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Book Reviews

Review: “The Calling,” Kelley Armstrong

June 26, 2016
Review: “The Calling,” Kelley ArmstrongThe Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
Written by Kelley Armstrong
Published April, 2012 by Atom
326 pages
Genres: Werewolves / Shifters
Purchase: The Book DepositoryBookworldBooktopia
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is--a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else.

Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.


Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

With its non-stop action and fast pace, The Calling was a worthy continuation of Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising series. Though it was not at all what I imagined a sequel to be (in terms of plot) it was an enjoyable read that I was unable to put down.

 “Remembering. Forgetting. I’m not sure which is worse.”

We last left Maya, Daniel and the rest of the group as they lifted off from Salmon Creek by chopper. Things felt amiss, and we weren’t wrong. It didn’t take long for everything to fall through for the gang; finding out that the pilot wasn’t simply taking them to safety wasn’t a surprise. What follows (a helicopter crash, a desperate swim from their crash site, etc.) was utterly thrilling and completely unexpected. Although at times there felt like there was no real direction to the madness and non-stop trouble, I was unable to put the book down.

To say The Calling was exhausting is an understatement. I was quite ready for Maya and the gang to give up and surrender to the mysterious people after them, but to my surprise, nobody ever gave up or stopped fighting. Sure, there were sacrifices made, but everything was left open for surprise.

What had I been expecting with the second book in this series? For Maya, Daniel, Sam, Rafe, etc. to be ushered into a new ‘town’ and lined up for medical experiments of some sort, all the while learning more about their mysterious abilities and who put them there. What I got instead was quite literally a non-stop story of survival and secrecy, of escaping and evading.

 “I’d always thought of myself as an open-minded person. I had no patience with anyone who put down other kids because of their race, religion, or sexuality. But that’s just one kind of open-mindedness. There’s another kind, too, the kind that’s willing to see people for who they really are and admit when you were wrong about them. That’s the part I still need to work on.”
– Maya

I really like the way the characters are developing in this series. Daniel remains a favourite, with Maya continuing to develop as a great main character. While Maya sometimes rubs me the wrong way (being obsessed with Rafe, etc.) I can see that she’s growing and understanding that she has much more to learn. I’d love to see her end up with Daniel, but that’s obviously a long shot.

As for the mystery, it’s slow-moving… but I have a feeling that everything is going to be revealed to my satisfaction in The Rising. I’m eager to finally learn everyone’s motives, as well as see more of Maya’s biological father and see the role he plays in the whole St. Cloud conspiracy.

The secondary characters are integral to the story, though I still get a little confused between Hayley and Nicole. I’m interested, however, to see what each of the teens powers are and how they’re going to play a part. Serena’s death still remains unsolved, though we were hinted at a few things that could turn out to be quite interesting.

This isn’t a perfect series. There is a lot more that could be developed, and a little more direction could have been utilised, but it’s enjoyable. I managed to read this book in one day and that says a lot, given my current reading state.

It’s with excitement that I head into the finaleThe Rising– and rejoice that I’ve finally managed to finish this series!

About Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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