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. Until now. 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 am a long time fan of Kelley Armstrong! I’ve read her Otherworld novels and the Darkest Powers series and I was extremely excited to have a chance to read another one of her amazing supernatural stories. This series (Darkness Rising) is a companion series to the Darkest Powers and through the novel I discovered a few connections between the two which leads me to believe that the next instalment will be more intermingled with Darkest Powers than this one! I’m hoping so because it would be interesting to see what would happen!
One of the reasons why I was anticipating this novels arrival was due to where it takes place, in Canada. It’s not every day that you come across a book set in the country you live in—at least for me! I can say, first off that this book was well written and a relaxing read.
Maya, the protagonist in this book is recovering from her best friend’s death and trying to unearth the mystery surrounding her heritage. Maya takes in injured animals and she also likes to help her father, who is a park ranger. This novel is set in a small town where a medical research facility is located. This creates an atmosphere that is filled with mystery and questions just waiting to be answered. I know as I was reading, I was bombarded with scenarios that I wasn’t expecting, especially some very grotesque and descriptive parts. Readers will also begin to discover who Maya really is and what she can do—right alongside the character herself! Let’s just say that she isn’t the only one in her town that has….abilities.
Armstrong’s characters were compelling and in depth. I became attached to all of them; Daniel, Maya’s best friend and loyal protector, Rafe the typical bad boy who’s got a softer side and an even bigger secret and Annie, Rafe’s quirky and loveable sister. Oh and I wouldn’t want to forget the animal companions in this novel! Maya’s faithful German Sheppard Kenjii and even good ol’ pesky Marv!
Armstrong makes connections with other characters and groups of people from her previous novels but you do not have to read those to understand this plot line! I personally loved those subtle hints and connections, it made for an even more thought provoking read! Finally, the cliff-hanger kidnapped my thoughts and still hasn’t let them go. I honestly believe that this book couldn’t haven ended any other way! It’s going to make for an excellent opening for the second novel! I am ready for the next instalment!
4/5 wandering cougars!