[BOOKS] ✸ The Calling By Kelley Armstrong – Uroturk.info
3.5 starsI really liked Armstrong s Darkest Powers Trilogy The Reckoning, the Summoning, the Awakening, so I was excited that this trilogy is set in that same world with a different set of kids The Things I loved 1 I loved that, unlike every other YA out there, Maya had a great relationship with her parents Yes, she was adopted, so there could be potentially creepy birth parents lurking out there, but I m a firm believer that the people who raise you are your real parents view spoiler I m assuming that the nasty guy at the end with the gun was her birth father, but it sounds like her birth mother could have just given her up to keep her safe hide spoiler Well written but I think my sheer impatience with the set up got to me References to Samuel Lyle Darkest Powers trilogy and the Nasts, Cortezes and St Clouds Women of the Otherworld were very welcome as I m anxious to see characters from all the books connect but I m seeing similarities with these other works too Maya reminds me of Elena WotO in personality and ability but the people around her made me think of Chloe s crowd Daniel is Chloe s Maya s best friend and she wants to keep it that way so no kissy wissy despite being attractive to every girl except her Apparently I m not so sure And Rafe is her Derek though he may actually be Clay to her Elena , an outsider outcast who s struggling to care for his brother sister, Annie.I loved Maya s parents They were good people and genuinely loved and cared for their adopted daughter Parents are rarely seen or heard in YA these days or if they re around they re neglectful of their duties, clueless about their children and their actions Maya has close relationships with them and I chuckled every time she lovingly teased her father mercilessly Her directness was embarrassing My impatience came into play when everything is blatantly obvious to us readers but we re waiting for the characters to catch on or impart important information to these poor clueless kids They don t realise that what they re joking around about is actually real and true because to them it s too far fetched I feel like I m 100 steps ahead of them and my foot s itching to kick them to motivate them to catch up.Intellectually I know this is just a slow build up, establishing Maya s world so we can understand how devastating it ll be for her and her friends when it all falls apart but justHURRY UP That cliffhanger, I knew it was coming but it still burns If I had the next instalment I would be reading it right now instead of writing this so I enjoyed the book well enough.However, I didn t particularly take to Rafe Perhaps I was reading too much into the whole love triangle thing of the last trilogy but I was hoping Daniel would take Maya s dad s offer of the truck and marry Maya He s far likeable than Rafe and I got the impression he might be interested in dating Maya but as I said before, I might be reading too much into his actions view spoiler I have many questions about what will happen next How many of the kids were taken, if any Did Annie make it out and will we see her again How is everything going to explained Who will get what explanation It s going to be tough to come up with a cover story about the way the fire spread and the strange people with guns pretending to be rescue workers but I think it will be entertaining to see them try hide spoiler Sixteen Year Old Maya Is Just An Ordinary Teen In An Ordinary Town Sure, She Doesn T Know Much About Her Background The Only Thing She Really Has To Cling To Is An Odd Paw Print Birthmark On Her Hip But She Never Really Put Much Thought Into Who Her Parents Were Or How She Ended Up With Her Adopted Parents In This Tiny Medical Research Community On Vancouver Island Until NowStrange Things Have Been Happening In This Claustrophobic Town From The Mountain Lions That Have Been Approaching Maya To Her Best Friend S Hidden Talent For Feeling Out People And Situations, To The Sexy New Bad Boy Who Makes Maya Feel Different Combine That With A Few Unexplained Deaths And A Mystery Involving Maya S Biological Parents And It S Easy To Suspect That This Town Might Have Than Its Share Of Skeletons In Its Closet The cougar a ragged ear old top I clled Marv just stared at her, like he couldn t believe anyone would be dumb to climb a tree to escape a cat I love Kelley Armstrong s Women of the Otherworld series, but this was my first time trying one of her young adult series Her writing style worked fine for this genre, easy to focus on and a breeze to get through Not much happens until after 50% into the story, but it s still easy to stay focused on the character focused book The small town setting is almost a character in itself, and there are different animals that throw out hints about the main character s hidden abilities Set in Canada, the tiny town is a called a medical community of sorts, which is just odd but totally works Maya s father is the park ranger so animals and the surrounding woods have much to do with the story There s a few scenes in the high school and friend gatherings that keep reminding me this is YA which isn t a bad thing since there s something about school settings that still interests me with stories Most of the action is reserved for the last 20%, so some may lose some patience There is a cliffhanger, but thankfully it s not a jagged killer of one While not action filled, it stills