The Gifting, The Awakening, and The Gathering are books in a 3-book series written by K. E. Ganshert for the Young Adult market, but they can be enjoyed by adults, too. This review does not contain spoilers. Set in a dystopian future, in a world where the government is tightly controlled by the unseen forces of evil, life is surprisingly normal. Most people go about their lives, just living, without thinking about how life really is and the horrible things that are happening to other people. A few chosen people aren't so lucky. Their "gifts," once awoken, make them all too aware of what is going on in the spaces around them, both in the natural and supernatural worlds.
Tess Eckhart feels like she's a freak. She sees things that nobody else can see-scary things, ugly things, things that nightmares are made of. After an especially fraught experience with an Ouija board at a party, her parents move Tess and her younger brother Pete across the country. The town that they choose has a private psychiatric facility where Tess can get help without coming to the attention of the government. After all, people with mental illness have to be stripped away from society and "rehabilitated," because they are a burden. The President often says, "A country is only as strong as they are united. There can be no cracks in the foundation. Sacrifices must be made in the name of safety."
In this small town, Tess meets the boy next door. Luka is, literally, the boy next door. They are drawn to each other in ways that neither of them can completely explain. Through shared experiences, they discover that they are part of a group called The Gifting. As they explore what that means, their very existence is threatened. Is the path that they are traveling pre-ordained? Will Tess and Luka be able to do what they need to do? How will their bond survive the trauma that awaits them?
The Gifting series is an engaging combination of many disparate elements. It is part page turning action-adventure with a bit of sweet teenage romance. There is also a misty wisp of the supernatural that overlays the action. I experienced a shiver of horror, as I imagined a time when our country could become a place like the world that Tess lived in.
This book goes beyond being a good read and tackles some of the essential questions of our human existence. What is the power of love? Are some people destined to journey through life together? How important is faith? Do we only live in a physical world? When is it a good idea to cede individual liberties to the government for the "greater good," and can that destroy a democracy?
I found this series absolutely compelling, and I couldn't stop reading it. After receiving the first Kindle book free through BookBub, I went on to buy the last two for $4.99 each. Even though I tried to talk myself out of spending the money, I had to see where the story was going and how it resolved. The series was well worth the money. It gave me hours of pleasurable reading. I have included Amazon links to the print and Kindle books below.
The Gifting-Book 1
The Awakening-Book 2
The Gathering-Book 3
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