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The Calling

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  325 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
When eighteen-year-old Christopher Myers' parents are murdered, something is written on his bedroom door, a mark in his parents' blood that convinces the police the killer has targeted Christopher as the next victim. To keep him safe, he travels away with his estranged grandmother and uncle to the small town of Bridgton, New York. And it's in Bridgton that he meets an extr ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published March 19th 2011)
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Feb 17, 2013 Kylie rated it it was amazing
The day after 18 year old Chris's high school graduation, he awakens to discover his parents have been brutally murdered, and the killer is now after him. Shipped off to Bridport to stay with relatives he has not seen in 10 years while local authorities hunt down the killer, he slowly gets to know the Grandmother and Uncle he has been estranged from all these years. There he meets 10 year old Joey, a young man with very special gifts.

But the relocation has not fooled the killer and soon dreadful
After reading Robert Swartwood's short story, "Spooky Nook", I was eager to dive into "The Calling- A Supernatural Thriller".
If you're a reader of the Horror/Thriller genre, you'll recognize a few familiar plot themes; orphaned teen, unfamiliar surroundings, mysterious strangers, and family secrets.
I wanted to like this book. It received nothing but praise from most of the reviewers on this site.

My big complaint is that it felt a little preachy.
In "The Calling", our hero laments something selfis
Dec 17, 2014 Jay rated it did not like it
This book sounded fantastic. Sadly, I found it lacking in every area.
The characters are dull and the main character seems more concerned with chatting up the local pregnant girl that dealing with, or even having, any emotions he may be feeling about his parents murder two weeks prior.

Sadly, I got half way through and then it went on the Too Dull to Finish shelf.
Mar 17, 2017 Jeannette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting reading.

Slow and steady storyline. I wasn't sure if it was a thriller or religious story. This story was not predictable like many books that I've read.
Bryanna Leigh
Jul 31, 2013 Bryanna Leigh rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, first-reads
This is definitely one of the more interesting stories I've had a chance to read. The story kept me interested for the most part, there were a few times when I got bored and/or irritated with the content.

Most of my problems with the story came in the formatting. Chapters were too short and several could have even easily put together into one. (A story with 42 chapters does not sound too pleasant even with 329 pages.) The letter with several pages of italicized text was a bit hard on the eyes. T
The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
Review eof The Calling by Robert Swartwood
5 stars

“The Calling” is an exceptionally satisfying novel of the Supernatural. Set in one of the same locales as the “prequel,” “Spooky Nook,” this story is fine as a stand-alone (but I recommend, for the reader’s continued satisfaction, reading “Spooky Nook” as well). Author Robert Swartwood delves into some Supernatural venues not usually the purview of horror writers, makes that choice work excellently, and horrifies readers while keeping us thrilled
Ronald Keeler
Sep 10, 2015 Ronald Keeler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Somebody, or something, murdered Christopher’s parents. Years ago Christopher’s grandfather tried to kill Christopher. But Christopher’s grandfather loved him, so why the attempt at homicide? Grandfather even left Christopher a gift, a handwritten bible. There was even an additional chapter that did not appear in the original bible. This all leads to a base for the story involving a crisis of faith. Is there a God or not? Therefore, is there a Satan or not? What about angels, either good or bad? ...more
Lybo Buchanan
Jan 24, 2017 Lybo Buchanan rated it really liked it
This was a very hard book to put down. I really enjoyed it. 18-year-old Christopher Myers' parents were murdered & something written on his bedroom door in his parents' blood. Convinced that he is the next target, Chris travels away with his estranged uncle & stays with his estranged grandmother in the small town of Bridgton, New York. It is in Bridgton that he meets an extraordinary young boy who has come with his father to stop an unrelenting evil. Chris is sucked into the town's deep ...more
Alisa Hedden
Mar 23, 2011 Alisa Hedden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually got done reading this book yesterday, and had to think about it. I really liked the book, and will read it again, but for as few pages as it contains, Robert manages to get a lot of substance into a small space. Unlike some authors we all know, that use a lot of pages to say very little. Yes, the book is, technically, a horror, but the themes dealt with are not simplistic. They are (and this is just from the first time through, I'm sure I can find more with a second read)choices, cons ...more
Tracy Walters
Feb 03, 2012 Tracy Walters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a crazy.....bizzare and really fun book to read. It was written in a way where it just kept you turning the pages because you just needed to know what's going to happen. There is a supernatural mystery that flows thru the book and each time part of the mystery is answered, another question appears in it's place. This is NOT a feel good happy ending book but you don't feel depressed at the end....just glad to have read it. There were a couple of things that I felt were a bit off and that ...more
D. Ward
Atmospheric and dreadful - in a good way. This is the first thing I have read by Swartwood but while doing so, it was apparent to me that he is pretty good at what he does. I got the feeling that this novel had exactly the tone and presented in exactly the way he intended it to. "The Calling" does that thing that I is most important in horror novels that do not rely overly much on gore or shock; it creates a sense of dread in the reader's mind about the underlying cause of all the conflicts pres ...more
Aug 11, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Swartwood delivers an awesomely eerie story of the classic battle between good and evil. Imaginative, yet concise, I was made to stay up late to see where the novel would lead.

I thought the characters were written so well and noone seemed extraneous just to fill space. I particularly enjoyed Sarah and of course, Christopher.