stays interesting but not much actually happens the book seems to be one long set up until the ending where it sorts of abruptly cuts off during their next step.Maya is unique with her abilities and I m not sure exactly everything she can do but she explores some of her heritage and Native American origins in this one I have a feeling she s going to discover much in the second book about tribes and her missing people I don t know all she can do yet but it s clearly something with animals.There is romance but it s not overly angsty It s tied strongly into the storyline, of course, but the main love interest is likable and different enough to keep that okay Her side friend with the abusive fathers throws in realism I can t complain about any of the characters we have some stereotypes, but in real life the teenagers usually have stereotypes in their group anyway we don t develop cliques in high school without a reason I like Maya s bond with her adoptive parents and how well they understand her not something often used in YA fiction but I m confused on the end and who or what are her birth parents Again, have a feeling that information is left to discover in the sequel.A lot of questions are raised and answered, but still some questions dangle waiting for the sequel to come out and fill the reader in Will be the second when I get the chance.I haven t read the Darkest Powers trilogy, so this is pretty new to me since I am not familiar with that tie in series. The last 1 4 of the bookI don t even know where to start.I don t know about you, but I m not too fond of writing essays, and I was pretty terrible at it in grade school I tend to BS my way through them then, I just ramble and make random, dramatic statements and reactions and not much actual facts until the very last part of my paper, where I realize, OH SHIT, I only have 250 words left, and I need to make a point Then I cram in all the facts I can and hope that my essay paper ends up somewhat coherent This is what it feels like Ms Armstrong did for the ending She fleshed out the first 3 4 of the book because she didn t have an idea of where she wants to go, then the hastily thrown together before deadline ending makes no sense.I m sorry, is there an actual plot to this book Ok, it s the first book in the series, and there needs to be introductions made, but I swear the first 2 3rds of the book was an introduction to Maya, her family, and her adopted past, her friend Serena s tragic accident, her mixed feelings and friendship with Daniel, and her burgeoning romance with the school poseu I mean Rafe Too much background Way, way too much background, and not enough flesh or plot I know than I need to about how wonderful her parents are, the mean spiritedness of bad girl Sam, and the wonderful, pretty, scenic little town and I mean little owned by the St Cloud corporation and all the hush hush that goes on surrounding the lab 75% through the book and I still had no idea what the plot is supposed to be.We hear the word skinwalker like twice in the first half One by a crazy lazy who pretty much spitefully shouts it at Maya while she s about to get a tattoo I really have no idea what this series wants to be. Bullet Review 75 pages of plot ballooned out to 359 pages Characters are complete morons, without a shred of common sense All the plot twists I called A HUNDRED PAGES before the characters were told it because investigating Ain t nobody got time for that Instead, let s focus on the stupid teen DWAMA romantic plot tumor.You cannot say that I m bloating the rating just because I liked Armstrong s earlier books Massive disappointment if I didn t already own the rest of the trilogy, I would quit here.Full Review Maya is totally not a normal teen in a totally not normal town but even though those two are fairly obvious, no one even bats an eye Maya heals animals super fast, talks with cougars like it s no big deal, and has visions of running through the forest but that s what everyone has, right Everyone can do that The town was built by the totally not suspicious St Clouds and has a set up straight out of a Stephen King horror novel but again, totes legit.Maya s friend, Serena, died drowning the previous year in a lake that should be called a kiddie pool, but even though Serena was a top notch swimmer, no one bats an eye Maya has a friend Daniel, who is totally not into her in the romantic way Nope nope, that would be weird.And the new bad boy , Rafe, is totally hot and sexy in that Latino way, so that means it s totally okay to break your rule about dating local boys for a makeout session or seventeen RIGHT All the problems of this book go back to One Ultimate Problem there is too little story spread out over 359 pages There is nothing inherently wrong with Maya s character I love how she s Native with Native culture or Daniel or Rafe or the setup of the town or the mysterious death of Serena Actually, all this could be a setup to a great horror movie Okay, maybe not great, but scary, definitely The problem is, this book is basically the first two chapters or so of a real book It s all setup, not even a teensie bit of a payout.Do we find out how Serena died Nope.Do we find out how Mina died Nope.Do we find out how the fire was set Nope Bonus How were the kids SO SURE that the fire was set Do we know anything about Maya s family Nope.Do we get confirmation about Rafe s assertions or do we just believe him because