Monday, 18 January 2016

Review: The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody


When fifteen-year-old Nathanial moves to a sinister town that has been bruised by an ancient evil, he finds himself one of those Chosen to fight the cycle of darkness.


The writing was clear and the premise was interesting. I would have liked to see a bit more world building as I found myself asking questions that were never resolved. I enjoyed the themes in this one even if at times I wanted the main characters to have a bit more agency.

This started out being a 5 star read because of the premise but the closer I got to the end of the novel the more some of the aspects began to bug me. One of my pet hates is the use of cryptic messages from a mysterious being attempting to guide a group into saving the world. I understand the need for tension but to have someone speaking in riddles when there is so much at stake is aggravating. Especially when there hasn’t been any established rules that prevent the person from speaking plainly.

I didn’t mind Nathaniel as a character but as the POV character I didn’t really believe in his portrayal as a “thinker.” So often secondary characters dropped clues that he didn’t pick up and it took him way too long  to come to a conclusion that was quite blatantly obvious. Nathaniel had almost no fight in him and when certain events happen I was disappointed in his tame reaction. I would have much preferred for Danny to be the POV character because he had spunk and was a man of action.

As with most YA I didn’t care for the attempted romance in this one. There just wasn’t any need for it as it neither seemed organic nor did it really advance the plot in any way. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if the love interest hadn’t been such an unpleasant person as well. 




  1. I have to admit I was already put of this book before I read your review, the cover just does nothing for me. I hate it when I start out enjoying a book only to start to loath it as I read on. I read a book recently that did that to me really badly. I love reading book reviews though, so keep up the good work. :)

  2. Goodness, this is a blast from the past! I've read it, many years ago, and appreciated that it's one of Isobelle Carmody's very few standalone novels.

    I remember enjoying it. It was a good thriller. Pity about the cover, Joss, but I've learned not to judge books by the proverbial! :-) After pleading for my second book, about women scientists, to have ANYTHING but the cliched woman with a test tube on the cover, guess what my publishers did? My first book, about monsters, had a dreadful cover - and it was whipped straight from an online picture library; I saw it again on a collection of Anthony Horowitz horror fiction, so I guess even big name writers sometimes have to put up with this sort of thing, eh?

  3. :( I feel bad that I tend to not like her books outside of The Obernewton Chronicals. Which I'm sure I spelled wrong. Sigh!

  4. Obernewtyn. :-) Actually, I have never been a fan of those, myself. I read the first two, couldn't get into the rest. Maybe now the series is finished, she can finally complete Legendsong, which has been waiting while an entire generation of teenagers grew up. She told me, four years ago, that she was four hundred pages into it. I'm guessing finishing Obernewytn was her publishers' priority.

  5. I haven't heard of this book. Sounds like a promising premise, but it's hard to get excited about it when you enlighten me on its flaws. If I intend to read as many Aussie books as I can someday, I will remember this one, though. I've been interested in checking out the author's popular series.


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