Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: 4/10/12
Publisher: Harper Collins
Blurb (GR): Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is--a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone 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.
How do I put it gently? It is time for Kelley Armstrong to stop writing the same story. This cow, unfortunately, is almost dry.
I know, it sounds mean, but even though I mostly enjoyed the process of reading The Calling OK, this book is pretty much the same thing as The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning, The Gathering, plus a couple of short stories relating to this whole Darkest Powers series. ALL of these stories have exactly the same plot. I do not even need to read The Rising to know what will happen in it. Let's be honest, how fun can it be, to go through the same motions again and again?
Yes, I was complimentary in my review of The Gathering. Even though the plot of it was transparent, the setting was fresh, the new supernatural powers were interesting, the back stories were engaging. But in The Calling, here we are again - there is nothing but running around and hiding, just like in all Darkest Powers books (especially the middle one - The Awakening). Is there anyone who has read the first trilogy who does not know where the story is going in Darkness Rising trilogy? One person? No?
There is nothing but action in this book. It feels "meatless," because of the lack of background info (we already kn0w every kid who is on the run) and lack of depth. Just run, hide in the bushes, someone gets caught, rescue, run, hide in the bushes... Rinse and repeat. There are so many fortunate and unfortunate events and coincidences in The Calling that they often undermine the believability of the whole narrative. The one event that stands out in my mind is when our teens after the helicopter crash and days of wondering in the woods finally reach a public place (a restaurant), they are denied the use of a phone, because, can you believe it, they were reported dead on the news and the owner thinks these teens are just pranking her! This is just a turn of events I have a hard time swallowing.
The characters and relationships are still good in this novel though, but I wish they were a part of a completely different story, unrelated to the Otherworld and Edison Group.
Will I read the follow-up to The Calling? I am pretty sure I will. But if there is another trilogy, with another Project in addition to Project Genesis (Darkest Powers trilogy) and Project Phoenix (Darkness Rising trilogy)? No way! Six books of the same thing is more than enough.