Age Range: YA
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: 30 August 2016
Genre: Fantasy/ Horror/ YA
What if you only had three minutes to save your life and the clock is already counting down? Three minutes: you wake up alone in a horrible land. A horn sounds. You realise you've been Called. Two minutes: they're getting closer and despite all your training you're exhausted, you can't see anywhere to hide. One minute: you're glad you can run. Nessa can't, her polio-twisted legs mean she'll never survive her Call, will she? Suddenly, a hand grabs your wrist and it's more painful than anything you have ever experienced before in your life...Time's up. Could you survive The Call?
Brutal, Gory, and Amazing! I absolutely loved this story! It is a perfect read for those looking for a deliciously twisted and chilling book. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone looking for a unique take on Fae or who are fans of Irish Folklore or Folklore in general.
I knew very little going into this story. I had been on the search for a good Halloween read, and decided to rent the audiobook with little more than a recommendation. I honestly wasn't really sure what to expect, but MAN was this story one in a million. Everything about this story was so unique and so well crafted, I was completely blown away. All of the Fae stories have read and been romanticized, that is not the case for this story. The Sidhe (Fae of Irish Folklore) are vicious, brutal, and beyond twisted. They kill and maim for fun, and create the most grotesque of creatures. They were such a unique form of villain; I loved every minute of it.
This story was mostly told from the point of view of the protagonist Nessa, but has random chapters told from those who have been called. For me, it was these chapters, that really set the book apart from anything else I have read. I became attached to many of the characters and loathed others, having the Calls dispersed through the book, and reading from the called individual's perspective being able to read their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, made this story go from a good one to an amazing one. There is just something about knowing that each of the characters could be called at any point in the book and that they may not survive kept me on the edge of my seat and completely enticed in the story.
Then there was the Call itself. The Grayland is so gruesome and terrifying, I was amazed by the author's ability to describe the twisted world and actions of the Sidhe. O'Guilin was so vivid in his description of the landscape, creatures, and Sidhe living in the Grayland that, for me as a reader, it often felt more like a movie than a book. I found it so easy to visualize the gloom and horror of the Grayland.
As, for characters, I have never wanted a particular character to die more than I did in this book. I absolutely hated Connor. I didn't just want him to die; I NEEDED him to die, preferably in a method that was slow and painful. It was clear from the first time he is introduced that he is arrogant, cruel, and worst of all, Self-Righteous. I hated when I had to listen to a chapter from his point of view because he made me so angry. In his mind, he is valid in his actions, which only served to anger me more.
While, I, passionately hated some of the characters I did really enjoy others. Namely Nessa and Megan. These two were such a pair. Megan was the perfect amount of sass and comic relief. She was so crass and a little rude, but she was also such a loyal and true friend. Her gruff demeanor and sharp tongue made for some of the most interesting dialogs. The book would have been incomplete without her. Then there was Nessa, I couldn't get enough of her character. Everyone dismissed her and just assumed that she would die, and yet she didn't let it get her down. She wanted to live and didn't stop fighting to survive. She was so fierce and so strong, and she was so resourceful. She never let her disability slow her down. She, as most people with disabilities do, always found ways to adapt. She was probably one of my favorite protagonist's perspectives to read from.
My Thoughts on the Audiobook:
If you have the ability to pick a format to read this book, my recommendation goes to the audiobook. The Call is narrated by Amy Shiels, and she did such an amazing job narrating the story. Her accent gives the characters so much life. She was honestly one of the best narrators I have listened to so far, she was so consistent in the voice and accent of the character, and she had such great inflection, it almost felt more like a movie than an audiobook.
The other nice thing about reading this book via audiobook is that you as a reader do not have to worry about pronunciations. This book is chock full of hard to pronounce words like Sidhe and the character named Aiofe. By listening to the audiobook, I didn't have to worry about trying to figure out the correct way to pronounce these items.