Why The Darkness Rising Trilogy Didn't Work For Me

June 14, 2015

Title: Darkness Rising Trilogy
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel...different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.
The Darkness Rising series came highly recommended with several accolades and honours to its name. I've seen raves for this series on almost very book blog I frequent, and the books' Goodreads pages are likewise flooded with balloons and flailing. You would think that a series in which every book has a rating above 4.00 out of 5 would be absolutely brilliant, right?


Well, I should be used to being the black sheep in the room by now. Hyped books almost never work their magic on me. I don't know if its because I keep my expectations too high, or because they just aren't good. But with this series, I know the reason was the latter. Honestly speaking, while some aspects of the story did excite me, by the time I got few chapters into the second book, they lost their hold on me because of the poor execution.

This series was just an all-round crapfest for me, and I am not pleased.

Note: This is not going to be pretty, as its all about the negatives, because those were the only things that stood out glaringly to me. If you want to find out the good stuff about this series, a simple Google search can lead you to loads of them. Basically, this is going to be a rant.


1. The Love Triangle
I have no patience with love triangles. So thats one strike already. But if you're going to do one, at least make it legit. One thing I hate more than love triangles (and insta-love) is half-baked love triangles, like the characters cant make up their mind about each other. Rafe and Maya are more like friends than anything else, and their entire 'relationship' felt like a mockery to me. It was obvious that Maya felt a kinship to the New Guy because of their shared capabilities, but they were never meant to be anything more than friends.

2. Rudimentary Science
There's a genetic program. There's a whole freaking town created simply for the sake of this secret genetic program. Its a werewolf/coyote shape shifter thing. But there's hardly anything that talks about the science behind it all. I may not be a scientist, but that doesn't mean I cant follow something slightly complicated. Knowledge is power, y'all, and I felt completely in the dark with this series.

3. Inconsistent Pacing & Plot
The first book had a nice, steady pace, right until the very end, when everything started getting rushed, and before I know it, the books over, and I'm just like,
The ending was no kind of ending at all. I actually flipped the page to see if there was another chapter maybe. Khanh was spot on about the pacing & ending in her review of the book.

And the second book? It basically spans AN ENTIRE DAY with just a bunch of teenagers running around in the woods. Its crazy! Not to mention, pointless. Its like more than 90% of the book is a filler, with only 10% containing the actual plot.

Really, when you some to think about it, this entire series could've been written in one single book with some clever editing, and we still wouldn't have missed a thing.

4. The Chosen One Syndrome
Maya and Daniel are both afflicted with a severe case of Chosen One Syndrome. What's worse is that everyone around them thinks they are the Chosen Ones too! See, generally, if someone exhibited the capabilities, or even the potential to be a leader, I would be able to digest something like this. But both of them are just as, if not more clueless than the rest of them! They're all just a bunch of kids running around with no direction and a notion that the 'bad guys' are behind them. So what makes Maya and Daniel so special?

Nothing, that's what. Which is why Derek's appearance in the third book with his grouchy suspicion of the new comers was such a breath of fresh air.

5. You DO NOT Throw Over Your Friends. Ever.
These kids think they're running from very dangerous people. Who they think want to do them bodily harm. So they need to protect each other and stay together. But for Maya, its only Daniel she sees, and vice versa, so its perfectly alright if they have to leave any of the others behind, for whatever reason they think will justify the act. Once it was an injury, and another time, a hunch about a wrongdoing.

Sorry (not really), but I cannot be okay with leaving behind comrade-in-arms. That's a major betrayal in my book.

6. WHAT WAS THAT ENDING??!!! *contains spoilers*
If you decide you're going to have an enemy, fine. Then be consistent about it. Don't change your mind in the end and decide they're not your enemies, and act like they're simply overbearing parents. (And while we're on the topic of parents, don't treat your parents like dimwitted nincompoops, because they aren't.)

Honestly, after I finished The Rising, I felt like shouting at the characters, "You just spent an entire three books fighting a group of people! You can't just change your mind and decide lets all be friends and be hunky dory now!"