Release Date: April 5th 2011
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Genres: Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
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.
I really love Kelley Armstrong’s novels, especially the Darkest Powers trilogy, because they have a young adult plot with substance. By this I mean they actually have a solid mystery and background and originality behind what would otherwise be a typical young adult book. I pretty much only picked this up because of my faith in Kelley Armstrong’s writing.
Unfortunately, this “substance” doesn’t kick in until what is pretty much the end of the novel. There was a little too much focus on romance and not enough focus on other things that would have made it more entertaining. I did not like how Maya reacts when she finds out what she is, it’s like somebody just told her, “You are wearing a blue shirt today.” She accepts it and doesn’t even really question it.
I did, however, like the way it was written. The details are descriptive enough where you can imagine Maya’s world and the way she feels. Something I absolutely loved-and wish we had seen more of-is Maya’s interaction with her parents. I loved their family dynamic and how close you could tell they are. My favorite literally laugh out loud quotes:
“This is so cool,” I said loudly as Dad walked away. “Have you met the tattoo artist? Is he hot?”
“He’s a she,” Mom said.
“Is she hot? Cause I’m still young, you know. My sexual identity isn’t fully formed.”
“Your father can’t hear you anymore, Maya.” Mom sighed.
Rafe grinned. ‘So we are dating.’
‘No. You have to pass the parental exam first. It’ll take you awhile to compile the data. They’d like it in triplicate.’ I turned to my parents. ‘We have Kenjii. We have my cell phone. Since we aren’t yet officially dating I’m sure you’ll agree that’s all the protection we need.’
Dad choked on his coffee.
I appreciated that Maya was a strong heroine, she could take care of herself and even saved the males in this novel on account. She didn’t just sit there and wait for someone to rescue her. I enjoyed reading about her interaction with animals as well.
Daniel was my favorite character for sure. I’m not quite sure if something is alluded to him having supernatural powers or not, but I really hope not. He’s a strong character and adding that might ruin him.
If you like Kelley Armstrong, I’d give this one a shot!