The Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
Publication Date: April 10th 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.
Compared to all the other Kelley Armstrong books I read, The Calling feels incredibly unique in the way they are finding themselves in the wilderness having to survive on top of the normal secret organization trying to find them trope. We are stuck with a small cast of characters this time around and we are surrounded by so many mysteries: What is going on? Who can they trust? What are they? Unlike the other half of this supernatural creature equation, these kids do not know what they are at all. Maya knows what she is, and Daniel soon comes to terms with what he is, and it's starting to become apparent that the others are something as well, but the other two terms they come across xana and sileni are foreign to them and they have no idea, other than one must be good at singing and swimming.
Rafe is lost pretty early in the book, which made me wonder about Daniel in this second book, but I really liked how Armstrong didn't do the obvious ploy of having Daniel move on in, trying to get Maya's heart, thus creating the obvious YA Supernatural Love Triangle. It's obvious to us as the readers and the others with them that Daniel likes Maya more than just friends, but Maya is oblivious and Daniel is content right now for her to stay that way, especially since it's quite obvious her heart is Rafe's. Of course she will have the opportunity for things to come out next book.
One other thing I really liked about this plot is the slight horror element to it (anyone who keeps up with my reviews knows I love YA horror) with the kids being picked off one by one, leading up the the major "attack" at the end. As the cast of characters gets smaller and smaller, we can only wonder how this will play out, and if maybe things can truly be brought down.
I also have realized that I should really go read that final book in Kelley's necromancer books, as now it's very obvious these books take place in the exact same world and there may be some crossover coming up.
I admit it, I held out hope that Rafe was still alive for the whole book, so I was just filled with happy when he appears out of pretty much no where to rejoin Maya, and I really liked how you can tell Maya's feelings for him have not changed (Sorry Daniel, but I like Rafe x Maya).
I also loved how Maya came into her shapeshifting, and the fact that just because some man is her bio-dad doesn't mean anything to her, because he isn't the one who raised her. I also really wonder how her adoptive parents are going to come into play, because I am also of the mind that they don't know anything about the organizations and were just sucked into all of this as well.
I really do think Armstrong is steadily improving as a writer, things were definitely less dramatic this time around in a good way, and more interesting as well. The world building is grabbing me even more as well, especially since she isn't using the normal everyday known paranormal types in this half of the series. If you enjoyed the first book, I highly recommend taking this one a whirl, and if you enjoyed her Necromancer series, I recommend picking up this as well as it is a continuation in the world.