About the Book

Title: The Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
Published: 2012
Series: Darkness Rising
Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Cover Story: Big Face!
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Serial Queen
Bonus Factors: Were POV, Evil Corporation
Relationship Status: Summer Boy

Spoiler Alert: This is the second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. Some spoilers for the first, The Gathering, follow throughout this review.

Cover Story: Big Face!

Hi, Nina Dobrev look-alike! That sure is a shiny earring you have on.

The Deal

Having just found out that she was a part of a scientific experiment that awakened a dormant gene — making her a Skinwalker — Maya, Daniel and Rafe board a helicopter to beat a hasty retreat from their homes in Salmon Creek as a deliberately set fire threatens to engulf the island. However, treachery awaits them at every turn, and soon the youths are running for their lives in the woods of Vancouver Island, where they find out that Maya isn’t the only one who was a part of St. Cloud’s genetic experiment…

BFF Charm: Make It Rain

BFF charm holding an umbrella

I like Maya as the lead in this series, not because of her sparkling personality or incredible realism, but because she’s a solidly good person. She’s loyal to her friends and family, she tries to make good decisions, and most of all, has discourse with her group about the decisions to be made, instead of just always going off half-cocked on her own like some protags. But if I’m honest, it’s her friends I really love. I’ve already said in my last review how awesome Daniel is (and how much I want to make out with him). In this installment, I felt like I got to know Corey, Sam, and Hayley a lot better, and I liked that as Maya came to appreciate each of them more, they didn’t just magically drop their issues and have a love fest. Corey was still a little bit charming and a little bit douchey, Sam was tough and smart, but still caustic and suspicious and possibly untrustworthy, and Hayley was loyal but still a brat.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

This episode doesn’t focus SO much on the swoon, what with the whole running-for-their-lives aspect. And also, nobody had showered in DAYS, so you can imagine even Daniel and Rafe might not be so appealing. Still, Armstrong managed to fit in a few tingly bits for your tingly bits. This series hasn’t developed a love triangle, and I’m not gonna lie, I’ll be really disappointed if it does.

Talky Talk: Serial Queen

I’m going to go ahead and dub Kelley Armstrong the queen of the serial. With each of her series, she manages to pack a lot of action, a bit of humor, characters you want to know, and at least a decent amount of swoon into books where a whole lot doesn’t actually happen. This can make for a frustrating read, but I think it follows in the footsteps of the serials of old. So while true serials might not be everybody’s bag, I like them like I like junk food: they won’t sustain me forever, but sometimes they really hit the spot.

Bonus Factor: Were POV

As we learn in the first book, Maya is essentially a werepanther. In this book, Armstrong gives us a detailed look into what exactly that might be like, which is good, because now I know that if I were a were, I’d spend all of my time going, “Ack! My whiskers!” because that shite touches everything.

Bonus Factor: Evil Corporation

We already knew of the St. Cloud Corporation from book one, but now there might be ANOTHER evil corporation? Competing evil corporations?!!! Why, that’s unheard of in this world!

Relationship Status: Summer Boy

After my oh-so-successful blind date with this series last year, I began to think we might have what it takes to really make a go of it. But the thing is, we were both on vacation when we met, and when you’re on vacation, everything seems easy and possible. Once we got back to our own respective lives, however, the Facebook chats and phone calls quickly fizzled, before ceasing altogether. In fact, I hadn’t given any thought to this series for some time. But then I went back to my beach cottage for summer vacation, and who should arrive for their vacation the SAME exact day? If you guessed this book, then you guessed right, and the sparks we shared the year before picked up just where we left off, with no awkwardness or getting-to-know-you time, and best of all — no expectations past the end of summer.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Harper Collins. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). The Calling is available now.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.