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Kelley Armstrong – The Calling

June 18, 2012

61. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (2012)
Darkness Rising, Book 2

Read my review of book:
1. The Gathering

Read By: Jennifer Ikeda
Length: 7h 32m (326 pages)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Started: 23 May 2012
Finished: 31 May 2012

Where did it come from? From HarperAudio for review.
Why do I have it? The end of The Gathering was a major cliffhanger, so I needed to keep reading.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 May 2012.

Maya’s on the run…
but luckily, cougars can
run pretty darn fast.

Summary: After a forest fire forced an evacuation of their town, Maya – a skinwalker – and the other kids of Salmon Creek think they might have earned a break. But the helicopter that’s taking them to the mainland was not sent by a legitimate rescue operation, and in attempting to take down the pilot, the helicopter winds up crashing into the ocean. The survivors manage to make it back to shore, but now they’re stranded in the forest, far from home, and being hunted by operatives from two competing corporations that want to exploit their supernatural powers. How can they escape when their every move is being controlled, and they don’t know who they can trust… including each other?

Review: The Calling, like its predecessor The Gathering, is a great summer popcorn book. What I mean by that is that it’s entertaining, exciting, plenty of action, not an overly complicated plot, and the kind of book that you just sit back and enjoy without thinking too deeply about. This book could be adapted into the script of an action movie without much effort, is what I’m saying. None of this is meant to be at all derogatory – everyone needs a break from more serious fare now and again, to just be swept up in something entertaining and fun, whether you’re reading such books on the beach or just on your back porch. Also, The Calling has the benefit of being well-written, and having characters that act and interact like real teenagers, without relying too much on high school cliche.

However, while I’ve got no conceptual problems with the summer popcorn style of book, The Calling does at times feel like it’s just one extended chase scene, and the cycle of get caught/get rescued/run away does get a little tiring after a while. I think this is one case where listening to the audiobook actually hurt my enjoyment of the book. Jennifer Ikeda did a fine job narrating in every respect, but I was stuck reading at the pace she spoke, whereas if I’d had the physical book in front of me, I could have flown through it at the speed it deserves, and the the action would have seemed breathless rather than repetitive. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: The Calling starts only minutes after the end of The Gathering, and while it does recap the events of the previous book, it’s still not particularly stand-alone. I’d recommend the series to fans of YA paranormal books that are tired of vampires and werewolves, and looking for something fun and engaging.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: BookHounds, Good Books and Good Wine, The Not So Closet Geeks, The Readventurer, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: I don’t know who was more anxious – Daniel or Kenjii – but they weren’t making this emergency helicopter evacuation any easier.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 5:32 pm

    Did you read any other Kelly Armstrong books? I didn’t like this part of the series that much, but I like the first three: the summoning, the awakening and the reckoning. Surprisingly much, considering the content that isn’t too unique. But I really liked the main character and her relationship with the other characters in the first three books!

    • July 2, 2012 9:52 am

      Sharry – I haven’t read any of Armstrong’s other books, but the first three are definitely on my list of things to investigate!

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