Reviewing this as someone who hasn't read the Darkest Powers Trilogy
I got introduced to Kelley Armstrong through [b:Bitten|11918|Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)|Kelley Armstrong|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1306101770s/11918.jpg|2606334], which I loved, and decided to check out her YA books. Heard that this second Darkness Rising
trilogy was better than the first, so I skipped out on Darkest Powers
and dove right into this one.
[b:The Gathering|7896345|The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)|Kelley Armstrong|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1277820938s/7896345.jpg|11137563] is pretty good. I saw some other reviews saying that the beginning is a bit slow, and it's a bit frustrating knowing more about what's going on than the characters, but I didn't have this problem since I didn't know anything to begin with, so I enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery.
What brings up the awesomeness of this series is the protagonist Maya. She's funny and has good relationships with her parents and her best friend Daniel. She's real and relatable and she's kind of like that cool girl that you want to be friends with.
What brings the book down for me is the complete lack of resolution and cliffhanger-type ending. This doesn't feel like a complete book on its own, and these types of books are annoying since they make you feel like the entire trilogy could've easily been one book and was just split into three "parts" to milk the cash cow. Unfortunate, yet effective in making me want to read the next book.