully claimed her mind and body. A sound began to erupt from inside her chest, a deep sort of growl that seized her entire being. She felt as if there was a grizzly bear inside her, trying to escape. And then a deafening roar echoed from her mouth, only inches away from Lancer’s face. It took everything inside of her not to attack him.

In Julia’s life, timing is everything. Like the time her paranoid father put bars on her window so she wouldn’t sneak out at night—even though she’s never given him a reason not to trust her. Or the time this weird new kid showed up at her school and pretty much every girl in sight instantly and inexplicably fell in love with him. What was up with that?

But as time moves on, things in Julia’s life go from strange to seriously impossible. Now it’s all she can do to keep herself and the life she’s always known from falling apart.

This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.


About the Author

Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University, and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.


Review

Since the plot of this novel intrigued me so much I decided to join the blog tour, and I’m glad I did. Julia is your normal teenager, with crushes and worries about school. Her best friend Sierra has always been there for her. One day in school her anger gets the best of her and realizes that she can’t control her emotions feeling like she could tear a person apart with her hands. While at home by herself she sees her entire house trashed and tells her father Lancer who has just come home from a business trip. She realizes her dad is hiding something from her. Once she realizes she’s not wholly “human,” her life changes. Caught in a political whirlwind of mystery and violence, the greatest enemy is someone she never could have expected.

I rather enjoyed the scenes at school because in a way this book reminded me of Harry Potter and their education. Anything that reminds me of the Harry Potter World is wonderful in my book. I did not however, enjoy how Julia had no regard for her safety when everyone eske was trying their best to keep her safe. Especially her dad and Terrance, her love interest. I thought their love was way too rushed and it felt as if Julia was just trying to get over her first crush with Caleb. Maybe there will be a love triangle somewhere. As for the villain in this book, I can’t help but love it when it’s someone you hardly suspect. So evil, and I can’t wait to read what happens next!

Check out my Q&A with Heather right here!


Rating 4/5


Quotes

“To some, power is everything.” Lancer shook his head. “It’s like a drug, and they become addicted. All that matters is the control they have over other people.”—Lancer (94)

“I love you. I promise you don’t need to worry about anybody else stealing my heart because there is no competition. You won a long time ago.”—Julia (313)

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Author:
Kelley Armstrong

Publication Date:
April 10, 2012

Publisher:
Doubleday Canada

Format:
Hardcover, 336 pages

Price:
CAD $19.99

Source:
A finished copy was provided by Random House Canada for review! Thank you!

Buy:
Amazon  chapters.indigo.ca

Add:
GoodReads


Description

On the heels of the wildly popular The Gathering comes the second in the “Darkness Rising” YA trilogy from NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is–a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

About The Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG is the author of The New York Times bestselling The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning, and The Gathering, as well as the internationally bestselling “Women of the Otherworld” series. Armstrong lives in rural Ontario with her husband and three children.


Review

The book picks up right after The Gathering ended and boy did that book end well! Teens Maya, Daniel, Cory, Hayley, Nicole and Sam are all on the rescue helicopter with the pilot, mayor, and Rafe (who is unconscious). The plane goes down and Rafe is thrown out of the copter, as the rest of the teens survive the crash they head into the forest and decide to get back to the main land. Maya and Daniel lead the teens back to civilization only to find hidden truths to the powers that are growing inside of them.

Maya is a pretty relatable character, she would act how any teenager would if they found out they had power beyond their control. I liked Daniel. A lot more than I liked Rafe. I just couldn’t trust this new boy. We find another novel where the world as they knew it has hit the fan. Things aren’t what they seem in Salmon Creek and Maya is determined to find out what happens. I can’t stress enough how creeped out I get when characters have to survive on their own. Knowing how to find shelter, water and food must be hard if you lack the proper skills.

I feel this book did not answer most of the questions that I had, it only brought up more questions! I can’t wait until I read the final installment. Kelley Armstrong writes well and I can’t wait to hear if she has more books in the future.


Rating 5/5


The Calling by Kelley Armstrong – Official Book Trailer

Review: Nocturne by Christine Johnson


Author:
Christine Johnson

Publication Date:
August 2011

Publisher:
Simon Pulse

Format:
Hardcover, 368 pages

Price:
CDN $19.99

Websites:
Chapters | Indigo, Amazon.ca, GoodReads


Description

Some secrets are too dangerous…

After the tragic events of the summer, Claire is looking forward to a new school year. All she wants to worry about is finding the most gorgeous dress to wear to the Autumn Ball with her perfect boyfriend.

But as Claire knows all too well, the life of a werewolf is never that simple, or that sweet.

When Claire’s human and wolf lives start to collide, her worst nightmares come true. She’s hurting her best friend. She’s caught lying. And then the unthinkable happens: Someone discovers Claire’s secret.

If Claire’s werewolf identity is exposed, everyone she knows will be put at risk. And the pack’s response comes at a cost higher than Claire can imagine. Claire will be forced to determine just how far she is willing go to protect her family, her identity, and her life, before she loses it all…


Review

“It’s not easy being a teenage wolf.”

Clare adjusts to life as a werewolf as she also tries to struggle her human life. Her friendship with Emily is tested once Amy (the new girl)comes into the picture. Clare barely struggles to teach herself the basics of becoming a wolf, although she has trouble lighting the ceremonial fire she does have the uncanny ability to hear great distances.

I don’t blame Matthew for freaking out a little about his girlfriend being a werewolf. It’s not exactly normal is it? I also thought that Amy had ulterior motives, even though in the end she had good intentions. Her character seemed like she wanted Clare to reveal the fact that she was a werewolf.

The lies the Clare keep piling upon Emily start to strain their friendship and you can just feel the tension leap off the pages. I always wonder why girls seem to be jealous of one another by how one looks and acts. I guess that’s how it ignites our own competitive rankings.

Matthew is such a supportive boyfriend being able to help Clare when she realizes that Amy may know her secret. Telling her he loves both her human and wolf side was too adorable and sweet. Boyfriends in fiction books are always so romantic and supportive, don’t you think?

I enjoyed reading about Clare and her struggles, but I also loved the fact that she had a best friend whom she loved dearly and could not possibly lie to.

RATING 3/5