JC's Reviews > The Calling

The Calling by David Mack
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's review
Dec 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: urban-fantasy
Read in December, 2010

This is a different take on the Urban Fantasy genre, and frankly one I think needed to be written. Our main character, Tom Nash is 'Called'. He can hear people's prayers, and is compelled to help answer them. He doesn't hear prayers he can't do anything about, like "please God, let me win the lottery," rather ones he can help with, that we could all help with like, "Please God, help me fight my alcoholism." In which case Tom has the power to make people to trust him when his intention is to help them. Tom never had a dangerous prayer until he heard the prayer of an eleven year old girl in New York... "Please God, don't let them kill me."

Tom's adventure begins with that prayer and leads him into the world of the 'Called' and the 'Scorned'. Individuals who have been given gifts to see, know, protect, and in Tom and his new friend Erin's case, hear.

Mack suffers a bit with what I call the "Sterling" syndrome, when it comes to writing his women. Those who are meant to be open books, are clear and articulate about every feeling they're having, even in the case of Tom's pregnant wife, while those meant to be enigmatic, are sultry temptresses who never truly reveal themselves. I call it the Sterling syndrome, as that's how S.M. Sterling tends to write his female characters. It makes for easy exposition, but rings false to me.

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