This is another young adult offering from Otherworld series author Kelley Armstrong. I really enjoy the Otherworld novels and I am waiting for the latest to be released so I can devour it. Until then, I've got the first novel in her Darkness Rising Trilogy.Maya is adopted. She lives in British Columbia with her parents in the town of Salmon Creek. Salmon Creek is a very exclusive small town, populated only by people that work for the St. Clouds and their children. The St. Clouds bought the town and built a facility there for drug development. The town has everything it needs, including the best educational accoutrements and top-notch healthcare. Maya has known all of the kids in her class since they were five years old. Except for Sam, a new girl with anger issues, and Rafe, a new guy who has crafted a womanizing bad-boy image since his arrival.
Maya's father is a park ranger and her mother is an architect that specializes in creating buildings that blend with nature. Maya has been caring for animals and living in Salmon Creek's wildlife park since moving to the town at age five. She seems to have a knack for healing wounded animals and keeping them calm. She also has a paw print birthmark and an unknown Native background.
One day, an outsider is treed by a cougar in the wildlife part. Maya finds out the woman, Mina Lee, is searching for information about the town. The cougars in the forest are also becoming more combative and approaching humans on a consistent basis. Something odd is going on and Maya needs to figure out what that is.
Since this is a Kelley Armstrong novel, you've probably guessed that something supernatural is going on, and you would be correct. However, like her first novel in the YA Darkest Powers series, we only learn a little about a couple of the character's powers. I assume that the next two books will be more action-packed and give us more answers. Unlike the Darkest Powers narrator Chloe, Maya is level-headed and mature. She analyzes things and makes decisions based on her experiences, knowledge, and sense of right and wrong. She's much less annoying and child-like, making this YA book a better read. I look forward to the connections to the Otherworld hinted at in this book being explored and the possible meeting of Maya and Chloe and their friends.