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Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2)The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to round down a little because this book had a few problems for me. First, it jumped right in and I couldn't remember any of the characters except Maya, Rafe, and eventually Daniel, and I never really remembered the others. It said something about the development of the characters in this book, they weren't rich enough for me to get a feel for who they were at all. 

It also bothered me a bit that this series had the exact same formula as the author's Darkest Powers trilogy. It isn't like she tried to hide the formula thing or anything, it's deliberate and in fact it's made clear in this book that it's part of the plot of this series that the two stories are intertwined and that the similarities are deliberate. And yet, it made this book very repetitive, and I expected and anticipated every betrayal, every reveal. 

And finally, I had to round down because not a lot happened in this book. It's a weird second book in a trilogy thing. On the one hand, Armstrong does an amazing job of writing a story about kids on the run. That's the strength of both The Darkest Powers and her Darkness Rising stories. I can't help but feel for these kids and how alone and frightened they feel, the jeopardy they're in and the way they deal with it feels so real. But that's all this book is is running around in the woods. It was very much a middle book in a trilogy, from here to there with not enough substance for me. I did enjoy it while I was reading it. I felt the anxiety the kids were feeling while they were lost and confused, but as soon as I finished and started thinking about how to review it I just felt kind of eh, that was too quick and shallow and lacking somehow. It was just too much of a transition to whatever cool stuff is going to happen in book three, as is hinted at throughout the book with the connections to the other series and most heavily foreshadowed at the end of the book. So while it left me anticipating book three, I was also just not as satisfied with this book as I'd hoped to be. 

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