by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Published by: HarperCollins
Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong is the second in the Darkness Rising series. Armstrong picked up right where we left off and delivered non-stop action. Filled with shape-shifters, witches and other supernatural beings this book has ensured Armstrong a place on my favorite authors’ list. I plan to begin her other series as well.
I strongly recommend you read The Gathering, the first book in this series before attempting to read The Calling. Armstrong doesn’t waste any time with back-story and you will be completely lost without it. The tale begins inside the helicopter with Maya and her friends. Maya and the others are anxious to be reunited with their parents when they realize the helicopter isn’t traveling in the right direction and that the mayor is unconscious. When Daniel confronts the pilot, things quickly go from bad to worse, as the helicopter spins out of control and crashes. The tale that unfolds is action-packed as the kids attempt to escape and find their parents. While most of the plot advancement occurs in the last part of the book, we do see a lot of character growth and get a better understanding of the town and the kids. The ending sets us up for the final book in this trilogy and left me eager to read more.
Maya and Daniel quickly establish themselves as leaders of the group. The kids begin to understand that they are different and that their little town of two hundred is anything but boring. Armstrong gives us conspiracies, secret agencies and a possible psychopath among the teens. I found myself completely enthralled by the plot. Rafe and Maya’s romance develops further and felt genuine. Daniel begins to believe that he has abilities, and admits to having used them. He is like the mother-hen of the group and whether it’s because of his ability or not…the rest look to him for all the answers. Despite the circumstances they found themselves in, I was impressed with the way these kids kept it together. The growth in Maya was wonderful. In the first novel, her moral compass was strictly black and white, and I found her at times to be very judgmental and unforgiving. In this novel, we get a closer look at the other characters and Maya begins to understand them better. This isn’t to say that she still didn’t annoy me, but by the end of the novel, she is able to rationalize better and think things through. In The Gathering, Maya experienced dreams of running in the wild and felt like she communicated with animals. In The Calling, she shifts and it was neat to see how she handled this. Maya is fearless and protects those around her. She is confronted by a person from her past and isn’t sure how to handle it. I really liked Corey. He is a funny, quirky and flawed character who made things interesting. I am really anxious to see everyone’s ability develop and see how they work as a team in the final installment.
The plot Armstrong brings us in The Calling is extremely intense. The kids are involved in one life or death situation after another. Armstrong makes all of it believable and kept me engaged. She has created a situation with multiple threats and left even me the reader unsure about whom the good guys are. She created characters with depth, and I have come to care for them all. The action-packed ending has me excited for book three and wondering how things will work out.
I recommend this series to fans of paranormal suspense. The Darkness Rising series is sure to offer hours of entertainment. The Calling is currently available in paper, eBook and audio formats. Book three of the trilogy The Rising will be released sometime in 2013.
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