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The Calling by K. Armstrong



Armstrong, Kelley. The Calling. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2012. Print.

Ontario writer, Kelley Armstrong, author of the New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling Darkest Powers young adult urban fantasy trilogy, brings us the second offering of her Darkness Rising trilogy.  The first in the trilogy, 2011’s The Gathering, was previously reviewed in the inaugural issue of Deakin, Vol. 1 No 1.

This book is not recommended as a standalone, as The Calling starts immediately where we left off with The Gathering and the author’s recap on events and characters is minimal, which for fans of series is refreshing. Sixteen-year-old Maya Delaney and her friends have been forced to flee from their community of Salmon Creek, a small town on Vancouver Island, during a forest fire that was surely deliberately set.  After their rescue helicopter makes an emergency landing in the remote wilderness, the group is on the run and forced to survive using nothing but their wits and their supernatural abilities that begin to unfold as they find themselves in danger.  Through this we learn more about Maya’s friends as well as the circumstances surrounding the death of her best friend, Serena, in a bizarre swimming accident the previous year. Maya also learns a lot about her own powers but perhaps the most mysterious event is the introduction of Calvin Antone, a man who is pursuing Maya, and who admits to being her biological father.

Teen readers will certainly delight in the run-and-hide action as well as the intensifying romance, but I couldn’t help feeling a little let down by The Calling.  After the adrenaline-fuelled and plot-driven action of The Gathering, the lack of storyline and character development in this book was disappointing. With that said, however, we don’t have long to wait to see how things turn out for Maya - the final title in the trilogy, The Rising, is set for release in April 2013. As such, I am giving it three stars out of four on the promise of the final book.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Debbie Feisst

Debbie is a Public Services Librarian at the H.T. Coutts Education Library at the University of Alberta.  When not renovating, she enjoys travel, fitness and young adult fiction.