Released: April 5th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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! (from Goodreads)
Honestly, The Calling really surprised me. In a very good way. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, The Gathering – I was a bit disappointed with it, yet still intrigued enough to want to carry on with the series. And I am so glad I did because I really enjoyed The Calling. It was everything I hoped it would be and more – and now I am definitely excited for the last book in the trilogy!
From the very beginning, we were plunged into the action without any time to prepare for what was coming. So much happened in the first few chapters, my brain was reeling trying to keep up. Seriously, by chapter four, there was already a death toll! Such a contrast to book one, which I found quite slow-paced, especially in the first half. The Gathering was more about high school drama until the last few chapters, whereas The Calling was serious business from the start.
I found myself liking Maya a lot more in this book. She seemed a little more uncertain of herself and a little more scared of what was happening to her (especially with her skin-walker powers developing more and more) – but she stayed as determined as ever to find out what was going on, and I appreciated the way she tried to face her fears and get on with everything despite all the terrible things she had experienced. She seemed slightly more sympathetic too and I could relate to her more than before. I loved her friendship with Daniel – those two just understood each other so well, and were so connected – it was great to read about them and how close a friendship they had. The only thing I didn’t understand about their relationship was why Maya decided to hide an important piece of information about one of their friends from Daniel. I got that she was trying to spare his feelings, but did it really matter if his feeling got hurt a little when he was running for his life anyway? Wouldn’t it be better for him know and protect himself instead of being kept in the dark? Maya was pretty logical and realistic, and since she was so close to Daniel, I was a bit surprised she decided to keep this secret. Definitely interested to see how it will all play out in the next book.
We got to know Daniel a bit more in this book, and I have to say, I liked him a lot. I didn’t dislike him in book one, but I definitely thought a lot more of him after The Calling. I think he was a great friend to Maya and she would have been lost without him for sure. On top of that, he was a good leader and always tried to do what was best for everyone. And of course – there was his awesome cool power, which we got to find out more about. In book one, we learnt Daniel had the ability to “feel” when someone was suspicious or hiding evil intent, and in this book we discovered why Daniel had this power and what else he could do with it. To be honest, I think he had the best power out of the bunch. I won’t spoil it – you’ll find out when you read the book! Though, even with this cool ability, I think the best part was seeing into Daniel’s head for a while and seeing the pain and guilt he was feeling. I didn’t expect that and it made him a more complex and likeable character.
For those wondering about Rafe...well. Once again, I don’t know what to think. I didn’t like him in book one, but I did find him very intriguing. It was the same story again. He seemed like a good guy deep down, but I still wasn’t quite sure of him. I was convinced there was something else going on, and I wanted to know more about him! Sadly, he wasn’t in this book too much so I guess I’ll have to wait until book three to find out more about the guy. It was quite odd, because I usually like the bad-boy types...but Rafe. I don’t know. Something about him bothered me and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. I did gain a lot of respect for him at the end though, especially when he gave Maya something that made my eyes widen in shock. So looking forward to the next book!
Plot-wise, there was definitely a lot more happening in this book than the first one, which I loved. I really liked how no-one could ever stop and relax, for fear of getting caught or killed, and I liked the way it forced everyone together. I mean, even Hayley grew on me. Hayley, who I did not like at all in The Gathering! A lot was revealed about most characters, and a lot was hinted about the others (Sam and Corey especially, and I can’t wait to discover their secrets!). But the most exciting part was the mentions of “Project Genesis”. Yes, dear readers – the Darkest Powers characters are close to making an appearance. There were several references to Chloe and the gang – not by name, but Maya and the rest had managed to work out there was another group of teens experiencing the same things as them, and just ahhh! It was so brilliant to see everything come together. We also got mentions of Dr Davidoff and Liz Delaney, and seeing how close the characters were to finding out about each other was just so excellent. It all started to fit! And I’m pretty sure Maya and Chloe will be meeting in the next book, and I cannot wait. Honestly, I miss the Darkest Powers characters so much! It will be awesome to see them again, especially seeing them from the point of view of another set of amazing characters. I have no clue what will happen when they do find each other, but I have a feeling it will be a moment to remember. I really, really need the next book.
Overall, The Calling was a thrilling sequel to The Gathering – I personally enjoyed it more! Definitely recommended to fans of the Darkest Powers series, and to those who enjoyed The Gathering. Now, the long wait for the sequel!