No spoiler alert here but the ending was fabulous. I'm frequently let down by endings. It's as if the author didn't know where to end or how to wrap it up. They should take l
Oct 02, 2013 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I received this audiobook for free in return for an honest review.

Some books spend so much time focusing on backstory that I begin to wonder when the action will start. The Calling, most decidedly, is NOT one of those books! The story begins with Chris's discovery of his murdered parents and follows his journey after that event. The Calling includes references to Bible passages as well as supernatural elements -- those details flesh out the story and also make Chris's journey even mo
Horace Torys
I enjoyed The Calling, and found the characters interesting and unpredictable. The main plot kept twisting and uncovering the character's secrets, and the end satisfied me. The dialogue was particularly readable, and the book's themes stayed with me after I'd finished.

Sluggish prose got in the way sometimes, and many characters' whole backstories were revealed, sometimes told in a single sitting. The book would be stronger if things were edited down.

But, if you want to read a compelling, chillin
Melissa Webb
May 31, 2011 Melissa Webb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. It was very reminiscence of a Koontz book. I love how Christopher was a very realistic character. He isn't a shining hero, he is a flawed individual (who of us isn't?) who simply believes he can't live with himself if he dosen't do the right thing.

The book is haunting. It has stuck with me since I began reading it and I'm sure it will stick with me over the next week or so. It is a very realistic horror. One you can almost imagine yourself stuck in.

If paranormal horror is
Seton Catholic Central High
I liked this book but yet it still wasnt my favorite to read. It had a great plots and great characters but still didnt spark my interest enough for me to want to read it non-stop. The Calling has a ton of exitement and suspense but somehow didnt succeed to interest me. Otherwise, its a great book if you like horror but not cheesy movie horror. In a summary to the book, the main character, Christopher, his parents are murdered so he goes to live with his grandmother and learns about supernatural ...more
Liesl Ross
Dec 01, 2014 Liesl Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, refreshing read!

It's a very unique story and I loved the references to faith throughout. Loads of action and well-rounded characters. My only complaint is that the ending felt a little rushed. The author glossed over a couple of key parts so I thought I'd missed a page or 2. He cleared those points up at the end but I found the segues jarring. Still, I look forward to reading more of Robert Swartwood's other novels.
Nov 14, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Swartwood weaves a story about a young man whose life is turned upside down after his parents are murdered. He moves in with his estranged grandmother and starts to piece things together.

The Calling had me up all night, reading when I should have been sleeping. There were moments when I didn't realize that I had stopped breathing, and moments when I tensed up so much that I hurt the next day. THAT is suspense done right!
Suzanne Cotton
The calling

the calling is a different read It is definitely a supernatural thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat. it's hard to put down once you get started. it was hard for me to understand at the beginning but once I really got into it it was interesting and exciting. I will definitely be downloading more of Swartwood's books
Toni Anastasia
Sep 08, 2015 Toni Anastasia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think the author was trying to write a book to equal King's The Stand but he did not come anywhere close. For me it was a waste of time and money.

For me it was a waste of time and money. I think the author wanted to write his version of The Stand, but he didn't have what it takes.
May 11, 2016 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusual story with a hint of God

I liked this book &gave it 4 stars because I couldn't give it 3 1/2. There was a part towards the end when it felt to me like the author was just trying to meet a "number of characters goal" rather than keeping the story from, IMHO, dragging. But it was still an enjoyable read.
Feb 23, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: great, ones-to-watch
I really enjoyed this book. It was very good story telling and kept you in suspense. The author also did not cop out at the end, which is one thing that I hate about this genre sometimes. I love Stephen King books and I found that Swartwood was very similar in his story telling and tension. Will read another from this author.
Stephanie Scarbrough
Dec 18, 2014 Stephanie Scarbrough rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me. I figured it would like so many others that I had read. It really surprised me though. It was engaging throughout and the plot blew my mind. The writing was fantastic and the characters seemed real to me. Kudos!
Kevin Lucia
Nov 22, 2012 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it
Excellent. Struck just the right balance between light and dark. This is self-publishing done the way it COULD be - by a season, excellent writer, with excellent formatting, attractive cover art, and credible blurbs. Well done.
Jan 21, 2016 Cooper rated it really liked it
A page turner! Being on Christopher's journey of his family's past and the discovery of his 'abilities' was a rollercoaster ride. Was not expecting the twists and turns of the story and becoming invested in the plot and the characters.
Aimee Cryder
Jan 08, 2015 Aimee Cryder rated it did not like it
I didn't like it. I got to page 70 and I was bored with it... I want a book that picks up from the start. No excitement to keep reading.
mary aspinwall
Nov 21, 2014 mary aspinwall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Believable even tho I told myself it couldn't happen,or could it?

Action packed and held my attention. Want to know more about how his life is evolving. Also about Sarah and baby.
Peggy Hartman
A supernatural thriller

This was a great different book. It kept me guessing up to the end. Good slant on evil. Would recommend, good summer read.
Sep 28, 2015 Troy rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable first listen of a Robert Swartwood novel, will check out more of his works.
Jul 25, 2013 Gwen rated it it was amazing
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USA TODAY bestselling author of The Serial Killer's Wife, The Calling, Man of Wax, and several other novels. He created the term "hint fiction" and edited Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer.
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“A preacher is somebody who tells you what’s true. A teacher is somebody who shows you why it’s true.” ” 0 likes
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