Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Armstrong follows her bestselling Darkest Powers trilogy with the first book in the intriguing new Darkness Rising trilogy, set in the same world of supernaturals with manipulated DNA. Weird things are happening to 16-year-old Maya Delaney, who lives with her adoptive parents in a privately owned medical research town on Vancouver Island. She's good with animals-her mother found her playing fetch with a cougar when she was five-but the big cats are hanging around more than usual. Maya's attempt to get her paw print-shaped birthmark highlighted with a tattoo ends up with a Native woman calling her a witch and chasing her off. A nosy reporter's questions are less about the nearby research facility and more about which kids weren't born in town. And newly arrived bad boy Rafe suddenly starts sharing his secret past, a past sure to cause trouble for Maya. Comfortably mixing science, myth, and mystery, Armstrong creates a vivid world highlighted by appealing characters. Fans and newcomers alike will be eager for more after Armstrong's story drives to its pulse-pounding climax. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Adopted as an infant, the only clues Maya holds to her Native identity are an unusually strong affinity with animals-particularly cougars-and a birthmark in the shape of a cat's paw. Just days after her 16th birthday, Maya discovers that she is a Skin-Walker, an ancient being who can shift into animal shapes. Skin-Walkers supposedly became extinct centuries ago, but were recently resurrected by scientists in a secret genetic experiment. Now the teens whose Skin-Walker gene was activated are reverting back to animal nature. Could this experiment be the reason for the secrecy surrounding Salmon Creek? And is there a connection between the experiment and a string of mysterious local deaths? What other secrets are buried beneath the facade of this tranquil Canadian community? Maya must quickly decide who she can trust because time is running out. The first volume (HarperCollins, 2011) in Kelley Armstrong's gripping trilogy will hook listeners, and the cliffhanger ending will leave them eagerly awaiting the next installment. The introduction of Skin-Walkers into the paranormal fiction genre is a welcome reprieve from the recent proliferation of vampire and werewolf stories. Narrator Jennifer Ikeda expertly embodies Maya, perfectly capturing the teen's outspoken, curious nature and wry humor. However, she is less convincing in voicing male characters. Overlong pauses between tracks are slightly distracting,. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy will especially like this one.-Alissa LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Sixteen-year-old Native American Maya Delany is the adopted child of a park ranger and a research scientist, living in a remote Vancouver Island town of 200 people. Her isolated community is centered around a medical research facility, which provides stellar education for the town's children. Maya is a star athlete and serious student and has recently become aware of her hidden talent for communicating with wild animals, particularly mountain lions. Could this have anything to do with the paw-shaped birthmark on her right thigh? Armstrong begins her new series about skin-walkers (humans who can change into animals) with a swift-paced start, creating memorable characters and interesting premises. Maya mourns for her lifelong best friend, who died in a mysterious drowning incident; is drawn to the attractive but obviously troubled mysterious new boy in town; and tries to work out her feelings for her dead friend's boyfriend, who is himself dealing with an alcoholic, abusive father. If the story lags during the inevitable chase scene, it ends poised on a cliff-hanger and ready to roll with the sequel.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Maya is disturbed by supernatural changes to her body and her senses. Unexpectedly, intriguing new bad boy Rafe has information on Maya's emerging abilities. Together they uncover connections among their small town's laboratory, their own identities, and several suspicious deaths. A cliffhanger ending and unresolved plot threads suggest sequels to follow. Fans of supernatural series will appreciate the suspense and romantic tension. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.