Title: The Calling
Author: Kelley Armstrong
On the heels of the wildly popular The Gathering comes the second in the “Darkness Rising” YA trilogy from NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
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.
If you’ve paid any attention to this blog before, you’ll know that I loved Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy as well as the debut of her new trilogy, Darkness Rising. This book is really any different, as you can see from the rating, but I have to admit that I can act kind of blind to its faults. There are some books that I love so much that I don’t care about the weaker points, although I do know they’re there. So, I’ll briefly mention them, but just know that I loved this book anyway.
Quickly, the shortcomings: I hadn’t realized this until I read another review of this book, but Armstrong tends to end both her chapters and her books with anticlimactic scenes and sentences. I noticed this earlier without actually realizing it. They always seem to just… end, like there should be more, but there isn’t. Whether it’s a chapter that ends without some big twist, just a simple pause before the next chapter starts, or a book that ends, though it seems there should be at least one more scene, she doesn’t use a lot of cliff hangers. The cliff hangers instead seem to be contained inside the chapters, rarely the end. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a good point that I never quite realized. And I did feel like this book struggled with the ‘second book in a trilogy syndrome,’ or whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t seem to have a big purpose other than building up to the finale and resolving things from the first book.
Of course, I didn’t mind this. I enjoyed reading about the characters I was introduced to in the first book, and it was a quick enough read, mostly because I want to know what happened. Some of the characters began to get more depth to both their powers and their personalities, and the survival story was interesting. I wished we learned some more about certain powers, such as Corey’s, but I think this was a good enough second book, at least for me. I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy – next year can’t get here fast enough.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars