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The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles [Kindle Edition]

S. L. Dearing , Coeli Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Thirteen years after the last world war, the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains. The village is making ready for the fall Gathering, where the other colonies from various parts of what was once Southern California visit for ten days of fun and reminiscence. What begins as a normal Gathering, soon changes as the people of Lia Fail begin to see magic around them. Then they receive news of a horrific massacre and face a nightmare as a dark evil descends on the tranquil village. Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this evil along side her oldest and dearest friends as well as an incredible new ally as the fate of her people and the lives of her children rest in her hands. Will her new magic be strong enough to save those she loves the most?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Although she grew up in Arizona, S. L. Dearing was born and raised in California and considers the Golden State her home. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College's renowned Television/ Film program. She learned the art of storytelling from her father when she was very young and has been writing since the tender age of five. As an author of many genres, she is always hoping to learn more by exploring the world of story. She continues  to write in the world of Lia Fail, while exploring novellas and short stories. Never content to stay within one genre, Shannon likes to indulge in all of them, and often combines them together. Shannon currently resides in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2351 KB
  • Print Length: 478 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: S. L. Dearing; Second Edition edition (November 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DCB5X2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,201 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a New Epic Series to Follow! January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I've had The Gathering on my "to read" pile for some time, but waited to sit down and read it until I could take the time to really invest in the story. I'm glad I waited, and equally glad I found the time to do it. The Gathering is well worth the investment.

This is not your light, fluffy bathroom read. It will take your time, and your commitment, but I promise: you won't regret it. In the vein of Tolstoy in War and Peace (who created over 500 unique characters!), Dearing presents us with a large ensemble cast, but does so in a way that everyone in the book becomes a whole and unique entity. And if at any point you get confused, she kindly provides a guide in the back as to who is who. While it can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning, as you continue to read and invest in the story, you can see exactly her intent, and you start to feel as if each of these leaders, their children, and their people, are your family.

The subject matter is intense. Dearing doesn't shy away from difficult topics, but her bravery here only enhances the story, even where you're left with your jaw hanging down to her chest. I'll add a warning here about some graphic content, but its important to note, it was not done in a gratuitous or solicitous way. It's there for a reason. The story demanded it.

Finally, I'd like to circle back on the characters. Dearing manages to successfully tackle the concept of dimensional individuals who are neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Characters who in the beginning you loathe, by the end you begin to love. She handles the religious divides of the different groups with sensitivity and finesse, and most of all, with respect. Bringing different cultures together in a believable way is never an easy task, but she does it well.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & imaginative but flawed fantasy June 21, 2011
New author S.L. Dearing has penned a interesting post-apocalyptic fantasy, in the vein of SM Stirling's "Dies the Fire" series.

Some dozen years after the apocalypse, a "Gathering" (like a medieval market faire) is held in what would be the Hollywood hills. Various folks begin "getting to know" each other, planning entertainment, feasts and romantic trysts. Then a Shadow comes over this happy Gathering.

Although imaginative and entertaining at times, the author has inadvertently hit upon two of my "pet peeves":

1. Too many characters in too short of time, without a glossary or similar to keep them straight.

2. Too much explicit violence, including torture and rape.

Now, if those two aren't your pet peeves, and you really liked "Dies the Fire" and are searching for something similar, then this may well be your cup of tea.

I rcvd a copy for review.

Edited to add: I have been informed that the Second ed includes a map and character glossary, thus I have added an extra star to my review.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could not finish. December 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't finish this book, because I dislike religious fanatics and don't enjoy reading about them. I also find having to read through several pages of a man who loves pedophilia and murdering the underage girls he rapes offensive and disgusting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative adventure and spiritual journey October 16, 2010
This book was amazing. The spiritual journey of the protagonist is set against the background of a future Southern California after the destruction caused by the third world war. It is a great adventure and I couldn't put it down. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and the author does a good job of giving each one a distinct personality. I really liked this book and think that people who enjoy action adventures, as well as people who like romances, and people who enjoy thinking about spirituality will all like this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fantasy novel lovers October 17, 2010
By Coeli
Those who love fantasy novels should definitely read this book.

