The Call (The Call, #1)by Peadar Ó Guilín
Published on August 30th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairies, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
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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?
So. I read this book called The Call. I expected a survival story, which it is. It focuses on a girl named Nessa, who must survive the terrifying “Call” of the faeries. Nessa’s determined to prove everyone in her school that she can survive, which is three minutes in the human world but a grueling half day in the faerie realm. Every child will receive a Call. Only a small percentage make it back alive.
What I was not expecting was a straight up bag of horror and creepiness. Because this book is downright horrifying and unsettling–this faerie realm is NOT a happy place with storybook faeries. This world is toxic: the air is hard to breathe, every landscape is harmful, and the Sidhe (faeries) are awful creatures, “architects” of some terrible things. These creations of theirs, which are described with twisty detail, will be sitting in my subconscious for the rest of my life.
But these are not complaints. In fact, I really liked this book. As I mentioned before, the Sidhe and their world are twisted; they have their reasons. What really drew me to The Call was Nessa; this girl is quiet strength. She had polio as a child, which twisted one of her legs, but it doesn’t define her–she is, first and foremost, a teenaged girl. She has supportive friends, including her witty best friend, Megan; she has a crush. She trains with everyone, but everyone else writes her off. Fine by her. She’s too busy being awesome to give her naysayers the time of day.
This is a wonderful look at friendship and love that takes place in scary times. Nessa and Megan are close, and they share bonds with some of the other students in their grade, like Anto. He’s poetic and shy, but he has a not-so-secret crush on Nessa. These two together, even under their circumstances, are perfect.
There is a pecking order in their school though. There’s a “popular” group who think they’re better than everyone else, and the leader has a dangerous vendetta against Nessa. The dangers of school and receiving a Call were well balanced and kept the tension high throughtout the book.
I had some concerns. I didn’t like that Megan would call Nessa a slut or whore. There’s also a plot concerning the Sidhe that, while troubling to the school, was planted into the book but didn’t germinate well for me. It’s a crucial plot and I felt like I missed something. And yet I tore through the pages with terrified glee.
I have heard there’s a second book being planned, and while I may be traumatized from the subconscious imagery, I am definitely reading more of Nessa’s story. But seriously, this one is definitely not for the faint of heart.