THE CALLING (Darkness Rising #2)
by Kelley Armstrong
PUBLISHER: Atom (UK) Harper Collins (US)
RELEASE DATE: April 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 326 pages
GENRE: Paranormal, Young Adult
In The Calling, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of The Gathering clamoring for more. 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 very last page! (Goodreads)
*This review contains spoilers*
As expected, I enjoyed reading the next installment in the The Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong. THE CALLING continues on from that cliffhanger that annoyed me so much in the previous book The Gathering but soon has you forgetting that naughtiness, and hauls you into the story, dumping you right into an exciting storyline. You do have to remember that this is a young adult book, and so doesn’t have the grit that you may have come to expect from Kelley Armstrong, but despite this, I read THE CALLING in a day and a half, and enjoyed it for what it is.
Maya Delany is a skin-walker, a cougar shifter in other words, that is capable of healing herself and others, amongst other powers. Maya and her friends, who also have a hidden specialness, some of which we haven’t discovered yet, have been evacuated from their homes due to a forest fire, and bundled into a rescue chopper bound for Victoria. It then turns out that the rescue chopper isn’t actually a rescue chopper, but is in fact a kidnap attempt, and it all goes horribly wrong, dumping them out in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but the clothes they are standing up in.
Continuing on from The Gathering Maya’s love interest is Rafael “Rafe” Martinez. She really is smitten with this guy, another skin-walker. He has shown himself to be a bit of a bad boy though, and so trust is a major issue between the two love birds….and then he goes and does something all heroic and life turns upside down for the group of friends.
Daniel Bianchi, Maya’s best friend since they were five, is starting to grow into his special powers, and I have to say, despite them being bff’s, I find myself rooting for him and Maya to get it together. He is so right for her, she just doesn’t realize it, and I am not too sure if he does yet, or if I am just being naive and not reading between the lines very well. He is your typical boy next door type, big on the school wrestling scene, and an all round good guy. He does his best to protect his friends and does whatever he can to ensure their safety.
The group of kids are being chased across the wilderness by some people that want to …well… actually we don’t know what they want with them yet. And it now turns out that there are two sets of people that want to get hold of them! There are the St Cloud people, who are the mad scientist types that the children know from their home town, and then there are the Nasts, a bunch of people that haven’t really been explained in this series other than to say that they are chasing Maya and her friends, and that they know all about paranormal people. At the minute its unclear who Maya should trust and who she shouldn’t, even if one of members of the groups trying to track her down is her biological dad.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that we will find that bit out in the next book (hopefully, considering it’s a trilogy). This section of the trilogy is about evading capture by these people, and the children’s efforts to get home to their parents. No, really… that’s it. They get taken, and then they try to get home…that’s all you get! At the minute its unclear who Maya should trust and who she shouldn’t, even if one of them is her biological dad.
During THE CALLING only very tiny bits of information are given about the overall plot, and you are drawn into a day by day kind of thing, without getting great big juicy chunks of plot to get your teeth stuck into. Despite this, the book isn’t boring by any stretch of the imagination. I found myself turning the pages to see what develops between the characters, and to see what happened next.
Roll on The Rising, thats what I say (argh..just looked and its not out until 2013). I am enjoying the series, despite yet another annoying break in the story with a wait for the next book, and the dribs and drabs of information so far as the plot is concerned. All I can say is that Kelley Armstrong must have a special way of writing to keep you so enthralled when you have no clue what the big plan is! Whatever it is, I love it. I would have rated THE CALLING as a 4 as I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down, but I think that the lack of detailed plot lost it half a star.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. The Gathering
2. The Calling
3. The Rising