Friday, March 16, 2012

The Calling by Kelly Armstrong

The Calling (Darkness Rising # 2) is once again told in the POV of 16 year old Maya Delaney who is a Skinwalker (aka Yee naaldlooshii) like Rafe Martinez and his sister Annie. Where The Gathering left off, The Calling begins with questions answered and more questions left to be explained.

The first question pertains to the mysterious stranger who came out of nowhere attempting to “rescue” Maya, Rafe and Daniel, and apparently knows Maya as his daughter. He later claimed that he wasn’t given any choice in the matter, nor was he given a voice in Maya’s adoption to the Delaney’s. Needless to say this goes over like a stale cup of coffee loaded with cigarette butts.

The second part becomes trickier when the helicopter that is supposed to carry the kids to Vancouver and safety--crashes leaving Maya, Daniel, Nicole, Samantha Russo, Hayley Morris, and Corey Carling as its only survivors. Rafe, who was in the helicopter as well, fell and is presumed to be dead.

There are still questions as to the identity of the pilot and whether or not he was working for the Nast Cabal (who wants the kids and collects supernatural beings) or the St. Cloud Corporation (who claim they only want to help and protect them yet recreated supernatural beings thought to have been extinct).

Armstrong tends to use characters and organizations from her Women of the Otherworld series. It was done with the Darkest Powers Trilogy (Chloe Saunders) and the trend continues with this series. Even the so called villainous masterminds are similar in name and stature. The Edison Group. The St. Cloud Group.

While the kids are trying to figure out what is happening to them and why, Daniel suddenly shows a remarkable new ability (the power of persuasion). And, apparently, he and Sam are demon hunters aka Benandanti who have been reborn to hunt half demons like the former Mina Lee. It appears Corey’s abilities are a secret in that he gets migraines and sees things but he can’t control them.

Questions still remain about Serena’s death because of the fact that she was the captain of the swim team and the strongest swimmer of them all. It appears she may have been dragged underwater by another supernatural being that later attacks Maya. Suspects include: Hayley and Nicole who share common traits, and characteristics and may be mer-people.

Maya is a lot better character than Chloe ever was. I love her ability to relate to animals and later she shape shifts into a cougar and mountain lion. I love the fact that she is a take charge character who doesn’t sit around all day and muddle her way through her constant angsts. She is conflicted in her likes between Daniel and Rafe, but Rafe has some serious questions revolving around him now especially by the way this book ends.

Other questions that remain unanswered: Where is Maya’s twin brother, and why did her biological mother give her up? Where are Maya’s adoptive parents and will they ever realize the kids are still alive and not dead as all indication appear?

The Calling ends up being linked back to Chloe Saunders trilogy. Both series have characters that were genetic experiments. Both series feature a female lead with unusual powers and abilities. Both trilogies also have a female lead who is conflicted between two boys she cares for. One mysterious, the other her best friend.

The Calling leaves questions as to whether or not Armstrong intends to somehow link the two trilogies together in a final going away present to her readers. It’s truly remarkable that all roads once again lead back to Buffalo, NY and the Edison Group.

Expected publication: April 10th 2012 by HarperCollins

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