This is a review for the second book in the Darkness Rising series and so may contain spoilers from the first book in the series.
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: 5th April 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review
"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 including local bad boy Rafe, with whom she shares a dangerous, powerful secret.
Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. After a terrifying helicopter crash, they find themselves stranded in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. But can Maya really trust her friends? And can she learn how to control the frightening new gift she has discovered before it controls her?"
The Calling has to be my favourite of Kelley Armstrong’s Young Adult books so far. I loved her Darkest Powers trilogy and enjoyed the first book to this new companion series The Gathering just as much, but this second instalment to the Darkness Rising series had everything I loved about Kelley’s previous books and more. I picked this up and had it finished under 24 hours later it was such a page turner of a read with constant action and suspense. I think after reading this book my love for the Darkness Rising series might just have over taken my love for the Darkest Powers books.
The book begins where The Gathering left off and straight away we’re thrown back into the action. During the first chapter in the helicopter all hell breaks loose with shocking revelations, powers unleashed and even deaths of characters to really get the ball rolling! After that explosive first chapter the book doesn’t let up for a second and only gets more urgent and intense as the book goes on. It felt like I read The Calling in a total frenzy I was that immersed in Maya’s world. This book grips you and refuses to let go till the final world, a quality that all of Kelley Armstrong’s books have, this one in particular.
The Calling is a real survival story. With Maya and her friends stuck in the wilderness with an increasingly dangerous group after them for their unusual powers, not only do they have to survive in the forest, try to avoid being captured or worse killed all whilst trying to find out what happened to their home, dealing with loss and figuring out who they can trust, they also have to deal with their powers starting to manifest at the same time, testing out how strong they are, and working out what extinct and rare supernatural creature they might be.
These books have a certain sinister chill to them with the supernatural powers not being achieved by magic but by actual scientific engineering, the corporations that Maya and Co have as enemies are scary and powerful ones that whilst may want to capture them for impure purposes might also be the only people who have answers and can help them control their powers.
As with the first book in this series I really loved Maya as our heroine and felt that this book gives us chance to get to know some of the other characters a little better too. If you’re a fan of Kelley’s books then you’ll know that her characters are always strong and likeable and that her writing and plot development seems so easy and natural that it seems effortless on her part and is compulsively readable. This book had a fantastic ending with enough left unresolved that I’m dying for the next book without it being a torturous cliff-hanger. I particularly like what Kelley was hinting at for what’s in store in the next book and find it an exciting direction she’s leading us in. Overall The Calling was a fantastic sequel and my favourite from Kelley Armstrong yet. If you’re a fan of this series this latest instalment isn’t going to disappoint.
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