SL Dearing has created a rich and detailed world which, while reminding us of our own world, has striking and compelling differences. It's dangerous and unpredictable, but still full of the love and innocence that makes the characters feel like friends.

The story includes just a touch of magic, enough to keep the reader guessing and looking forward to the next installment of the Chronicles of Lia Fail.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering April 21, 2012
The Gathering is a big book that grabs you right from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end. The novel tells of the aftermath and survival after the third world war in what was once the Santa Monica Valley. There are similarities between this world and our own but it is reminiscent of the old west of California. The Gathering is a once yearly event where the people from other colonies get together for weddings/ handfasting and just to visit. Into this gathering comes evil where the people and their very existence is at stake. Family obligation, love and survival are the key storylines told with imagination and filled with adventure, all in all a great read. I did have a few issues with the story, one is what happened to cause the great war and way too many characters to get right in my head. Aside from that though I did enjoy this story and I do look forward to reading the next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering-MUST READ! July 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Shannon L. Dearing really knocked this one out of the park. I was instantly drawn in by all the interesting characters and the deeper I got into the story, the more invested I became. "The Gathering" takes place in the future in what would be the Hollywood Hills yet Ms. Dearing does a brilliant job of incorporating the past as well. The story is fantastic, but the development of all her characters is really what hooked me. You find towards the end that none of these characters were created by accident. I would say this book is more of an adult fantasy. Very intense, real life tragedies and triumphs. Probably my favorite aspect of this book is that Ms. Dearing was not afraid to push the envelope. I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment. Regardless of your personal taste, this book is a MUST READ!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop thinking about this!!!
What can I say? I'm a sucker for books that take place in a town/area I'm familiar with. That being said, lets dive into this complex yet entertaining book 1 of the Lia Fail... Read more
Published 4 months ago by cgwin
5.0 out of 5 stars SL Dearing has created such an amazing beginning of this book i had a...
I had started The Gathering yesterday before work and finnished today. SL Dearing has created such an amazing beginning of this book i had a hard time putting it down, that is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by esther elisabeth manes
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT! Epic READ!
The Gathering by SL Dearing
Print Length: 478 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: S. L. Read more
Published 7 months ago by abbott123
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars
I received a complementary copy of this book for a review.

I give this book a solid 3.5 stars.

I feel this book would have worked better as a whole series. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jk85
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new epic series
S. L Dearing has written a story that you can not put down. The story has magic, love and hardships. Good against evil. The story will catch you and not let you put it down. Read more
Published 8 months ago by glenda stracener
3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK
This is not my normal genre of book, but I wanted to give it a chance. Personally, I did not care for the book and just could not get into it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrea Rossi
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
The Gathering tells the story of a post-apocalyptic era set in California. They have what is called a "Gathering" once a year where the colonies come together to hang out,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Christie Racine
5.0 out of 5 stars Love The Fail... When is the next novel coming out???
The Gathering is an amazing book about an extensive cast of characters, I feel in love with Stark family who really are the center of this post apocalyptic fantasy world, where... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
It took me a little while to get into this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it. One reason it was hard to get into it was because there are a lot of characters, but there is a list... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good vs Evil !!
Our story happens after a Apocalyptic war that basically has small communities living together in Southern California. Every 6 months they Gather together to visit etc... Read more
Published 9 months ago by *Becca*
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More About the Author

S. L. Dearing was raised in Westlake Village, California and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, then spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College's renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities: directing, writing, 1st Asst. Director, Etc.. She is a book reviewer for the Big Blend Magazine and Champagne Sunday's radio show as well as the GMTA Literary Community and has a review list on her blog, ...And Everything in Between. Shannon has been writing since grade school. Over the years she has written several screenplays, poems, plays and short stories. She is currently working on her Lia Fail Series, The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles and From The Gathering to The Bridging (A collection of short stories that provide backstory and a bridge to the next novel) are available now. She is working on the next nove, The Bridging: Book Two of The Lia Fail Chronicles, due out soon. In addition, she has short stories in the anthologies, Apocalypse: An Anthology of Readers and Authors, Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST, Stalkers: A Collection of Thriller Stories, published and edited by Cynthia Shepp, as well as a short story in All Our Love published through Novel Grounds. She currently lives in the the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. Her website is

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