release date: April 12, 2011
hardcover, 359 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: from publisher for an honest review
description: 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.
Review: This is the start of another amazing trilogy for Kelley Armstrong. It takes place in the same world as her Darkest Powers series, but in a different place. Being such a fan of the last books, it seriously sent shivers up my spine to see the names of the creepy scientists from the before mentioned in this one, too. The story is based in a town that was built around a research facility. Most of the parents work for the lab and the testing, examinations, and secrecy (supposedly to keep their research from being stolen) are part of the daily life for everyone in the town, including the local teens. It was a fascinating setting and it set up a very unique dynamic for the whole town. It was like a small town set up, but ten times more enigmatic.
Maya was a fantastic character. She is strong, competitive, willful, but also kind. She had the most entertaining sense of humor---any character that has me laughing out loud no less than four times in the first twenty pages is good with me. She has a strong connection to nature and animals, which she thinks nothing of having grown up in the forest, until she crosses paths with a mysterious old women who calls her a witch and it gets her curious about some strange things that have been happening. I really liked the friendship between her and Daniel. There is quite an impenetrable bond there, having been friends since they were 5 or 6 and having gone through the worst tragedy possible together. He is just this rock, and seems like they would be able to stand against the world together! I can't wait to see where the whole thing with Maya and Rafe, the new kid in town, leads. Obviously, they've got some major things in common and some serious chemistry going on there, but we'll have to wait and see what consequences that amazing ending will cause!
As with the Darkest Powers series, the cliffhanger ending is brutal. It reminds me of the old-timey TV shows were it would be in the height of the action and intrigue... and then the announcer would come on and say "tune in next time to see if our hero makes it out alive!"
Kelley Armstrong is my official Queen of the Cliffhangers! This one ends and my mind was literally spinning with questions: "but, but, but...what about?? and what happens to?? and who was this person really??"
She certainly knows how to get her readers hooked and hungry for the next installment. OH, it's going to be a long wait.
Visit Kelley Armstrong's site here!