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The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
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Apr 12, 2012

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Originally featured on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole

In this second book of the Darkness Rising trilogy, Maya and her friends are forced to leave their hometown due to a forest fire. They soon learn, though, their lives are in danger. After a dangerous helicopter crash, the teenagers flee into the forest, where they soon realize they are being hunted by unknown enemies. In a story of love, fear, and desperation, Maya and her friends must work together to make it to safety and to figure out who is hunting them and why their lives are in danger.

When I first started reading The Calling, it was such a bizarre experience because I remembered almost nothing from the first book. There were even a few times that I had to refer to google to figure out what happened in the first novel. I soon found out, though, that this was not going to be a big issue. I had a problem getting into the first chapter or so because it was going over the last chapter of the first book. After that, though, the story really became its own.

I remember that I did not like The Gathering all that much. It was not the worst book I had ever read, but it pales in comparison to Kelley Armstrong’s other series, The Darkest Powers trilogy and Women of the Otherworld. Due to the fact that I am such a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, I remember being really let down that the writing style in The Gathering was not her usual style. While reading The Calling, I was impressed that the series improved a bit. It still does not even compete with her other two series, but I gained more interest in the Darkness Rising trilogy due to this novel.

One thing I really did not like about The Calling was the fact that Maya and her friends stayed in the forest throughout most of the whole book. Not only that, but barely any characters besides the teenagers were introduced, and the entire novel took place in about a three day time period. This being said, the novel was really drawn out. I feel as if Kelley Armstrong could have cut out a lot of forest scenes and possibly added more action into the novel.

Another thing that really bothered me about this novel was some of the references to The Women of the Otherworld series. Armstrong often used the terms Nasts, St. Clouds and Cabals throughout this novel. However, one is not going to get the explanations they desire unless they read her adult series. I noticed that Armstrong also did this in her Darkest Powers trilogy. I understand that she probably wants to reveal all the definitons at the end of the series. However, waiting through six books to understand what is going on is a little extreme. The Women of the Otherworld series introduces all of these definitions at the beginning of the series, and I cannot help but find it unfair that young adult readers have to read an adult series to gain this information. Do not get me wrong, The Women of the Otherworld series is one of my favorite series of all time. However, I cannot help but feel that Armstrong needs to take this into account while writing a young adult series.

Although I had many complaints throughout the novel, I really enjoyed all of the characters. I know I always go on about unique characters, but it is something that always stands out to me. I just find it fascinating that someone can write about all of these characters and not mix up their personalities. I also really enjoyed some of the twists and turns throughout this novel. While I was not overly shocked at some of the things that occurred, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not guess everything before it happened.

When it comes down to it, I really enjoyed this novel. Is it my favorite series in the whole entire world? No. However, I can admit that Kelley Armstrong can write. Kelley Armstrong is the author of two of my favorite series of all time, and for that I will give anything she writes a chance. I know the brilliance this woman can create, and I think anyone, no matter what age, will highly benefit from her writing style. I have to give teachers and librarians a warning about The Women of the Otherworld series. There is a lot of disturbing things that happens in those books. However, The Darkest Powers trilogy and The Darkness Rising trilogy are perfect for young adults. I would recommend this series to everyone, and I cannot wait until final chapter of the series comes out.
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