he s HAWT Hot, duh And on And on And so forth.It doesn t help that so much of the book feels like the same basic plot as Darkest Powers girl finds out from someone else who infodumps it to her, because GOD FORBID a woman know her own magical powers without being told by a male she s something special, super evil medical corporation wants to use kid s for EVUL Perhaps if we hadn t already read this plot in Darkest Powers, we could put up with Maya slamming her tongue down Rafe s throat for 200 pages, but come on, Armstrong We aren t idiots Your characters aren t idiots Open their eyes and let them see what s standing right in front of them.Oh and some of the survival tactics run completely counter to everything I d read before Pepper spray Actually, it is ILLEGAL to have in Canada, though it will allow bear and dog spray neither of which are mentioned in the book Most sites say not to run away if you meet a cougar And probably the biggest one is about climbing a tree to escape a bear Armstrong, I hate to be rude, but did you do research or just make some of this up for drama Common sense tells me I should avoid the sequel based on my dislike of this book however, I am hopeful, with 359 pages of setup out of the way, perhaps we can get to the actual story Plus I own all three books On a side noteI used to snap up all of Armstrong s books when they came out Glad I m not doing that any. My history with Kelley Armstrong is a long and solid one.I ve read all her books in the Underworld series and Elena and Clay are one of my few most beloved couples in UF I inhaled all the books where they are protagonists, they re definitely my favorite in the series.When Armstrong started writing YA lit The Darkest Powers series I picked up The Summoning I wasn t very impressed, so much so that I dropped the series This new series, Darkness Rising, is somewhat better than DP, but still hasn t left me very impressed so far The story is set in a tiny community somewhere on Vancouver Island, Canada Salmon Creek is a small village whose residents work for a pharmaceutical company who does classified medical research There s something definitely fishy going on in the community from Serena s Maya s best friend death, to the appearance of an ever increasing number of unknown cougars, to a series of weird events punctuating Maya s life There were some nice and original aspects to this story that I particularly appreciated The setting, for starters, is really nice Descriptions of the community, the wilderness and the wildlife are really well done, atmospheric There s always an animalistic taste to Armstrong s books when she deals with shapeshifters that I find extremely enticing Because after all, shapeshifters they are, in this book Skin walkers, to be precise, a race of supernaturals that I had yet to encounter in fantasy The mythology, tied to native Americans, is definitely a point which I found very interesting and that I would have wanted to and that I hope will be explored in the next installments What I didn t like was when said mythology got contaminated with a not so native regional Italian secret sect of hunters, the Benandanti, which had, in my opinion, very little to do with native Americans There might be ignorance on my part on this subject but the sect is, incidentally, originally from the area where I live and I am pretty sure we have nothing in common with native American shapeshifters Anyway The other problem I had is that some scenes between Maya and Rafe, especially the ones when they are in the woods, felt very much similar to some Elena and Clay s scenes view spoiler and if they re similar now, I can t imagine how similar they will be when they will play in the forest as cougars hide spoiler Here s the thing that you need to know before you pick this up it has no resolution It s three hundred and fifty nine pages of introduction A wild and eerie setting is described, a cast of powerful teenagers is introduced, a few mysteries are presented, and a romance begins And then it just ends There isn t even a real cliffhanger However, I have to say that the elements that are present the setting, the characters, the conflicts, and the romance are all pretty well done I don t know if it s because I am still smarting a bit from the ending of The Darkest Powers trilogy, but the lack of any kind of resolution in this book really bothers me Honestly, my recommendation is to wait for the second and third books of this series to be released before reading this one You ll probably save yourself a lot of frustration.This book takes place in a very remote part of Vancouver Island, in a tiny town called Salmon Creek The terrain is lush and uncultivated, and inhabited by dangerous wildlife Maya is a teenage girl who has been raised in Salmon Creek, which barely has a population of two hundred All of the adults are employed by the St Cloud corporation, a large medical research facility I think that if you ve read The Darkest Powers trilogy, you ll have an immediate awareness that something s not quite right in this town Maya s point of view, as a lifelong resident, is unsettling at times, but in a deliciously eerie way It s fascinating to experience how she views the St Cloud corporation, almost like a benevolent trustworthy entity that she needs to defend.When Maya s best friend Serena dies under mysterious circumstances, Maya vows to figure out what happened But a year later, she s still