Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Call by Peadar O' Guilin - Book Review

The Call by Peadar O' Guilin
Publication date: August 30, 2016
My rating: 4 stars

If I had to describe The Call in a few words, I would say this book is somewhat of a cross between the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
It has that same fast-paced and addictive feeling as Fever (and the gruesome faeries. Don't forget the gruesome faeries) and the darkness of Nevernight (if you read Nevernight - or even heard of Nevernight - you know what I mean).

Darn, if I didn't love this book. 
It was all the way in for me from the very first line, and I couldn't let it go until the very last one.

But just like I did with Nevernight, I have to warn you this book is dark. And I do mean dark-dark. At times, I found it to be even more twisted than Nevernight (but that's a matter of opinion now). Despite the fact this book follows a very YA protagonist (she's only 14), this world Peadar O' Guilin has created is not a world where children can be allowed to be children anymore. 

This book is brutal. Don't expect otherwise. Fully expect to see teenagers - kids, really - die gruesome deaths from their own POV.

And yet... as dark as this book was, it was also beautiful and hopeful and strong. It delivered strong feelings, strong message and a strong protagonist. Everything about this book was memorable. 

What is The Call actually about? 

Imagine an Ireland that was sealed away from the rest of the world. Now imagine faeries announcing their existence. And then... children start disappearing, one by one. They're snatched into the faery land and must survive the faeries brutal game of hunt before whatever remains of them... dead, alive, or something in between, goes back to the real world. 

No one ever knows where or when they'll be called. It can be anywhere, anytime, anyplace. All between the ages of 12-17. The only thing certain is that you will be called before you'll live to see another birthday. 

In that kind of world, brutal and deprived of all innocence, Nessa - our protagonist - is "doomed" before she even had a chance to fight. Because Nessa's legs aren't working quite right. She can walk, but being ravaged by polio as a child, and without the proper medicine to help her, Nessa's legs are crippled.
How can she run from the faeries... when she can't even outrun her classmates? 

But Nessa is an oh-so-strong protagonist and she refuses to give up. Despite what everyone thinks, despite the obvious facts that she has no chance to survive on feary land, Nessa keeps fighting. 

*Full review (with spoilers)*

I love Nessa. She is the kind of protagonist I would immediately put under my 'my top kick*ss protagonists' list. She's just so mentally strong. And there is nothing I love more than a character like Nessa. 

But, yes, why shouldn't she live? She deserves it more than Conor and a whole lot of others.

I loved Megan too. It broke my heart when she died.
I was *so sure* she was going to make it. I was *so sure* she, at least, was going to survive.
After reading death after death of one kid after the other, seeing the horrors those kids had to go through in the Grey Land, when even those of "survived" didn't survive much at all... it gets to you. You desperately hope to see at least one win. And since we didn't much get it with Anto, I wanted it with Megan. At the very least I wanted her to come back alive.
And when she didn't... I broke right along Nessa. 

'Do you like farms?' she whispers.
'Farms? Why... I don't know. I've--'
'Sat yes.'
'Yes. Um. I... love farms?'
'Good. And Donegal?'
'It's, uh, the best place in the world?'

I loved that we got a little bit of romance in the mix. I liked the relationship between Nessa & Anto.
I can't say that I fangirled all over it or that they're my favorite couple, simply because I didn't much connect with Anto. 

I was so happy that he survived (I was rooting for him like crazy in those intense moments at the Grey Land!), and that he and Nessa got to have their HFN (happy for now) ending. Seriously, it was so sweet.
It's simply the fact that I didn't much connect with Anto (to Nessa I connected plenty), or that I felt much of a real connection between him and Nessa (other than "we're going to die someday pretty soon so we better live as much as we can right now"), that I couldn't fully be invested in their relationship. 

I was so thrilled when I heard there was going to be a second book!
I'm not sure if it's going to be a doulogy, a trilogy or a series but this story, despite its rather happy ending, is definitely not over. And I can't wait to get more!

What I'm hoping for in the next book: 

  • Some Anto & Nessa connection time, for sure.
  • Nessa & Aofie bonding and becoming friends - I can actually see this happening; Both of them lost a person that was more to them than just a friend (for Aofie, it was a lover. For Nessa, it was practically a sister). If Aofie survives her calling (she better! I think there has been enough killings of Nessa's friends, don't you think. Peadar?), I wish for them to become closer friends.
And that's pretty much it considering we really don't have many people left alive to root for. 

Now excuse me while I go check when the next book is coming out...

She has suffered enough horror to realize how fragile happiness is, how eager the universe is to take it away. 
-- The Deserter, Peadar O' Guilin 


  1. I actually gasped out loud when I read that it's "a cross between the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff". I haven't read Nevernight yet, but I am the biiiiggest fan of the Fever series so I'm adding this book to my wishlist right now. It sounds fantastic! ♥

    1. *squeals*! The Fever series is like... one of my favorite books EVER. I can talk about it forever :'D
      And I loved Nevernight (that book was like non other). Oh, I so hope you'll love The Call. Considering you are as huge a fan of Fever as I, I'm pretty confident you will ;)
      Tell me what you think when you read The Call & Nevernight - I'd love to discuss all about it :D

  2. This sounds like an absolutely fantastic book! I didn't read the spoilery part, because of spoilers, but I love the fae and the idea of having to send children back regardless of what state they're in. I'm definitely checking this one out!

    1. Oh yay, I hope you'll love it! If I can convince just one person to give this fantastic book a chance... that's enough for me (:
      Of course, no spoilers. If you do get to it... I'm very much looking forward for your thoughts ^__^

  3. Good news! This time I didn't spoil myself :D Haha. Great review Zoey! It sounds really interesting. I mean, you said dark, Nevernight and fairies, so how can I resist? It sounds creepy and I'm glad it has a girl with disability as a main character - yaay for representation! I added to my TBR!

    1. That *is* good news! I'm so proud of you ;D
      Ideed I said 'dark' 'nevernight' and 'fearies'. You love darkness, don't you? The Call is definitely for you.
      I was so glad for that as well. Disabilities only now started getting more and more into books, but mostly to contemporary. There are still not many characters with diabilities (both mental and physical) in fantasy books. But it's sure getting there (:
      Thank you, Esther! I'm really glad you liked my review :D <3

  4. Terrific review! This one sounds fantastic. :D

    1. Why, thank you! That means so much for me to hear :')
      It sure is! I hope you'll love it :D