Monday, January 28, 2013

Challenge Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Calling
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Shapeshifters, Psychic Abilities, Demons
Setting Location: Salmon Creek, Vancouver Island, Canada (fictional)
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 326 Pages
ISBN: 9780061797057
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback // Audiobook

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

Summary: Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.


Maya and her friends are being evacuated from a burning Salmon Creek when they notice something isn't quite right. Mayor Tillson is unresponsive and Maya finds signs that he's been drugged. The pilot is acting suspicious, and as the helicopter loses control, a friend is lost. Injured, but having escaped their kidnappers, they find themselves lost in the wilderness of Vancouver Island. As they make their way back to Salmon Creek, secrets and revelations are brought to light, some of which are better left in the dark. 

Project Phoenix is an experiment where the St. Clouds are trying to resurrect extinct supernatural types. Mina Lee had given Daniel a list of terms that included: benandanti, yee naaldlooshii, xana, and sileni. We know that the yee naaldlooshii were an extinct Native American skinwalker, and that that's what Maya, Rafe and Annie are. Sam reveals herself to be a benandanti and that she believes Daniel is one too. The benandanti were an extinct race of demon hunters who evolved into general evil hunters. Like the skinwalkers, the demon hunters hid their powers through intermarriage and the St. Clouds resurrected the genes to bring them back.


Now, it isn't said in The Calling what the xana and sileni are, but I looked them up and found out what they are. The xana (ha-na) are female water nymphs or fairies. They are extraordinarily beautiful, usually small, slender, with long blonde or light brown hair. Their hypnotic voices can make one feel a sense of peace and love or feel suffocated and driven insane, depending on the purity of the soul. They can be kind, but are territorial. Serena, Hayley, and Nicole all fit this description. It would also fit with Sam's suspicion that Nicole was responsible for Serena's death. Nicole thought of Daniel as her territory and destroyed Serena for invading it.

Sileni were drunken followers of the Greek dog, Dionysus, who ruled over the grape harvest, wine, ritual madness and ecstasy (or possibly followers of his tutor, Silenus, the oldest, wisest, and most drunken of Dionysus's followers). Silenus was believed to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy when drunk. I feel pretty bad for Corey in this case, because this fits him and the emergence of his powers. Corey is known for his drinking and it seems to help keep his headaches away. It is while he is drunk that his visions come.

There have been some developments in each of their powers, but it'll be interesting to see how much  more they could change in The Rising, especially when those who don't know what they are find out.

The man that held a gun on Maya and looked like her in The Gathering when they were escaping turns out to really be her father, like she suspected. But he's aligned himself with the Nast Cabal to search for her and her friends. He claims to have been searching for her and her brother ever since her mother ran off with them. Do I believe that? I'm not sure. Calvin Antone seems suspicious to me and like he's still hiding something.

Then they made it back to Salmon Creek, the town was completely deserted, their parents believing them to be dead. But the St. Clouds haven't given up on capturing them. Maya, Daniel, Corey, and Rafe split up. Rafe and Corey act as decoys so Maya and Daniel can get away and get help--they end up captured. As they are running, Daniel gets shot with a tranq and tells Maya to keep going. But Maya's not going to leave her friends behind and waits for her chance to rescue them. She Shifts into a cougar's really awesome, she was amazing. But while Maya was able to free Daniel and Corey, they didn't make it in time to the helipad to get Rafe, Annie, Sam, and Kenjii.

Before all this happened, Rafe gave Maya a note, and it turned out to be memos on the Buffalo escape and the failed Genesis Project. Rafe left a contact his mother gave him and told Maya to find him and then come back for them. I believe this contact to be Simon and Derek's dad, Kit. The moment I've been looking forward to the most in this series is when the groups from the Darkness Rising and Darkest Powers series come together. I have a feeling it's going to be amazing.

About this Author:

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

PART OF.... 

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