Skip to main content

The Calling: Darkness Rising, Book 2

Review

The Calling: Darkness Rising, Book 2

Maya and her friends have escaped the raging forest fire threatening their homes, but the helicopter rescue isn’t going very well. First, the pilot heads off course and blacks out. Sam jumps on the controls, barely managing to keep them in the air, but a combination of the radical ride and an accidental door opening causes Rafe to fall. Maya manages to get a hold of his hands as Daniel grabs Maya’s feet, but now all three are slipping. Rafe performs the selfless act of letting go to save his friends, and he falls away as the others watch in horror.

"The nonstop action, fantasy twists, compelling mysteries, sizzling romance, and Armstrong’s obvious love and respect of nature help make this a winning series. Fans will be waiting breathlessly for the trilogy’s conclusion."

Sam is able to crash land the helicopter, but not without casualties. Both the pilot and the mayor are dead, but the six remaining teens and Maya’s dog, Kenjii, manage to swim to shore. Now they are on the run in the Canadian wilderness and finally learning more about the why. They’ve discovered that their entire lives have been part of a huge experiment to reactivate extinct genes for supernatural powers. Maya’s paw print birthmark on her hip brands her as a skin-walker, the same as Rafe and his sister, Annie. Skin-walkers can transform into mountain lions, and Annie has already done so, but she is slowly losing herself in the wild animal. Maya is only beginning the process, and a part of her dreads that she too will disappear. But for now, Maya and her friends must concentrate on staying out of the scientists’ hands and finding their parents, who, unfortunately, believe them to be dead.

As they survive hunger, thirst, injuries and pursuit, they slowly make their way through the wilderness back to their small town. Along the way, they share many heart-to-heart talks and uncover startling secrets, like some of their other supernatural powers and who may be responsible for the death of their friend a year earlier. They barely make it back to their homes only to find the entire town completely deserted. To make matters a bit more complicated, Maya, the skin-walker, completes her first full transformation into a wild mountain lion.

THE CALLING is the middle volume in Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising trilogy. Her intriguing idea of scientists reactivating extinct genes for supernatural powers pulls readers into a fantasy thrill ride. The story immediately picks up where THE GATHERING left off and begins answering a few compelling questions that have been plaguing both the characters and fans alike…and introduces even more curious anomalies. Armstrong has woven in some worthwhile messages --- such as the desperate need to avoid judging others based on culture, sexual orientation, and even a person’s choices, etc. --- that will hit home to everyone and really make you think.

The nonstop action, fantasy twists, compelling mysteries, sizzling romance, and Armstrong’s obvious love and respect of nature help make this a winning series. Fans will be waiting breathlessly for the trilogy’s conclusion.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on May 31, 2012

The Calling: Darkness Rising, Book 2
by Kelley Armstrong