grieving, and avoiding any mention of Serena in an attempt to spare the feelings of her best friend Daniel, who was Serena s boyfriend When a journalist shows up in the town asking questions, and Maya starts having cougar run ins than can be considered healthy, she finally decides to get to the bottom of everything Complicating her life is an attraction to the new kid in town, Rafe Maya can tell that Rafe is never quite sincere about anything, and he seems to be a serial flirter, but she s drawn to him anyway.Here is my biggest problem with this book at my count, there are fifteen conflicts mysteries that are set up in the course of these pages, and not a single one of them is solved Not even the minor ones Here s the list that I came up with if you re interested view spoiler 1 What s the real motivation of the St Cloud corporation 2 What s going on with Rafe s sister 3 Who drugged Maya at her birthday 4 Is Serena still alive And does anyone else think that she s a siren 5 What was the thing that grabbed her in the lake 6 Is Maya going to tell her parents about her powers When will she shift 7 Where is her mother brother 8 What are the powers of all of the other kids in Salmon Creek 9 Will Rafe outrun the drug dealers 10 Who were the men in the woods 11 Why were they trying to round up the Salmon Creek kids 12 Who killed Mina Lee 13 What relevance do Maya s animal memory vision powers have 14 Will Daniel ever find out where his mother went 15 Will Rafe and Maya get together hide spoiler I have a confession to make here goes So, anyone who knows me at all on goodreads will know that I have a few friends whose reviews I rely on without question If they say a book is better than chocolate, orgasms and Melina Marchetta combined, even if I ve never heard of it, I will believe them Except I didn t I doubted, it s true, I doubted I have had this book on my shelf since not long after it s release in April last year and I have been putting if off and putting it off Everytime I reminded myself that I should probably read it soon I would then talk myself out of it.Why Because while my love for dystopias keeps me reading trash in search of that one book that will prove authors still know how to do it well, my love for young adult paranormal novels up and left shortly after the publication of the Twilight series Okay, so it occasionally makes a rare re appearance for books that are paranormal with other elements, like Angelfall for example And yet, Ms Armstrong has somehow successfuly delivered it back to me in a shiny, completely addicted condition I thought my inability to enjoy Unearthly another book that all my friends loved was proof that I was doomed to dislike young adult paranormal books forever How wrong I was.This is a wonderfully enjoyable novel with refreshing Native Canadian mythology There s also an array of characters that interested me beyond the main character Maya and the guy she s hot for Rafe like Daniel her overprotective best friend, Rafe s mentally damaged sister Annie, Sam the quick tempered girl who is than you first expect even Maya s parents are memorable with all the funny dialogue between the family, especially between Maya and her father And I want to hug Kelley Armstrong so much for managing to create a sexy love interest without him being a broody, crazy control freak A love story where both the guy and the girl have personalities and aren t abusive I must be dreaming This is just so much better written than the majority of young adult paranormal novels I m not suggesting that it will blow your mind or give you a new perspective on life, but this is how I felt about YA UF back when they used to be fun and not so repetitive, cliched and annoying This is how I felt at the start of the Vampire Academy series excited. I do not read a lot of paranormal fantasy novels because forgive me for being too honest , I find most of them a bit corny and the romance often cheesy but this particular book combines several elements the setting a really small secluded forest town in Canada that specializes in medical research , the sprinkle of science fiction and mythology and the genuine teen feel to the novel including the realistic romance, dialogues and writing making this a very refreshing read The plot isn t your complex, adventurous type but it was still engaging to read because of the mystery behind the characters, and the setting of the story itself I learned quite a few things about wild animals especially cougars The main character, Maya, is also a very likable character, quite funny too What I particularly liked most about the story is Maya s relationship with her parents and her best friend, Daniel Here s a great example of the plausibility of a boy and a girl being best friends without having to fall in love with each other although it might be too early to tell because it s only the first book But Rafe is 3 I settled for three stars because besides the cliffhanger, the last twenty percent of the story seemed a bit jumbled up, as if the missing actions during the significant first portion of the novel were all crammed up in the last few pages of the book Also, there are still so many questions unanswered although I m sure that s the author s way of making the reader want to read the sequels Overall, it was still a generally enjoyable read If you re looking for a really enthusiastic and positive perspective of the novel, do check out Pang s review.