Title: The Calling
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Series: Darkness Rising (Book 2)
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0061797057 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0061797057 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Macie
Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone 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. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the last page.
Quick & Dirty: The second installment of the Darkness Rising trilogy moves the plot forward when Maya and her friends escape from the people trying to hunt them down, but not much additional information is added to what we already know about the characters and their situation.
Opening Sentence: I don’t know who was more anxious—Daniel or Kenjii—but they weren’t making this emergency helicopter evacuation any easier.
I have to start off saying I love Kelley Armstrong’s novels no matter what, The Calling included. She keeps readers hanging on until the last page hoping for more juicy secrets about the characters and the people trying to take control of them. I felt like The Calling was more of a filler novel between the two larger events taking place in Book 1 and Book 3 since action did take place, the novel did move forward, but not a lot of new information was gained overall. Being a long time reader of Armstrong’s novels, I am pretty familiar with the background information already, and wanted to know more about the characters introduced in the first book, especially since they seem to be new types of supernaturals. Not a lot is revealed in this novel, which was kind of depressing, but it makes me that much more excited to read the final installment, The Rising, next April.
The novel starts at the same place The Gathering ended, in a helicopter flying away from a forest fire and the small town of Salmon Creek. Maya and her friends soon realize the people in charge of rescuing them are in fact trying to kidnap them. The teens react by saving themselves, but the helicopter crashes, leaving them stranded and the adults dead. It is up to them to make their way back to safety while also avoiding abduction by two different groups of people, a supposed rescue group including a member of Maya’s family and the St. Clouds, a corporate supernatural family in charge of genetically mutating the teens to begin with. Unable to trust anyone, not even really each other, the group of teens try their best to make it to safety without all of them being put into their pursuer’s custody.
Though not a lot of new supernatural information is revealed, the characters and their relationships do evolve. Maya and Rafe still find each other irresistible, but we learn where Rafe’s true loyalties lie, though Maya does not fault him for it. Daniel and Maya talk more about Serena and her death, and how they are coping over a year after her mysterious drowning. An unexpected revelation about one of the other characters involved made me interested in rereading The Gathering to see if I could see any signs of the character’s true nature. Of course, I am not going to tell you who I am talking about; otherwise it would give away the surprise. Maya and her friends learn more about each other and become closer as they run for their lives through Canadian wilderness.
Though we do not find out a lot of new information, Maya learns more about what it means to have the skinwalker gene. I love how Armstrong writes about her characters when they take other forms since it feels so true to the animal she portrays, but it is still obviously the character we know and love. Honestly, it makes me want the ability to change into an animal just to experience being me but in an entirely different body. Overall, I enjoyed the novel, and so will anyone else who has read any of Kelley’s books or enjoys a fast paced, supernatural thrill ride about the lives, futures, and freedom of characters written so well, I sometimes forget I am reading a book.
A loud buzzing sound made us all jump. I found a radio tucked under the counter.
“Maya. I should have known you’d be the one to pick up.”
My hand gripped the radio tighter as I recognized the voice. “Who is this?”
“I think you know.”
I moved to the front window. He was there. He lifted his free hand and smiled. I pulled back from the window.
“My name is Calvin Antone,” he said. “But what’s important isn’t who I am, but what I am, to you.”
Daniel moved closer. He could hear Antone. They all could. I thought of lifting the radio to my ear, but I knew that wouldn’t help.
I walked back to the counter, taking shelter behind it.
“What are you doing to my dog?”
“We’re taking good care of Kenjii. We just didn’t want her to get hurt trying to protect you.”
I twitched when he said her name. I didn’t want him knowing that. He had no business with her or any part of my life.
He sighed. “All right. We’ll pretend you haven’t already guessed. You’re my daughter.”
The Darkness Rising Trilogy:
2. The Calling
3. The Rising (April 9, 2013)
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of The Calling. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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