The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

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The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Buy The Calling from Amazon.co.uk

Buy The Calling from Amazon.com

Genre: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: Maya's second outing is a tense thrill ride - she and the other survivors of the forest fire face hypothermia, dehydration and men with guns as they try to make their way back to Salmon Creek. But if they make it, who can they trust?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Atom
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1907410475

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Maya Delaney and friends have just survived a forest fire they think might have been set deliberately. Safely flying away in a helicopter, they think their troubles are over. Until the pilot turns out to be on the same side as those setting the fire.

When the helicopter goes down in the freezing waters around Vancouver Island, Maya has to protect those of her friends who survived. Getting home means a trek across the wilderness, where much more than cougars are lurking. Trying to avoid hypothermia, dehydration, starvation, big cats and the people who want to take them captive, no matter the cost, is easier said than done. But Maya and her friends have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Maya is a skin-walker, possessed of incredible senses, and the ability to shift into a cougar, not that she's managed to do so yet. And she's not the only one in the group to be coming into some supernatural powers...

It's been so long since I read The Gathering that I struggled to remember the events that led Maya to the point she starts this instalment at. And Armstrong doesn't give you much time to settle in to the story - it's all action from the word go.

Surprisingly, for a book that is by and large a story about walking through the woods, the tension never eases up, and will have you turning pages as fast as if the action set pieces were moving from continent to continent. In fact, the claustrophobic setting of the forest added its own layer of fear. Maya may have the upper hand in the forest - as natural a home to her as her own house - but the ever present danger of getting lost, dehydrated or hypothermic made the setting an antagonist as much as the men creeping round with tranquilliser darts.

The gradual realisation of there being something wrong about the lives lived by Maya and the other teens is also unsettling, with every character ever met in the previous book suddenly under suspicion. Who can be trusted? In truth, no one.

There are plenty of hints at things that have happened in the wider 'Otherworld' universe, with mentions of the Nasts, and what happened in Buffalo, which I believe is a reference to the Darkest Powers series. This interconnectedness is something I really like about Armstrong's writing and world building - and it makes these series aimed a perfect platform for the older teens to discover the rest of the Otherworld from.

Overall, a tense thrill ride, which paves the way for what will undoubtably be a superb conclusion. I, for one, will be watching the bookshelves closely for it.

My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.

Fans should definitely read (if they haven't already) The Summoning, and might also enjoy Strange Angels by Lili St Crow.

Buy The Calling by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Calling by Kelley Armstrong at Amazon.co.uk.


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