Immortals: The Gathering Mass Market Paperback – Jul 30 2007
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About the Author
New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has more than 80 published novels in romance and mystery under three pseudonyms. For more information about Jennifer's books, visit http://www.jenniferashley.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The Calling (Jennifer Ashley)
The Darkening (Robin T. Popp)
The Awakening (Joy Nash)
The Gathering (Jennifer Ashley)
The Redeeming (Jennifer Ashley) Due for release in Sept. 2008
The Crossing (Joy Nash) Due for release in Sept/ Oct 2008
This series needs to be read in order. Start from the beginning to follow the unfolding story. This book, The Gathering, in particular needs to be read after the first three. It's a terrific continuation of the series.
Hunter is known for being "the crazy one" among the 5 Immortals. He loves to live for the moment, future be damned. When he awakens in a cage next to a lion, with no clue as to how he got there, he is delighted to be found by a lovely female animal rescuer. Having a gift for communicating with beasts of all kinds, Hunter appreciates Leda's choice of lifestyle. He also appreciates the fact that she is single, pretty, and attracted to him. Leda believes she has found a crazy man in the lion cage. Not only is he unafraid of the great cat, but he is having a conversation with it as well.
Death magic is taking over the world day by day. The demon leader, Kehksut, seems unstoppable. When Hunter learns of the risk to life magic creatures, he finds and joins his Immortal brothers in an effort to stop Kehksut. Being a witch of life magic, Leda is determined to help. Together, Hunter and Leda travel to Seattle to join the battle.
Adrian has finally located all of his brothers. Darius, Kalen, and Hunter have come to gather their vast powers against Kehksut. Some feel that their youngest brother, Tain, cannot be saved. Each of his brothers has tried on their own to save him. Tain is determined to help Kehksut end all life magic. Adrian will not give up hope. He believes that Tain's mind can be healed if they kill Kehksut. Using every bit of their joined power, and that of the witches they love, the 4 older brothers risk everything in one final effort to save Tain. When chaos breaks out, Hunter must make a choice between taking Leda away to safety or doing his part to save Tain.
Jennifer Ashley has a talent for writing intense tales mixed with plenty of good humor. "The Gathering" was fast paced and exciting. All of the significant characters from books 1- 3 return to join Adrian's army of life magic. Keeping the main focus on Hunter and Leda, Ashley took the best of each earlier book and built a great 4th story. She is writing the 5th edition as well. I'm looking forward to reading Tain's book.
If you'd like to read the whole series, here are the links to the rest of the books:
The Calling (Immortals, Book 1)
The Darkening (Immortals, Book 2)
The Awakening (Immortals, Book 3)
Books 4 and 5 are scheduled for release in fall 2008.
Jennifer Ashley has done a fantastic job bringing all our characters from the series together and giving us a conclusion of epic proportions. It's a combustible read that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and breathless in anticipation as the scenes intensify. She weaves Hunter and Leda's romance smoothly into an already building plot and gives the reader an unforgettable ride. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and hope that you do too. Totally awesome!!
The Gathering introduces love interests air-witch Leda and the fifth immortal brother Hunter. Hunter still carries the pain of not being able to save his mortal wife and children 900 years ago. Hunter's coping mechanism is to live in the moment. He enjoys himself and women, but is always on the move to keep himself from ever getting attached to some one again. As long as he lives in the now, he manages to have a joyful, if shallow, existence that he has convinced himself is satisfying. When the Calling drops him in on Leda, Hunter quickly breaks his rules about getting too close to a mortal women and finds himself sharing his past with Leda and deciding to draw things out with her. What was missing is why. This is a problem that I have with vampire romances too. I really needed the author to add a motivation for what was so special about Leda that after a thousand years of one night stands, a twenty six year old captures this ancient immortal's heart. Leda finds herself quickly falling for Hunter, but her motivation is clear - Hunter is immensely likeable, he is playful and sensual - and when she opens herself completely mind, spirit and body to Hunter so that he can remove the taint from her soul, he captures her heart. Even knowing that he will break her heart when he moves on, she decides to savor what moments she can with him until he leaves.
In addition to Hunter and Leda, a final player is introduced as well, Samantha a human Halfling who's dark magic essence was inherited from her demon father. Samantha has a key role to play. In previous Immortals books we have discovered the not all dark magic creatures are evil. There are several Vamps that have become allies. In this book we also learn that while demons are creatures of dark magic they aren't inherently evil. And Samantha's father's relationship with Samantha's mother shows that demons are capable of love.
As the story progresses it becomes clear that it is not a coincidence that the four Immortals have all found love at the same time. Instead it is all the pieces falling into place for the final battle of light against dark with both the Tain's evil Demon captor and the goddess mothers pulling strings behind the scenes. All of the Immortal's witch lovers and all five Immortals must be in place to the complete the circle. I really liked that the five witches - bringing the five magical elements Air (Leda), Fire (Lexi), Water (Christine) and Earth (Amber) and Akasha (Samantha) the power of the universe to unite them - are actually necessary to the battle and that the Immortals can't win without them.
While there is still plenty of steamy love scenes, The Gathering is not as unrelentingly focused on the bedroom scenes. As a result the physical scenes between the lovers are more effective because they are less repetitive than in the previous books. As an additional bonus, this shift in focus actually leaves space for more plot. While I was a bit ambivalent about the Immortal series after the first book , and had a few problems with the twisted demon sex stuff ( there has to be a better way to show that the bad guys are really bad), I really enjoyed The Gathering so I am glad I stuck with the series. I am looking forward to Tain's story The Redeeming (Immortals), by Jennifer Ashley out in Aug. 2008, and Immortals: The Crossing by Joy Nash in Oct. 2008 which I am hoping is Mac's story. The Immortals website also lists an untitled one by Robin Popp, I can't guess about this one, in Nov. 2008 and an anthology by all three authors around Feb. 2009.
Leda is an Air witch who is hiding on a small island off the California coast so she is almost completely unaware of the state of chaos of the world. When Hunter lands quite literally and unexpectedly on her island, Leda discovers she isn't as removed from the world as she thought.
As Leda and Hunter are plunged into the battle to save the world from demons, they must concentrate on solving the riddles presented by the goddesses about saving the world.
The Gathering is an action-packed paranormal romance that fails to deliver on most fronts and ends with an anti-climactic plop rather than an explosion. Hunter is a care-free lover-boy who refuses to grow up so he can avoid facing the pain caused by the loss of loved ones over the centuries. Leda is a powerful witch who has chosen to hide herself to avoid confronting the consequences of her actions. As soon as these two meet, they jump into bed and the relationship seems to "grow and become deeper" during the times that are skipped over in the narrative. Overall, The Gathering was a lack-luster read as the conclusion of the Immortals saga. The characters lacked depth and were unbelievable and boring. The plot of The Gathering is not very original or engaging, which combined with one dimensional characters and predictable plot points make for a book that is best missed. Give The Gathering a pass unless you just have to find out how the crisis built in the previous books in the series is resolved.
reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed