Title: The Call
Author: Peadar O’Guilin
Publisher//Date: David Fickling Books// August 30,2016
Genre: YA Fantasy/Horror
Synopsis: Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.
Could you survive the Call?
Rating: 3.8 -4/5
This book. Oh Baby.
This book is a nightmare and a half – and that has nothing to do with quality. The things that happen in this book are disturbing and the above-quoted synopsis doesn’t even BEGIN to cover this book in the slightest.
Basically, the county of Ireland has been cut off from the rest of the world by the Sidhe – evil, sadistic fairies – and their tweens and teens are “Called” – basically magical kidnapping – and hunted, tortured, and effectively slaughtered. Children are sent to special schools to teach them how to survive – 1 in 10 survives.
Like I said – this book is nuts.
I had a really hard time trying to rate this book (as you can see) but there wasn’t much I out and out disliked that has to do with the quality of the book (maybe?) but there are things that I dislike that fall strictly on personal taste.
Let’s Break It Down
What I Liked:
- NESSA. Let’s face it: Nessa is a badass and I loved her. Nessa is disabled – living with limited use of her legs after a childhood bout with polio – and at an EXTREME disadvantage in this world. But that doesn’t stop her; she is determined to survive. She’s good at adapting to her surroundings and she’s got a one-track mind when it comes to survival – but there’s something very human about Nessa that made me like her immediately.
- The Writing Style. I don’t really pay attention to the writing style unless it catches my attention. This caught my attention. It’s in a 3rd person omniscient POV that jumps heads often and drops hints about what’s to come. There were moments of dark humor that I liked. I thought the style of writing was different and refreshing and really set the tone of the book.
- The Tone and Setting. HOLY MOLY this book is bleak. Every teenager knows that they will face a life or death situation that, statistically, they will not come out of unscathed. There’s a death every few chapters and many of them are just a passing mention, the dead child not even named. Many scenes take place in dark buildings and dark woods. Characters speak frankly about what they’re facing.
What made me go ‘Meh’:
- The Characters in General. I had a really hard time connecting with the characters other than Nessa. I probably liked Anto and Megan the most of all of them but I had a really hard time connecting to any of the characters. Some of the characters didn’t get much screen time and development, but, honestly, I think it was because I knew early on, not to get attached because they’re all going to die. I had this same problem with The Hunger Games the first time I read it – don’t form attachments because they’re going to be killed violently and you’re going to watch it happen.
- The Graphic Imagery and Violence. Don’t get me wrong, I know violence happens in books all the time – and it normally doesn’t phase me. This one got under my skin because it wasn’t just violence. It was mutilation. Dismemberment. Kids with horns. Kids with holes in them. And the glee with which the Sidhe do all this was the most disturbing of all. That was what put me over the edge. I read through the worst of those scenes very quickly – which is hard for me to admit. But it was a little much for me.
All in all, The Call is a ingenious YA fantasy that is not for the faint of heart.