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The Gathering Dark Hardcover – February 12, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442439033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442439030
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Nothing is going to distract high school student Keira from practicing her piano. After all, it is her talent that is going to get her out of her dead-end hometown and into Julliard. So when handsome Walker starts to work at the music store Keira frequents, she tries to keep her distance. When she begins to experience hallucinations, she is afraid that she might be going crazy. Then she begins to unravel the truth. Her hallucinations are really portals into a parallel universe called Darkside. She realizes that her musical ability has life-and-death implications and that Walker is not who he seems to be. The plot is complex, but nimbly handled. The backstories of Keira's quarreling parents, her alienated BFF, and her long-dead uncle are interspersed with the tormented reality of Darkside. Thrown into the mix is the gentle development of romance between Keira and Walker. Descriptive passages are imaginative and evocative. Keira's hallucinations-Walker's moving tattoo, the solitary door in the middle of the road, dark trees growing in the living room-come across as believable but unnerving disturbances in an otherwise normal life. The dialogue rings true, particularly the easy, relaxed conversations between Keira and her best friend. The only downside is that the rising action takes a long time to unfold. Keira does not discover that the hallucinations are real until more than halfway into the story. Still, the slow beginning gives way to a crackerjack middle and end. There are hints of a sequel.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Library, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Pianist Keira Brannon is determined to let nothing deter her from enrolling in Juilliard, thus escaping Sherwin, Maine, and her dull existence. But once she meets Walker, her goals seem less important. Their attraction is immediate but somewhat unnerving once Keira realizes that when Walker touches her, she begins to hallucinate. Tattoos crawl around Walker’s biceps; dark forest hovers over his shoulders. Gradually Walker draws her into another world, one that is terrifying and life threatening. Johnson explores a rather unusual topic, even for YA science fiction—dark matter, dark energy, and the possibility of an alternate universe. In the alternative universe from which Walker tries to protect Keira, all music has been lost. But Keira, an “experimental” cross between a darkling father and a human mother, can either save the Dark Side through her music or be assassinated as a failed experiment. This is an interesting amalgam: a lusty romance made more so by its self-imposed repressed desire, a nod to astrophysics and the theory of dark matter, and a suspenseful adventure into another world, all grounded in references to classical piano repertoire. Grades 8-12, --Frances Bradburn

More About the Author

I grew up in, moved away from, and finally came home to Indianapolis, Indiana. Now I live in an old house in an old neighborhood with my two great kids. I have too many books and a weakness for anything sweet. I love yoga and cooking, but I'm not much of a movie person. I like watching soccer, and always look forward to the first sweater-worthy days in the fall. But mostly, I like making things up and writing them down and having people read them. So that's what I do, and I'm very, very lucky to be doing it!

~Christine Johnson

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Palmer on August 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I hate giving bad reviews so with that said, I was really wanting to like this book because I admire Christine very much but...

I could get into it, I was bored, the characters didn't seem likable. The plot took too long to develop. Kim and I will talk about it more on the Podcast that will be released on July 30th. [...]
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Format: Paperback
I've lost faith in Simon & Schuster, as a publishing company. They put out this and the Mara Dyer books, and neither series makes any sense.

This started out amazingly. Then 50% through, it went downhill fast. I think the point when I stopped being able to take it seriously was when I realised what the plot was. Convoluted does not begin to cover it.

And what gets me is in the afterword, the author says it's a sci-fi book. But it's not. There's zero science. Oh wait, no. There were two sentences somewhere in the middle about dark matter, but that was all. And there I was thinking this could be really interesting. You could take this so many directions. But the author just didn't. She took it the same direction all these other YA books end up going. And that wasn't good.

I don't recommend reading it. I'm only giving it 3 stars because I liked the first half.
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By Alina Mia on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really like it and I just think that the plot just processed too slowly at first, but after that, I really enjoyed it. The 'adventure' started at twenty something chapter. I really loved this. Especially the last part. It was quite funny, I admit. I hope the I will read something like this some day again!
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By Samantha on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this book at the library. I got to chapter 17 and had to buy it. The book is kind of slow, but for 500 page books I can see why.
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Format: Hardcover
The Gathering Dark tells the story of dark forces battling the forces of the light.

Kiera was for the most part, a good protag. I did not 'love' her relationship with Walker because even though she constantly said that she did not want a boyfriend and did not need anyone, Walker was still there for her and protecting her and she let him. I didn't care for that bit of her personality, but other then that, she provided me with a character who had a good sense of self. Kiera knew what she wanted in life and knew what she stood for and she wasn't (mostly) going to let anyone get in her way.

The use of music in the story was a very big surprise and since it's sorta spoiling I don't want to get into details. Just know that music plays a key role, like a character itself. I did appreciate though, that Johnson did seem to know what she was talking about in regards to the musical element of the novel. It truly did add to the experience as a whole.

The character development was great and the author fleshed out believable people that had their own personalities and you could figure who they were through their own dialogue.

While the writing was pretty good and moved at a nice flow, the first half of the book was a lot of build-up leading to drama, fantastical and the creepy second half. That was my only qualm - that it took many pages for the hallucinations to have real prominence and for the plot to start.

Overall, The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson was a great book, that while slow at times, is well worth the push in order to get to the fantastical and plot driven second half that will leave you wanting the sequel!

Actual Rating 3.5 ---

Are you gonna read it??

Thoughts?

--V
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