Title: The Call (The Call #1)
Author: Peadar O Guilin
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Publisher: David Fickling Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Could You Survive the Call?
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. – Excerpt from Goodreads
I haven’t read anything quite like this book, then again I’ve only more recently gotten really into dystopian books. This book was quite a ride!
The Call is centered a group of kids that are training for when it’s their turn to be Called. At the age of ten they are taken from those they know and love and put into a very strict and harsh school where they are trained to try and survive the horrors that are inevitably coming their way. The Sidhe are a race of fae that are hellbent on killing anyone they can from Ireland because the Irish took their land many years ago and forced them into a type of hell. The Sidhe only live to seek vengeance for the wrongs that have been done to them.
The Call is kind of a mix of The Hunger Games and a more adult horror book. The violence is all too real in this book and fairly disturbing. I actually would’ve liked them to go a little further with some of the descriptions and what happened to some of the kids. Maybe that makes me a sicko, it likely does! What can you do! I loved that a YA book was actually disturbing me though with some of the ideas it was throwing out. I won’t give anything away because it’s fun reading about it.
I don’t understand why this book didn’t get more hype. It deserves more. I saw a few large Booktubers mention it but it kind of disappeared from any discussion in YA books just as fast as it came. Shame.
I found the book fairly fast-paced but I know others have said differently. The book kept my interest though-out it all and I would’ve likely read it in one sitting if I didn’t have five books on the go at the time. The main protagonist worked for me. I found her intelligent and I loved her drive. I also loved that the main character had a physical disability, I wish we would see more about disabilities in these types of books. So many of us can relate and identify with these types of characters and other people can learn a lot from just the normalization of disabilities in general. So bravo to the author of making his lead with a big challenge like that to overcome.
So, what didn’t work for me? Why did I hold back on five stars? The characters were a little thin. There were some that when they got Called I had no clue who they were. That didn’t mean I wasn’t interested though. No, I didn’t have any investment in those characters but I did have an investment in the world they entered. I wanted to know what was going on and what awful things they going to have to endure, so that didn’t ruin it for me. I think the world building on both sides needed to be fleshed out more – I wasn’t confused about anything, I just wanted more. I could’ve easily read another 100 pages on the world alone. I have no idea if that is a good or bad thing. I also had issues with the main character’s best friend. I don’t mind that she was crass but at times she felt a bit juvenile with all the potty humor. It made me roll my eyes a few times. Not my thing at all.
I’m not going to criticize that I don’t know much more about Anto yet but only because another book is coming. I have no idea if it will be a series or a duology. I don’t think that has been announced. I’m hoping that the author will take the time to let us get to know these characters better in the next one.
I highly recommend this book IF you can handle gore and violence. This book doesn’t hold back even though it is a YA novel. I also should warn you that it does leave the book on a pretty big cliff hanger so if that is going to bother you then you might want to wait till the author releases the next story so you can find out what happens right away.