TITLE: The Calling
AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong
SERIES: Darkness Rising #2
PAGES: 326 (Hardcover)
I must admit to not being the biggest fan of Ms Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. In fact, I read the first book, attempted the second, and then just threw my hands up in complete defeat. Fortunately, her second series Darkest Powers certainly did not have that effect, and can I just get a big ‘aw’ for Chloe and Derek anyone? Love ‘em. Whilst this new series may not quite have the same…spark as the previous, it’s still a great new addition to the world of Darkness Rising.
The Calling begins right were the last book left off; with Maya, Rafe, Daniel, Corey, Hayley and Nicole on a helicopter heading away from the forest fires that are ravaging the forest around Salmon Creek. Armstrong certainly gets points for not letting up on the action, every page is a mix of adrenalin and suspense that continues right up until the last page. Add that to promising open-ended finale – and the suggestion of a meeting between Maya and Chloe – and I am certifiably pumped for The Rising.
There isn’t an amazing amount of plot development in this instalment, instead the author tends to focus on character development and working out what exactly is happening around there. I, for one, am glad for the reprieve and the chance to understand more about these characters and the experiments being done by these ‘companies’. If anything, this only makes sure that both the reader and the characters are prepared for the showdown that should be the last book.
There were some interesting little things on the side-lines though; the mixed theories about Serena’s death was one in particular that popped up a lot, and also allowed us to see another – frankly disturbing – side of Nicole that I hope doesn’t last. Daniel was his usually charming self, as usual, and this new setting (where they are basically stripped to the basics) was a real eye opener when it comes to the bond and trust between him and Maya. Though I still don’t want this to become a love triangle, at least if he is the other corner I won’t be face-palming all the time at the heroine’s stupidity.
Kelley has a real talent for creating in-depth three dimensional characters, and though their series is technically over even just a reference to Chloe and her gang leaves me with a thrill, almost as if she’s a personal friend of mine. The Darkness Rising series begins to weave these two groups together, and as these bonds are made stronger in The Calling it leaves you with a real sense excitement for the awesomeness that will come.
A well written bridge to the last book in the series, The Calling is a mix of adventure, mystery, action and an education of sorts. If you haven’t read the Darkest Powers series I would highly recommend you do so before The Rising, if only so you can appreciate the true meaning behind the world. A well earned four stars from me!