I already said what I thought while I was reading this book, and incase you missed that you can read it here. But in case you don't like chasing links or whatever, I'll just summarize my pre-review by saying this: I was less than pleased and slightly more than bored.
Have you ever read a book that was better in retrospect? It just didn't seem that great while you were actively reading it, but once it was over and you had all the pieces in a row, it was better? Maybe not fully redeemed, but better. Well, this turned out to be one of those books.
I was underwhelmed while reading The Gathering, but as soon as I set it down and mulled it over for a bit1, I came to see that, not only was it not that bad, it was actually pretty good. Just, not while you're reading it.
It's hard to explain.
Like, while I was reading, the lack of action2--and not just fight scenes, but the lack of action taken by the characters--bugged me and made it seem too easy and like there just wasn't a story; but after finishing it, I realized that, hey, this was actually a good story that must have been somewhat hard to tell because the kids didn't know that the company which provided such a high standard of living for their families is evil to its blackened core.They have to figure out what we already know.
And, yes, the ease with which the characters seemed to gain and then dismiss important information was frustrating. They'd just realize something and then say, "Well, now doesn't seem like the right time to deal with this--I'm too hungry, and my friend stubbed his toe, and I need to feed the pine marten--so I'll just sit on this importante tidbit for a few days."
But by the end3, it had much improved. Something was happening!
So. I give The Gathering...
...3 zombies.It took forever and a day to get going, and it ended right when it was getting good, but I like where the series seems to be headed so I'm looking forward to seeing what develops--especially in regards to certain characters' abilities...
& this got
1. "A bit" being about 30 minutes.
2. For the first 230 of 359 pages, hardback.
3. Which, let me warn you now, is one of the biggest cliff hangers I've ever read. Seriously, the scene just ended in the middle of the action and I was like, "Wait. That's the end? It had just gotten good!"